King Charles prepares to address nation as he returns to London

King Charles III prepares to address the nation: New sovereign will return to London today with his Queen Consort Camilla at his side for his first audience as monarch with Prime Minister Liz Truss – as he prepares to lay his beloved mother to rest

  • Charles will make a televised statement to the nation later today, after racing down to London from Balmoral 
  • A statement was released by ‘His Majesty The King’ on the passing of his mother the Queen at 96 last night
  • Said the loss of Her Majesty will be ‘deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth’
  • Charles was by his mother’s side for much of the day after travelling to Balmoral with other senior Royals
  • Her ‘peaceful’ death was announced at 6.30pm after doctors yesterday expressed concern for her health 
  • Queen Elizabeth II death: Follow for latest updates as Buckingham Palace announces first day of royal mourning 
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

The King will travel down to London today with his Queen Consort Camilla at his side as he prepares to give a speech to a nation in mourning.

Charles and his wife remained at Balmoral overnight after racing up to Scotland to be at the bedside of the Queen, whose death was announced to the nation yesterday evening.

He will return to the capital today, before meeting Prime Minister Liz Truss and making a televised statement at 6pm.

The King has also instructed a period of royal mourning from now until seven days after his mother’s funeral – a date yet to be confirmed. 

The death of the Queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, has drawn condolences from around the globe.

Waking up to their first day without a woman once described by her grandson Harry as ‘the nation’s grandmother’, members of the public began gathering again outside Buckingham Palace to lay flowers and take photos of the growing memorial there.

Charles yesterday paid tribute to the Queen, who he described as a ‘cherished Sovereign and much-loved Mother’ as he was confirmed as Britain’s new monarch. 

The statement ‘from His Majesty The King’ came just half an hour after the ‘peaceful’ passing of the Queen was announced.

He will now be known by the regnal name of King Charles III, Clarence House has confirmed. As his full name is Charles Philip Arthur George there was a chance that he could have opted to use one of these names instead. 

His statement read: ‘The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

‘We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. 

‘I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

The King will travel down to London today with his Queen Consort Camilla at his side as he prepares to give a speech to a nation in mourning (pictured with his wife and mother on the balcony during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June)

Charles has released a statement about the death of Queen Elizabeth, describing her as a ‘cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother’

The King will return to the capital today, before meeting Prime Minister Liz Truss and making a televised statement at 6pm

His Majesty the King said his mother’s death yesterday will be ‘deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world’ (pictured in 2009 during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show)

The Queen is seen with her eldest son King Charles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, kisses his mother as she arrives to attend a 90th Birthday Celebration show at Windsor Castle on May 15, 2016

June 4, 2002: The Queen celebrating her Golden Jubilee with King Charles, Prince William, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and other members of the Royal family  

The Queen and the then Prince Charles are seen out walking in Balmoral in October 2021. It was one of the last times the mother and son were pictured together

Charles and Diana kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace next to the Queen in July 29 1981 – but their marriage would end in 1995

 ‘During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.’

Charles was by his mother’s side for much of the day after catching the royal helicopter from Dumfries House in Ayrshire with his wife Camilla.

His younger sister Princess Anne was already at Balmoral after royal duties also took her to Scotland.

Prince Charles left Dumfries House in Ayrshire earlier to travel to Balmoral

They were joined by other senior members of the Royal Family including Her Majesty’s other two children, Andrew and Edward, and Prince William.

The family rushed to the Queen’s Scottish residence after an unprecedented statement from her doctors revealed they were ‘concerned’ about her health and were keeping her under medical supervision. 

Charles is becoming monarch at 73 years old, nearly half a decade older than the Queen was when she found herself in the same position.

He is likely to launch a radical overhaul of the monarchy in the wake of his mother’s death, having frequently spoken about a slimmed-down front-line.

Royal watchers believe the former Prince of Wales is keen to ensure there are ‘no hangers-on’ in the Firm, with each member being expected to pull their weight in a new and more streamlined monarchy.

The concept of the ‘slimmed-down monarch’ was clear to see during the Platinum Jubilee in June when the Queen restricted those appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony to working members of the Royal Family.

But King Charles’ original model, which reportedly involved a tight core of just seven people, including himself, has been thrown into doubt following a series of external events. 

The plan, put in motion before the Queen’s death, originally included the long-reigning monarch along with Prince Philip, King Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry. 

Philip died aged 99 in 2021, while Harry’s future in the slimmed-down monarchy seems hugely doubtful following his decision to quit front line royal duties and move to America with his wife Meghan Markle. 

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who would likely have featured in a slimmed-down monarchy as a son of the Queen and King Charles’ brother, has been outcast since his US sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre.

But that has pushed Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, into the fray as ‘key’ parts of Prince Charles’ future monarchy, according to royal watchers.

As Charles becomes King, Prince William is to become the new Prince of Wales, with his wife Kate Middleton taking on the new title of the Princess of Wales.

The Queen with her eldest son Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall ahead of the annual Order of the Garter service at St George’s Chapel on June 13, 2022

One of the Royal Family’s helicopters landed at Balmoral yesterday morning, believed to be carrying Prince Charles and Camilla. All the Queen’s children rushed to be there

The Queen and the now King Charles, dressed in full military uniform, welcomed a small number of healthcare professionals to the ornate confines of Windsor Castle on July 12 2020

The royal family walk their corgis at Balmoral on September 18, 1957 – from left: Philip, Anne, the Queen and a young Charles

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and their children Anne, Edward and Charles in Windsor in April 1965

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their children Charles and Anne at Sandringham in 1970

Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photograph with Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1980, who married one year later

March 9, 2020: The Queen and Charles attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day

As the new King, Charles will be front-and-centre of the new-look monarchy. Alongside his reported desire to slim-down the size of the family, the biggest immediate change will be his residence.

The former Prince of Wales’s official residence has been Clarence House, on The Mall in the City of Westminster, since 2003.

While the Queen’s official residence has been Buckingham Palace, she spent much of her time at her favoured Windsor Castle following the death of her beloved Prince Philip. 

According to royal biographer Penny Junor in her book ‘The Firm’, the Queen wanted to remain living at Clarence House after her father’s death, but was convinced by Winston Churchill to move to Buckingham Palace – because of its significance as the home of the monarch.

It is believed Kings Charles will follow in his mother’s footsteps and move into Buckingham Palace.

One royal source told the Mail on Sunday in February 2022: ‘There is no question about it. HRH’s view is that you need a monarch at monarchy HQ. This has never been in doubt.

‘The Prince of Wales will not move into Buckingham Palace before he is king. But when he is, he absolutely will.

‘Just like the Queen, it will effectively be in the ‘flat above the shop’. He feels it is right, just as the Queen does, to work out of Buckingham Palace.

‘The Palace will still be a working and entertaining hub and will also still be open to visitors. It is a hugely important tourist attraction.

‘But the prince can still live there at the same time, much like he does at Highgrove, which is also open to the public.’ 

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