Mayor Declares King Charles III as New Monarch in Proclamation Ceremony

A proclamation ceremony to declare King Charles III as the new Monarch after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday took place on Sunday on the Town Hall steps.

The proclamation of accession is the formal method of publicising the accession, sharing the news that the monarch has died and has been acceded to the throne. The proclamation was first read from the balcony at St James Palace by the Garter King of Arms on Saturday (10 September). On Sunday 11 September it was then read at 12 noon in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh and then at cities and towns afterwards around the UK.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas before reading the proclamation she said, “We remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest-reigning monarch. But the basis on which our monarchy is built has ensured that through the centuries the crown has passed in an unbroken line of succession. Today’s ceremony marks the formal proclamation to the people of Henley of our new King’s reign.”

“The proclamation of the sovereign is a very old tradition which has in fact spanned many centuries. The ceremony does not create a new king; it is simply an announcement of accession which takes place immediately on the death of the reigning monarch. In an age where modern methods of communication convey news around the globe in an instant, the proclamation is no longer how people learn for the first time that they have a new monarch.”

“Today is one of the first occasions when communities have an opportunity to come together and reflect on a moment in our nation’s history when the reign of our longest-serving monarch came to an end and our new sovereign succeeded.”

The Mayor was joined on the steps by Father Jeremy Taylor, Rector of St Mary’s Church, Town Clerk, Sheridan Jacklin-Edward, Oxfordshire Deputy Lieutenant, Cynthia Hall, Town Councillors and former Mayors spanning more than 40 years. Town Sergeant, James Churchill-Coleman carried the town mace.

After the proclamation, musicians from Henley Music School played the national anthem. Principal Laura Reineke afterwards said, “Like many over this sad time I have been glued to the telly amazed at the wonderful traditions and processes that happen, that I never even knew about! When I heard there was a proclamation in the Market Place (at about 10am on Sunday) I spoke to the Sheridan the Town Clerk and asked if he’d like some live accompaniment to God Save the King. I think live music is always a treat, and it is important to do your bit – it was an honour to be a part of such a historical occasion. Thank you to the group of string players who stepped up to the plate at very short notice, and smashed a performance with no rehearsal!”

A large crowd gathered to watch the ceremony and afterwards members of the public were invited to lay flowers on the steps next to the picture of the Queen and flowers laid by the Mayor.