LONDON (Dispatches) – King Charles III has been publicly proclaimed as the new monarch of the United Kingdom following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history.
In a formal ceremony of the Accession Council, at St James’s Palace in the capital London on Saturday, Charles III was officially declared king. The ceremony, attended by around 200 of the current Privy Counselors, including many former prime ministers and other senior politicians, as well as judges, bishops and senior civil servants was televised for the first time.
The coronation comes as Charles as a prince and Britain’s heir to the throne was at the center of the storm for accepting questionable donations to his charitable fund.
Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden, wealthy construction magnates and half-brothers of the late Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden, reportedly donated 1.7 million dollars to a charitable fund run by the prince.
Charles allegedly green-lighted the donation after a private meeting with Bakr bin Laden at this palatial building known has Clarence House in 2013 only two years after U.S. Special Forces killed the 9/11 mastermind in the east of Pakistan.
Charles, 73, automatically became king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, following the death of her mother Queen Elizabeth at the age of 96 on Thursday.
However, it is the council’s role to formally acknowledge the passing of one monarch and to then proclaim the new one on behalf of the British government. It is part of Britain’s constitutional process.
The announcements also confirmed that the day of the Queen’s state funeral would be a public holiday.
Elizabeth was the queen of Britain and more than a dozen other countries, who saw 15 British prime ministers in her record-breaking reign and earlier this year marked her 70th year on the throne.
At her death, she was head of state of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the UK.
At the peak, she was queen of 18 countries at the same time, between 1983 and 1987. Since then, Fiji (1987), Mauritius (1992) and Barbados (2021) have become republics.
Her last years as the monarch were marked by a slew of scandals dogging the royal family.