The world is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 on September 8. Among those grieving the loss is her eldest son, Charles, whose new title is King Charles III. Upon Her Majesty’s death, the 73-year-old monarch automatically ascended to the throne like his mother once did when her father, King George VI, died.
The British royal family announced the news from Balmoral Castle in Scotland. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the statement read.
Shortly after, Charles released a statement via Buckingham Palace, which included the title His Majesty The King. “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family,” the message read. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.”
It continued: “I know her loss will be deeply felt through the country, the Reals, and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. 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.”
The Express reports that it is his official decision to go by King Charles III. Though it was the title given by default, the King of England was free to choose his own “regnal name.” Like his past relatives, he could have drawn inspiration from his full name — Charles Philip Arthur George. Or he might have selected a completely new name, similar to when his grandfather Albert was crowned King George VI in 1936.
But ultimately, he chose to follow in his mother’s footsteps. Elizabeth, of course, famously took a stand to keep her own name, as seen in Netflix’s The Crown drama series. When asked by her private secretary what her regnal name would be, Elizabeth reportedly replied, “My own, of course.” She added the number “II” to make her distinction from Queen Elizabeth I.
According to The Guardian, Charles will be proclaimed as king at 10 a.m. on September 9. His coronation is expected to happen within a year, a source told the Daily Mail. The outlet also reported that the ceremony has been in the works for some time now.
In April 2018, Queen Elizabeth II showed her support for her heir, referring to Charles by his former title. “It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations, and will decide that one day The Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” she said, according to The Telegraph.
Selena is the associate entertainment and news editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers the latest on TV, movies and celebrities. In addition to writing and editing entertainment news, she also spotlights the Hispanic and Latinx community through her work. She is a graduate of CUNY Hunter College with a B.A. in journalism and creative writing.
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