LONDON — Guns were fired, bells were ringing and mourning crowds greeted Charles III, who ushered Britain into an uncertain new era on Friday.
The country went through a long national mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, plagued by an economic crisis and recent political upheaval, while facing 70 years of life without a nameplate. .
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Charles, the longest-serving heir to the throne, returned to Buckingham Palace in London shortly after 2:00 pm local time (9:00 am ET) and inherited his primogeniture at the age of 73. He rushed to the side of the last queen.
The new monarch was greeted with cheers and cries of “God save the king!” When he returned to the palace, he was out of the waiting crowd. He shook hands and took time to observe some of the many floral tributes left in his mother’s honor.
Charles will be the first king to address the nation in a televised address later in the day.
As a well-conceived plan of how the country will say goodbye to one monarch and welcome another, mourners lay flowers outside the palace early in the morning to witness history. In typical order and precision, Buckingham Palace issued detailed advice on Friday morning.
Julie Masters, 57, from Sussex in the south of England, said she was the first to shake hands with the new king. She was held up against a police fence with hundreds of people waiting.
“It’s not really sunk,” she said.
“He said, ‘Thank you for coming,'” she added.
Originally from Wokingham, 40 miles west of London, Margaret Walker is 95 and just a year younger than the Queen. She said: “Charles and Camilla shook my hands and I’m never washing them again!”
nearby hyde park and The Tower of London fired 96 bullets — one in each year of Elizabeth’s life. Flags on official buildings are flown at half-staff. The bells of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey rang out at noon (7:00 a.m. ET), echoing church bells across the country.
The Queen’s death, who died at the age of 96 on Thursday shortly after doctors placed her under medical surveillance, came as little shock given her age and recent health problems. In a country facing unprecedented economic hardships from inflation and inflation, her absence may be felt even more strongly as Britain faces a crisis for the first time in 70 years.
As French President Emmanuel Macron cited as one of dozens of tributes received from world leaders, she represents “a permanence that radiates the scent of eternity through political upheaval and turmoil.” increase.