Charles III to be proclaimed King live on TV as Accession Council to be broadcast for first time in history

The Accession Council, which will see Charles proclaimed as King Charles III, will be televised for the first time in history, Clarence House has confirmed.

The new monarch will be proclaimed in front of millions of viewers with the historic event from St James’s Palace to be broadcast.

Charles has automatically become King on the death of his mother, but the Accession Council is usually convened at St James’s in London within 24 hours of the death of a sovereign.

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It is being staged a day later for King Charles III because the announcement of the Queen’s death did not come until early evening on Thursday, meaning there was not enough time to set the plans in motion for Friday morning.

It was confirmed cameras will be allowed inside the State Apartments to capture the proceedings for the first time in history.
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Plans announced for King’s Accession Council

A Principal Proclamation will be read in public for the first time by the Garter King of Arms in the open air from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s an hour later at 11am.

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It will be followed by a flurry of Proclamations around the country, with the second one at City of London at the Royal Exchange at midday on Saturday, and further Proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at midday on Sunday.

In recognition of the new Sovereign, union flags will be flown at full-mast from the time of the Principal Proclamation at St James’s Palace until one hour after the Proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, after which flags will return to half-mast in mourning for the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

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How many will attend the Accession Council?

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Hundreds of privy counsellors are to miss the new King’s historic Accession Council after being dropped from the list of attendees due to lack of space and concerns over safety.

All 700-plus privy counsellors – mostly present and past politicians – would traditionally be summoned to witness the formal proclamation of the death of the monarch and the accession of the successor to the throne, and the King’s first Privy Council.

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Although not all privy councillors are required to attend the Accession Council, which Buckingham Palace announced will take place at 10am on Saturday, this does not affect the constitutional process.

Numbers permitted to attend have been reduced to 200 – with senior politicians and members of the clergy prioritised – and the remaining 500 were asked to apply for an annual ballot for a small number of spare seats.

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This does not affect the constitutional process.

The Accession Council must take place before Parliament meets, and Parliament should meet as soon as practicable after the death of a sovereign.

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The Accession Council is divided into two parts, and is presided over by the Lord President of the Council, who has ministerial responsibility for the Privy Council Office.

What is the Privy Council?

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The Privy Council – the oldest form of legislative assembly still functioning in the UK – dates from the time of the Norman kings when the monarch met in private – hence the description Privy – with a group of trusted counsellors who fulfilled the role the cabinet performs today.

The sovereign is its head and the body advises the monarch as they carry out duties as head of state.

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The council also provides administrative support for the leaders of the Commons and Lords and has responsibility for the affairs of 400 institutions, charities and companies incorporated by royal charter.

It has a judicial role as the court of final appeal for UK overseas territories and crown dependencies and for a number of Commonwealth countries.

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Meetings take place with members standing up throughout.

Queen Victoria is believed to have started the convention in 1861 following the death of her beloved consort Prince Albert when she wished to reduce her public duties to the minimum necessary.

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How to watch King’s Accession Council

It was confirmed cameras will be allowed inside the State Apartments to capture the proceedings for the first time in history.

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The new King will be formally proclaimed monarch at a historic Accession Council in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace at 10am on Saturday as the ceremony is televised for the first time.

You can tune in on BBC, Sky News and other major news channels.