A year after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III expressed his gratitude to the public for their support during his first year as monarch. In a brief statement, the 74-year-old British head of state fondly remembered his mother’s remarkable life and dedication to public service.
King Charles III said, “I am deeply grateful for the great affection shown for my mother and the support extended to my wife and me throughout this year as we strive to serve you all.”
Commemorations for the anniversary were held in a low-key manner, with the king, currently at his expansive Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands, not participating in any official engagements. Instead, he and his wife, Camilla, attended Crathie Kirk, the late queen’s place of worship, for private prayers and a moment of reflection.
Queen Elizabeth II, who held the throne for a record-breaking 70 years, passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral after a period of declining health. During her reign, she never publicly celebrated her accession, as it coincided with the anniversary of her father King George VI’s death in 1952.
In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery marked Charles’s accession by firing a ceremonial salute of 41 guns in Hyde Park at noon (1100 GMT). Simultaneously, members of the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army, fired a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London at 1:00 pm.
Both regiments had previously been involved in firing gun salutes to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth and the proclamation of Charles’s reign.
Meanwhile, Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, commemorated the anniversary with a private service at St David’s Cathedral in west Wales. Prince Harry, who was in the UK for a charity event, did not have plans to meet with family members but expressed his belief that his grandmother would have encouraged him to attend events like the charity gathering despite her passing.