Army gun salutes heralding the Proclamation of His Majesty King Charles III as our new Monarch sounded across the devolved nations of the United Kingdom as the Queen’s coffin left Balmoral for the last time today.
Thousands of people lined the streets of the capital cities of the UK’s devolved nations and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland today as the Proclamations were read out and mixed emotions were at the fore as Her Majesty’s coffin also left Balmoral for the six-hour journey to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
After a reading in each location, a royal gun salute was fired from Edinburgh Castle, Cardiff Castle and Hillsborough Castle, to accompany the Proclamations of The King in these cities.
Proclamations were held at the Mercat Cross and Edinburgh Castle, City of Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff Castle, Wales and Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland.
The Armed Forces provided guards of honour and military bands at all three Proclamations.
In Scotland the Proclamation was read in Edinburgh by the Lord Lyon King of Arms at the Mercat Cross and at the drawbridge of Edinburgh Castle at 12pm and 12.30pm respectively.
A guard of honour of two officers and 50 soldiers of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, together with The Band of HM Royal Marines in Scotland, was on parade and was joined by a guard of honour of two officers and 24 other ranks of The King’s Body Guard for Scotland (The Royal Company of Archers).
A royal gun salute of 21 rounds fired by 105 Regiment Royal Artillery then rang out from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, and the Trumpeters sounded a royal salute after which the band played one verse of the National Anthem.
Finally, the Lord Lyon King of Arms called for "Three cheers for His Majesty The King", the guards of honour responding to each declaration in the traditional manner. Upon completion, the captain of the guard of honour ordered troops to replace head dress.
The emotions of so many across Scotland were carried across the air as rounds rang out – mixed emotions with the sadness but yet also carrying the continuity of succession – reflected in how the Gunners spoke of their participation in undertaking their duties.
Adjutant, Captain Daniel Harvey summed up the general feeling of all those playing a role when he talked of the “honour and privilege” of service.
In Wales a Proclamation ceremony took place at Cardiff Castle to honour the new King as soldiers from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) and 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh made up the Route Lining party and the Proclamation Guard.
Losing the Queen has been like losing a member of your own family because she's been a constant for so long in our lives. WO2 Hughes
Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson with Regimental Goat Lance Corporal Shenkin IV led the regimental Band and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh, ahead of the Proclamation Guard, which stepped off from City Hall in Cardiff at 11.25am, arriving inside the castle grounds at 11.35am.
A trumpet fanfare signalled the arrival of the First Minister of Wales, the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff and the Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary.
Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, head of the Army in Wales, as well as the senior officers of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy in Wales, also took their places on the dais.
Warrant Officer Class Two Hughes, said: “Being in the military and a Welsh Guardsman it’s of course not lost on people how the Queen has played a massive part in all of our lives, especially as Foot Guards and her personal soldiers.
“I encountered Her Majesty quite a few times, on Trooping the Colour and quite a few State events. In Windsor, whenever she walked her dogs, she would always make a point of saying hello to the Guardsmen and send some water down.
“She had a keen eye for perfection and that’s something you always noticed. Losing the Queen has been like losing a member of your own family because she's been a constant for so long in our lives.
“The new King has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards for some time and we now welcome him and support him in everything he does.
“To play our part here in the Welsh capital is a huge privilege for us and we take that honour very seriously. This is a unique event and one we'll remember always.”
Captain Kironde-Strain, of 3 Royal Welsh and Officer-in-Charge of the Proclamation Guard, said: "Learning of Her Majesty's passing was of course a poignant and immensely sad moment.
“She was our Colonel-in-Chief and, only just across the road from here she presented us with our New Colours in 2015, in the heart of Cardiff in the iconic Millennium Stadium, as it was then called. That was very special for us.
“But nothing can compare to this occasion and what it means. To play a small part in commemorating the Queen and also honouring the King in his new role is a real honour.
“From every Fusilier right up to our Commanding Officer, we will never forget this historic occasion."
A 21-gun salute was fired by 104 Regiment Royal Artillery and the ceremony was concluded with three cheers for His Majesty The King.
In Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland, a dreary wet day could not dampen the spirits of the onlookers and those taking part in this historic moment.
As the sound of a fanfare played by the bugler of the Historic Royal Places faded, a bell in the clocktower of the Hillsborough Castle Court House gave a single chime on the stroke of 12 noon.
The Norroy and King of Arms read the Accession Proclamation and after he finished the gunners of 206 Battery 105 Regiment Royal Artillery fired a 21-gun salute to mark the Northern Ireland’s Accession Proclamation
The Proclamation was read at Hillsborough Castle to coincide with Proclamations in Edinburgh and Cardiff. This followed the yesterday’s reading of the Principal Proclamation of the new Sovereign at St James’s Palace and the City of London.
Around 90 invited guests were inside the grounds of the Castle to witness the historic moment as hundreds of members of the public looked on as the Proclamation Guard, provided by The 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, together with the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, stood to attention as the Proclamation was read by the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, Mr Robert Noel.
After the reading of the Proclamation the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms called for three cheers for His Majesty The King with the crowd responding in kind.