The British Army marked the first anniversary of His Majesty The King’s Accession to the throne with traditional gun salutes and music. The gun salutes occurred in key locations across the United Kingdom including The Tower of London, Hyde Park, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Hillsborough Castles.
The number of guns fired varies depending on the location and historical tradition. At the Tower of London, the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 62-gun salute, 41 because it is a Royal occasion marked from the Tower and an additional 21 as the salute is happening in the City of London. In Hyde Park, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute. At all other locations, 21 guns were fired.
The history of the Accession gun salute can be traced back to 1603 and is traditional way of celebrating the Accession of a new monarch to the throne. They are a reminder of the long and unbroken history of the British Monarchy and are also a way of showing support for the new Monarch and wishing them a long and prosperous reign. In addition to the gun salutes, there were other events taking place around the UK to mark the Accession of King Charles III, including a service at St. Paul's Cathedral and a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
"This is my 79th gun salute and Cardiff Castle is my favourite place to fire." Capt Helen Jasper MBE
In London, two regiments that routinely punctuate the nation’s most historical events with ceremonial gunfire, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and The Honourable Artillery Company fired Royal Salutes in the capital at 12 noon and 1pm respectively on 8 September 2023.
The Army Reserve played a significant role in today’s event with 104 Reserve Regiment Royal Artillery taking the lead in Cardiff and the aforementioned Honourable Artillery Company in London. Captain Helen Jasper MBE has been conducting gun salutes for over 13 years and is the Officer Commanding the Cardiff Salute she said:
"This is my 79th gun salute and Cardiff Castle is my favourite place to fire. Its iconic 15th century keep is a backdrop that makes every gun salute feel like a truly unforgettable experience. It is such a privilege to celebrate the first year of the King's reign in such a historic setting alongside such a dedicated and professional team of reserve soldiers."