Charles's first ten days as King: We chart the beginnings of his reign

Charles's first ten days as King: We chart the beginnings of his reign

September 18, 2022

Charles’s first ten gruelling days as King: He has travelled the length and breadth of his new kingdom – covering a breathtaking 1,900 miles – since his beloved mother died. Here we chart the beginnings of Charles III’s reign

  • King Charles III has had more than 30 engagements since the Queen’s death
  • His Majesty last night hosted an official state reception at Buckingham Palace
  • Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to King Charles’s ‘extraordinary courage’
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

Over the past ten days King Charles III has led the country in mourning and travelled some 1,900 miles as the new monarch – all while grieving his ‘darling mama’.

His demanding schedule has seen him journey from castle to cathedral, and walkabout to reception, in more than 30 engagements across the land since the Queen’s death.

And even yesterday as he prepared to bury his mother, the King was working until the last moment on the eve of her funeral.

After holding meetings with Prime Minister Liz Truss and leaders of the realms, His Majesty last night hosted a huge official state reception at Buckingham Palace. He welcomed world leaders and foreign royals who had arrived to pay their respects to the late Queen.

Accompanied by senior working royals, His Majesty hosted VIPS including US President Joe Biden and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau late into the evening. It was the last of his engagements ahead of the funeral.

King Charles III has had more than 30 engagements since the Queen’s death, working until the last moment on the eve of his mother’s funeral

Those engagements were laid out long ago in a detailed ten-day plan for the aftermath of the Queen’s death. Codenamed London Bridge, the operation featured dozens of events marking the farewell to the Queen as well as the King’s accession to the throne.

Little could have prepared the King for such an emotional and exhausting schedule. The past week has seen His Majesty dash around on a tour through Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, accompanied by Camilla, the Queen Consort. In between his duties as the new monarch, he has led the Royal Family in honouring the Queen in a string of ceremonial events watched by the world.

The meticulously-timed strategy was put into action with the words ‘London Bridge is down’ when the Queen died on September 8.

Sept 13 Northern Ireland: Charles III is greeted by members of the public including a woman with a pet corgi named Connie

Charles rushed some 150 miles from Dumfries House in Cumnock to Balmoral to be by his mother’s side in the precious moments before she passed away. With little time to reflect, the very next day he was in London to meet the Prime Minster before being proclaimed King.

He then flew to Edinburgh to lead his siblings in a poignant funeral procession along the Royal Mile, followed by a service and vigil. Here he began his tour of the nations visiting Scottish Parliament, meeting the First Minister and attending a reception.

The next day, accompanied by the Queen Consort, he embarked on the second leg of the tour, flying to Belfast airport.

He was driven to Hillsborough Castle to meet Northern Ireland’s leaders before rushing back to London in time to receive the Queen’s coffin, which landed at RAF Northolt at 7pm on Tuesday.

The next day in London’s first big ceremonial event, King Charles led the Royal Family in a public display of homage to the late Queen during a majestic procession.

Watched the world over, the new monarch marched behind her coffin followed by his siblings and his sons, delivering his mother to the care of the nation for four days lying-in-state.

On the seventh day, a break from the demanding ceremonial events was set aside in Operation London Bridge to give the monarch a moment of pause. While the King did retire to Highgrove House in Gloucestershire on Wednesday night, he spent his brief respite from public duties working on relations with world leaders.

September 16: King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort leave in the royal limousine following the Vigil of the Princes where the King and his siblings stood watch at their mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at Westminster Hall

He devoted most of Thursday to speaking with more than eight presidents and governor generals and was said to have made calls late into the evening.

The next day he quickly resumed public duties with his crucial first visit to Wales as King on Friday. Travelling to Cardiff via helicopter from Highgrove he visited Llandaff Cathedral and Welsh Parliament before returning to London.

The Archbishop of Canterbury last week paid tribute to King Charles’s ‘extraordinary courage’ in the wake of the Queen’s death.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said the average person would find fulfilling such duties unfathomable after losing a parent. He added: ‘The courage of him doing that is extraordinary but also it demonstrates his… service to the people.’

One source close to the King told the Daily Mail: ‘The last few days have blown even us away. His stamina has been astonishing and the fact that he has been able to do it all while grieving his mother is just remarkable. He is a fine man.’

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