Crowds, including scores of invited dignitaries, gathered in the grounds of Devon County Council’s County Hall in Exeter this afternoon to hear the High Sheriff of Devon, Richard Youngman, officially read the Proclamation confirming King Charles III as monarch.
It follows the principle Proclamation made yesterday, (Saturday 10 September), at St James’s Place, Westminster, where the Clerk to the Privy Council, Richard Tilbrook proclaimed Charles “King, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith”, before declaring “God Save the King”.
Today that proclamation continues to be shared across the United Kingdom, and in Devon, the county so dear to the Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, where she and her husband The Duke of Edinburgh first met.
With full ceremony, heralded by a bugler’s fanfare and welcome from the King’s representative David Fursdon, Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, the High Sheriff read the Privy Council proclamation, as hundreds present looked on. Many more observed the ceremony via a live-stream.
Bishop Robert, the Rt Rev The Lord Bishop of Exeter, led the Prayer of Accession followed by the Lord’s prayer.
And the choir and onlookers sang together the new national anthem – ‘God save our gracious King, long live our noble King, God save the King.’
In welcoming all those present, the Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, said that today’s meeting is an important time in the history of our nation, to hear the proclamation of good news.
“We are gathered here today on Sunday 11th September 2022 to receive crucial Information which originated in the City of London and is being disseminated throughout the Kingdom,” he said.
“Please take note of it and spread it wide among the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, and along the highways and byways of Devon.
“This message will be delivered by the High Sheriff of Devon in accordance with the customs and tradition of our county and our country.”
Cllr Ian Hall, Chairman of Devon County Council, hosts for this the first proclamation in Devon, said:
“The Proclamation of a new Monarch is something most of us will never have seen before, and it has truly been my honour and privilege to have witnessed our County proclamation at first hand.
“I am sure you will join me in offering His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort our good wishes for the future as they undertake their new roles.”
The flag flying over County Hall, which was lowered to half-mast at the announcement of the death of Her late Majesty, had been raised fully for the proclamation. This afternoon, the flag is lowered back to half-mast for the remainder of the period of mourning.
The proclamation is read again this afternoon in Exeter’s city centre, Plymouth and Torbay, and continues as each of Devon’s remaining District Councils hold further proclamations tomorrow, (Monday 12 September).