Lancashire proclaims King Charles III as monarch in ceremony dating back five centuries
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People travelled from miles around to witness the historic event - dating back more than 500 years - performed with due pomp and ceremony on the steps of the Harris Museum.
The great and the good of the Red Rose county were there to witness the reading of the Royal Proclamation a day after it was first delivered at St James's Palace in London.
A full set of 14 Mayors from across Lancashire attended in their chains of office and scarlet robes before returning to deliver the same statement in their own boroughs.
Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, said: "The reading of the Proclamation of the new Monarch will be a sign that we look forward into the future, despite the inevitable desire to reflect on the past.
"Everyone in Lancashire will wish the new King well, even at a sad time."
Members of Parliament, civic dignitaries, judges, military chiefs and faith leaders were also at the Harris to mark the momentous occasion - last performed in February 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed sovereign following the death of her father George VI.
In a message to those who gathered in the city centre today, Preston's Mayor Coun Neil Darby said: "It is a great honour to welcome you to this Lancashire Proclamation which is an event of historic significance.
"As we mourn the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and pay tribute to her long and outstanding service to our nation, today we gather to mark the succession to the throne of His Majesty Charles III.
"We wish him a long and happy reign. God save the King."
The Lancashire Proclamation, read out by the High Sheriff of Lancashire Martin Ainscough, was one of a number being delivered across the nation at 1pm.
Warm sunshine greeted the crowds, with music provided by the Brindle Brass Band. Military cadets, scouts, guides and armed forces veterans with standards provided the guard of honour.
The national Proclamation service began at 11am on Saturday when, meeting with tradition, the Accession Council delivered the principal one at St James's Palace with the new monarch in attendance. The same document was read out an hour later at the Royal Exchange in the City of London.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales followed suit on Sunday, before the county and district ceremonies completed their Proclamation, all sticking to the same script passed down over centuries at the accession of 20 previous monarchs.
While the Proclamation was being delivered the coffin of Queen Elizabeth, wrapped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, was being driven from Balmoral, where she died on Thursday, to Edinburgh.
The hearse was accompanied on its six-hour 175 mile journey by the Princess Royal and her husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
In Lancashire Union flags were raised to full mast after the principal Proclamation on Saturday morning and returned to half mast when the Flag Market service ended.
The Lancashire Proclamation
“Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth the Second, of Blessed and Glorious memory, by whose Decease the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George. We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, and Members of the House of Commons, together with other members of Her late Majesty's Privy Council, and representatives of the Realms and Territories, Aldermen, and Citizens of Lancashire and others, do now hereby, with one voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart, publish and proclaim that The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful liege Lord, Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom we do acknowledge all Faith and Obedience with humble Affection, beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless His Majesty, with long and happy Years to reign over us. Given at the Harris Museum in Preston, Lancashire this Eleventh Day of September in the year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-two.”