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Large crowd watches proclamation of King Charles III in Cambridge and sings God Save the King





The proclamation of King Charles III has taken place at the Guildhall in Cambridge, maintaining a tradition that dates back centuries.

A large crowd gathered in the market square for the proclamation at 1pm on Sunday (September 11), in which the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire announced the new monarch.

The crowd gathers for the City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell
The crowd gathers for the City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell

There was a peal of bells before the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, introduced the High Sheriff, Jennifer Crompton.

A special Proclamation prayer was then delivered by the Bishop of Ely.

The High Sheriff Jennifer Crompton at the Guildhall in Cambridge for the proclamation of King Charles III. Picture: Keith Heppell
The High Sheriff Jennifer Crompton at the Guildhall in Cambridge for the proclamation of King Charles III. Picture: Keith Heppell

The crowd sang God Save the King and wreaths were laid to express condolences to Charles following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday (September 8).

The city’s proclamation took place at the same time as University of Cambridge’s ceremony at the Senate House.

Proclamations follow in the cities of Peterborough, at 3pm, and Ely, at 4pm. Many towns and villages throughout the county are holding their own proclamations at 4pm.

The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall: the Lord-Lieutenant Julie Spence. Picture: Keith Heppell
The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall: the Lord-Lieutenant Julie Spence. Picture: Keith Heppell

After the historic occasion at the Guildhall, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, told the Cambridge Independent: “It was absolutely done with the right level of change in atmosphere for the proclamation, because the flags were still at full mast.

“We proclaimed the new king and it’s really important that we keep up with the history of accession and proclamation, even in this day of social media.

“In Victorian, Georgian and previous times, men would go around on horseback to villages and towns to make sure everybody would know we had a new king. Everybody here has felt part of history.

The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell
The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell

“The flags now come back down to half-mast and we go into mourning for the lying in state and the funeral.

“We had a ceremony of two halves - first, the proclamation of the new king, and then we - myself, the High Sheriff, the Bishop, the mayor of Cambridge, the chairman of the county council and the chairman of South Cambridgeshire District Council, all laid wreaths, giving our condolences to the King for the death of his mother.”

The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall: The Bishop of Ely the Rt Rev Stephen Conway lays a wreath. Picture: Keith Heppell
The City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall: The Bishop of Ely the Rt Rev Stephen Conway lays a wreath. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mrs Spence, who lit Cambridge’s Platinum Jubilee beacon for Her Majesty in June, explained why it falls to the High Sheriff to read the proclamation.

“It would be absolutely wrong for me to do it, because in essence, I am the ‘embodiment’ of the King. I am his servant - I work for him. In county ceremonies, if the King can’t come, then the Lord-Lieutenant comes,” she said.

“Many of our High Sheriffs in the past have wondered on whose watch it would be. It was on Jennifer Crompton’s shoulders, and she did a very, very good job.”

The crowd gathers for the City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell
The crowd gathers for the City of Cambridge Proclamation of the King outside The Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell

It has, of course, been 70 years since the proclamation of a new monarch, so the authorities have been busy working on the plans to ensure they followed protocol and went smoothly.

Operation London Bridge covers the country’s plan following the death of the Queen, but the accession plans were also required.

“London Bridge is an operation that has been in being for a long time, but alongside that is the accession of the new King,” said Mrs Spence. “We started planning once we knew of the demise of the monarch.

The mace is held upside down and carries a black ribbon. The only time the mace is usually held upside down is when the sovereign is in the city. Picture: Keith Heppell
The mace is held upside down and carries a black ribbon. The only time the mace is usually held upside down is when the sovereign is in the city. Picture: Keith Heppell

“I would like to give real credit to all those involved. The city council, Peterborough City Council, the county council and my staff have all been absolutely amazing.

“This takes a lot of energy and effort to put together and to do it as seamlessly as happened in London.”

Mrs Spence said: “We in essence replicated everything you saw in London yesterday (Saturday), without the pipes. People have worked some long hours to make sure it happens.”

The proclamation of King Charles III by the University of Cambridge at Senate House by Vice-Chancellor Prof Stephen J Toope on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Picture: University of Cambridge
The proclamation of King Charles III by the University of Cambridge at Senate House by Vice-Chancellor Prof Stephen J Toope on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Picture: University of Cambridge

At the University of Cambridge’s simultaneous proclamation, on the steps of the Senate House, Vice-Chancellor Prof Stephen J Toope said: “We remember with deep sorrow but also great thankfulness, the service given here and to so many across the world by our longest-reigning sovereign.”

He spoke of “gracious acts of favour bestowed up on this university and its colleges” by the Queen and explained how the University of Cambridge - where Charles was educated, at Trinity College - is one of the “privileged bodies, so-called for their historic right to deliver loyal addresses to our sovereigns on certain occasions”, as it did on its 800th anniversary and, most recently, during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of June 2022.

After proclaiming the new monarch “as my predecessor Sir Lionel Whitby did, 70 years ago”, there was a moment of quiet prayer and reflection, then three cheers.

The choir of Great St Mary’s, the University of Cambridge church, could then be heard from the Senate House, singing God Save the King.

King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace on September 10, 2022. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA
King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace on September 10, 2022. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA

In London, a meeting of the Accession Council on Saturday was followed by the proclamation.

Garter Principle King of Arms, David Vines White reads the proclamation of the new King from the Friary Court balcony of St James’s Palace on September 10, 2022. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA
Garter Principle King of Arms, David Vines White reads the proclamation of the new King from the Friary Court balcony of St James’s Palace on September 10, 2022. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA

David White, Garter King of Arms, in colourful regalia and flanked by other Officers of Arms and Sergeants at Arms, read from a balcony at St James’s Palace.

Ceremonial robes were seen on some of those in attendance at the Royal Exchange for the proclamation of King Charles III. Picture: Toby Melville/PA
Ceremonial robes were seen on some of those in attendance at the Royal Exchange for the proclamation of King Charles III. Picture: Toby Melville/PA

A second reading of the Accession Proclamation was met with applause and cheers of “God Save the King” outside the Royal Exchange.

At 5pm on Sunday, Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge is to host service of commemoration for the Queen.



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