King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla Hold Their First Audiences at Buckingham Palace

·6 min read
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla Hold Their First Audiences at Buckingham Palace

King Charles III and Queen Camilla have begun their duties as the new monarchs of the United Kingdom.

Shared on the Royal Family's official Twitter, Charles, 73, and Camilla, 75, held their first audiences on Saturday afternoon following his proclamation.

"This afternoon at Buckingham Palace, His Majesty The King, accompanied by Her Majesty The Queen Consort, held Audiences with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet, and Opposition Party Leaders," the caption read, alongside pictures of the event.

In one picture, Charles and Camilla sit side by side as they laugh while speaking to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In another, Charles and newly-appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss, who first met a day after Queen Elizabeth II's death on Thursday, stand beside each other as they engage in conversation.

RELATED: King Charles Tells Prime Minister Liz Truss That Queen's Death Is 'Moment I've Been Dreading'

Earlier in the day, the Accession Council made the official proclamation of King Charles in the State Apartments of St. James's Palace in London at 10 a.m. local time Saturday — and in a historic first, the rite was televised.

For more on King Charles, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

Watched by Prince William — in his first official role as Prince of Wales — and Queen Camilla, the proclamation was read to the Privy Council (comprising senior Cabinet ministers, judges and leaders of the Church of England) in the palace's Picture Gallery: "The crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George," the clerk to the council read.

RELATED: See King Charles and Queen Camilla Return to Buckingham Palace After Queen's Death in Stunning Pic

"We 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 III," continued the proclamation.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate MiddletonMeghan Markle and more!

King Charles III speaks during a meeting of the Accession Council in the Thrown Room inside St James's Palace in London
King Charles III speaks during a meeting of the Accession Council in the Thrown Room inside St James's Palace in London

JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images King Charles

RELATED: How King Charles Will Make History When He's Proclaimed Monarch on Saturday

The clerk ended with "God Save The King," which was echoed by the 200 Privy Councillors headed by former Prime Ministers including Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, David Cameron, and Gordon Brown.

William and Queen Camilla then stepped forward to sign the Accession Proclamation, followed by current Prime Minister, Liz Truss and other dignitaries.

After the initial 10-minute-long ceremony was concluded, the Privy Council moved into the Throne Room, where King Charles joined them. Dressed in a tailcoat and black tie, and watched by his wife Camilla and son William, 40, he stood in front of the throne and made his Declaration.

Addressing the Council as Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, he made a "most sorrowful duty" of announcing the death of his "beloved Mother, The Queen."

RELATED: King Charles III: 5 Things to Know About Britain's New Monarch

"I know how deeply you, the entire Nation — and I think I may say the whole world — sympathize with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered," Charles said. "It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss."

Talking of his mother's reign as "unequaled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion" Charles added that he hoped to follow her "inspiring example."

"Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me."

He continued, "In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments. In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife."

Britain's King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland, during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James's Palace in London on September 10, 2022, to proclaim him as the new King. - Britain's Charles III was officially proclaimed King in a ceremony on Saturday, a day after he vowed in his first speech to mourning subjects that he would emulate his "darling mama", Queen Elizabeth II who died on September 8. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo by VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland, during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James's Palace in London on September 10, 2022, to proclaim him as the new King. - Britain's Charles III was officially proclaimed King in a ceremony on Saturday, a day after he vowed in his first speech to mourning subjects that he would emulate his "darling mama", Queen Elizabeth II who died on September 8. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo by VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles III

RELATED: King Charles Delivers First Address as Monarch Following Death of Queen — with Some Major News

"I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to My Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports My official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation. And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God."

The historic two-part ceremony took only 40 minutes. Though King Charles immediately rose in rank after his mother Queen Elizabeth's death, the accession is not to be confused with the formal coronation.

The new monarch also swore an oath before the Privy Council to preserve the Church of Scotland.

This was followed by the public proclamation of the new sovereign, read publicly at St. James Palace and at various locations through Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff, Wales; and Belfast, Ireland.

Charles' formal coronation is not immediately expected, and courtiers have not yet announced a date. The crowning ceremony for his mother was held 16 months after her accession on Feb. 6, 1952, following the sudden death of her father, King George VI.

RELATED VIDEO: See King Charles and Queen Camilla Return to Buckingham Palace After Queen's Death

King Charles returned to London Friday with his wife Camilla, who will now be known as Queen Consort, an honor Queen Elizabeth directly expressed her wishes for in February. The arrival was poignant, as it marked their first time in the capital city as monarch and consort.

Earlier this week, the senior royals had traveled to the Queen's side in the Scottish Highlands after Buckingham Palace announced that her doctors were "concerned" for Her Majesty's health. Charles had been in Scotland Wednesday, carrying out engagements.

RELATED: King Charles Greets South Carolina Couple Outside Buckingham Palace: 'It Is a Dream'

On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth died at age 96 at her beloved Balmoral Castle.

In a televised speech Friday, recorded in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, King Charles said his "beloved mother" would be laid to rest "in a little over a week's time."

"In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example," the King continued, in part. "On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express."