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UK commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on her first anniversary

King Charles III paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II on Friday and thanked the public for their support during his first year in the throne.

The 74-year-old British head of state recalled his “great affection” in a brief speech about his mother’s life and contributions to society.

“I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all,” he added.

The monarch, who is visiting his expansive Scottish Highland estate of Balmoral, was not anticipated at any official engagements on Friday, so celebrations were low-key.

He and his wife Camilla went to adjacent Crathie Kirk, the late monarch’s place of worship, together with the queen’s niece and nephew for private prayers and a moment of remembrance.

After the occasion, Charles spoke to spectators gathered outside the church while wearing a red tartan kilt.

After a time of deteriorating health, his mother, who held the kingdom for a record-breaking 70 years, passed away at Balmoral on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. On Friday, flowers were left at the estate’s entrance.

She didn’t publicly commemorate her coronation because it fell on the same day as the 1952 passing of her own father, King George VI.

– Gun salutes –

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will mark Charles’s accession by firing a 41-gun ceremonial salute in Hyde Park from 12:00 pm (1100 GMT).

Members of the Honourable Artillery Company — the oldest regiment in the British Army — will fire a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London from 1:00 pm.

Both regiments took part in the firing of the Proclamation salute and the Death Gun salute to mark the passing of the queen and the beginning of Charles’s reign, respectively.

Prince William, the heir apparent and eldest son of the king, and his wife Catherine will mark the occasion with a brief private service at west Wales’ St. Davids Cathedral.

Prince Harry, William’s younger brother who is estranged, was in the UK on Thursday for a charity event but was not anticipated to meet any family members.

“As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away,” Harry told the charity event.

“She would have been the first person to insist that I still come to be with you all instead of going to her, and that’s precisely why I know exactly one year on that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together.”

Since Harry and his wife, Meghan, left the royal life and relocated to North America in 2020, ties between him and his father and brother have become tense.

Their critiques of the family in television interviews, a docuseries, and Harry’s autobiography have further strained relationships.

– Memorial –

The passing of Elizabeth II shocked British society. The queen was the only monarch and head of state most British people still living had ever known.

Tens of thousands of people stood in line for up to 25 hours to pass her flag-draped coffin as it lay in state in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament during the 10-day formal period of mourning.

For the state funeral, which was broadcast across the world to a television audience of millions, even more people crowded the streets of London and the road leading west to Windsor Castle.

The ashes of the queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, as well as those of her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away in 2021, were laid beside her in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor.

Earlier this week, the government announced that a national memorial to the late monarch will be commissioned “in due course”.

Regarding Charles’ first year, opinions were divided on Thursday in London.

Some others believed he was correct to delay introducing significant reform. Joanne Hughes, 61, disclosed to newsmen outside Buckingham Palace, “He’s got a big act to follow, but he will, I think, improve things.

However, some had little opinion of the new king or the monarchy in general, despite his 161 official engagements and tours of all four of the United Kingdom’s countries.

“The monarchy is dying,” said nursing student Mimi Jaffer-Clarke.

“If he wants it to not die, then he needs to try to get the younger generation to like him — and we just don’t.”

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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