An enthusiastic crowd of around 400 people gathered on Sunday afternoon to witness the reading of the Proclamation on the ascension to the throne of King Charles III, given from the front of the Civic Centre in Bournemouth.
Bathed in early autumn sunshine a collection of dignitaries led by His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, and including the High Sheriff of Dorset, the Vice Chairman, Leader, councillors and the Chief Executive of BCP Council, all attended to hear the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Nigel Hedges, read this historic proclamation.
The proceedings were opened by the Dolphin Marching band who played a number of well-known tunes which had some members of the audience singing along.
Just before the proclamation was read, Graham Farrant, the Chief Executive of BCP Council welcomed the crowd to the historic event and explained why the flag would be temporarily raised during the proclamation. He then introduced Mr Angus Campbell, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.
The Lord Lieutenant reminded the attendees that, although this was a sad time following the passing of the much loved Queen, we were here to celebrate and proclaim the ascension to the throne of the new King Charles III. He asked everyone that, once the proclamation had been read, to sing the national anthem and he reminded everyone to watch out for the changes to the words.
With that, a lone bugler blew a fanfare and Councillor Nigel Hedges, Chairman of BCP Council, stepped up to read out the ancient proclamation. At the end of the reading, he paused and then declared “God Save the King”, which was well repeated by the crowd. After this, the national anthem was sung followed by three cheers for King Charles III.
A good crowd from across the conurbation had gathered for what many of them described as “an important moment in history”.
Richard and Elizabeth from Highcliffe remembered the coronation of the young Queen Elizabeth II. Richard said:
“I can remember seeing the coronation on telly, it was a very exciting occasion. Losing the Queen after all this time was a bit of a shock, but I suppose it was sadly inevitable. We can take heart from the fact she did not suffer a long, drawn out decline and was happily working and doing her duty, right up to the end, just as she promised she would. It is important for us to be here to honour her memory but also to welcome in the new King.”
Many people also brought flowers to lay at the Bournemouth War Memorial in honour of Her Majesty.
Naomi from Charminster said:
“I have brought my children here because it is such an important event. It is important for them to see this to remember for the rest of their lives. We are here to pay our respects to a very important lady who has set such a good example throughout her life. But I know that the new Kings will bring a sense of unity to the country."
Sarah from Queen’s Park said:
“We are here to help celebrate the Queen’s life and to welcome in the new King. I am sure that King Charles III will do a good job.”
Local resident Alison had a particular connection to the Royal Family:
“I was born and brought up in Windsor and my Mum and Dad used to work in Windsor Castle. The Queen and Royal Family always gave Christmas presents to their staff, including to my Mum and Dad, every year. The new King has had a long apprenticeship, but I am sure he will do a good job, just like his mum has taught him to do.”
Susan originally came from the USA but moved to Bournemouth over 30 years ago.
“I am here to capture this historic event so I can send the video to my family back in the States. They visit me in Bournemouth regularly and know the town very well. But I also send them regular video updates about what is happening here to keep them up to date. This Proclamation reading is such a momentous event in history that I have to capture it and send it to them. I have very much enjoyed being here and being part of this moment in history and I know it will be of particular interest to them as well.”
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