Proclamations made across region to announce King Charles III

Council buildings, town halls and squares across the Black Country stood as one on Sunday afternoon to proclaim the new King.

Members of the armed forces pay their respects to the Queen and the new King. Photo: Ben Gregory-Ring
Members of the armed forces pay their respects to the Queen and the new King. Photo: Ben Gregory-Ring

The Proclamation of the Accession of King Charles III saw civic leaders and Mayors read the proclamation, in accordance with tradition, in front of councillors, members of the armed forces, invited dignitaries and members of the public.

In a solemn, but also celebratory atmosphere, the proclamation was introduced by members of the Lord Lieutenancy, following on from the reading of the proclamation at St James's Palace and in the City of London on Saturday.

Dignitaries, council officials and members of the armed forces pose by the tributes. Photo: Ben Gregory-Ring

In Sandwell, the Mayor of Sandwell Councillor Richard Jones and Deputy Lieutenant John Wood stood before a crowd of several hundred people at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury to proclaim the new King.

Councillor Jones became the first Mayor of Sandwell to read the proclamation, with Sandwell only having been formed in 1974, and spoke of the historical significance and honour of being able to do so.

He said: "It's a very historic moment and if you listen to the words, you can see how steeped in history the proclamation is, so it truly is an honour as the first Mayor of Sandwell to be able to honour the Queen's memory.

"She came to Sandwell several times during her life and while this is a very sombre moment and we are still in mourning for the late Queen, we're also very hopeful about King Charles III."

The Mayor of Sandwell Councillor Richard Jones views the tributes to the Queen. Photo: Ben Gregory-Ring

Sandwell Council leader Councillor Kerrie Carmichael said the proclamation had been a mixture of sadness and happiness for those in attendance.

She said: "I've been having a lot of conversations with people here and it's very strange and a bit surreal as we all feel sombre, but also happy about having a new King.

"The community have come out in force today and I want to also thank all the council staff, who have worked so hard to get this all set up today."

There was a thunderous three cheers and proud singing of "God save the King" from those in attendance, with Matthew Sparks among those taking a moment to remember the Queen.

The 48-year-old from Tipton said: "This week has been a very sad week for us and, for me, coming here today has been a great way to reflect in the fact that we have a new King, but we are also saying goodbye to the Queen as well.

The Mayor of Sandwell reads out the Proclamation in the company of the Deputy Lieutenant John Wood. Photo: Ben Gregory-Ring

"Today is a day of mixed emotions and a time of great change of all us."

For Sandra Harris from Dudley, it was a day to reflect on the passing of the Queen and how her family had always loved and served the Queen.

The 73-year-old said: "My brother Darrell and I have both served in the Police force and we all served her Majesty.

"He died two years ago and while I'm honoured to be here, I wish he was as well as he would have been front and centre."

In Dudley, hundreds of people turned out to witness the regional proclamation of King Charles’ III accession to the throne, which was read by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Sue Greenaway.

Prayers were read by the Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick and the event concluded with a performance of God Save the King by Dudley Performing Arts and a hearty three cheers for His Majesty the King.

The Mayor of Dudley Councillor Sue Greenaway gives the proclamation in front of councillors and the Bishop of Dudley. Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss

The Union Jack flag, which had been flying at full mast after Saturday's national proclamation in London, was dropped to half-mast after the regional proclamation.

Flags on key buildings, which include Dudley Council House, Dudley Town Hall, Stourbridge Town Hall and Dudley Castle, will remain at half mast until the day after the funeral.

A large crowd of public dignitaries and members of the public listen to the proclamation. Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss

Councillor Sue Greenaway, the Mayor of Dudley, said: "It was a true honour to read the regional proclamation on behalf of the people of Dudley borough.

"Although we may still be in mourning as a nation, the Proclamation allows us to unite and look to the future as we mark our new Sovereign’s succession to the throne."

The voice of Coun Paul Snape, Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, cried out across the Market Square in Stafford as the first to speak after the formal proclamation of the accession of King Charles III to the throne.

The centuries-old tradition was held in Stafford, before being repeated at other events across the county.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson CBE stood on the steps of Shire Hall to welcome the crowd before introducing the High Sheriff of Staffordshire Ben Robinson MBE DL, who had the honour of making the proclamation itself.

After the crowd had responded to the call of ‘God save the King!’ from the Chairman of the County Council, the Deputy Mayor of Stafford Borough Council, Council Peter Jones, called for three cheers for King Charles.

Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Paul Snape calls out "God save the King!" to the crowd assembled in Market Square in Stafford

Then, as the dignitaries filed from the Market Square, the crowd of more than a thousand spectators burst into applause before embarking on a spontaneous rendition of the national anthem.

Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, was present at the ceremony in the centre of the county town.

He said: "It is remarkable to witness this event today and to feel the thread of history running through it, back to the days when Kings and Queens were absolute rulers and proclamations such as these could shape people’s lives.

"For many of us Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was the only monarch we have ever known, so I found the cry of ‘God save the King!’ a quite moving moment as we recognise that while we mourn the past, we must face the future.”

The Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Paul Snape said: "It was proud moment to stand in front of so many people and to say ‘God save the King!’ on behalf of the people of Staffordshire.”

In Wolverhampton, the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Sandra Samuels made the proclamation on the steps of St Peter's Church in front of the statue of Lady Wulfruna.

The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Sandra Samuels, reads the proclamation in front of Lady Wulfruna

She delivered the proclamation in front of councillors, city MPs and other invited dignitaries, as well as members of the public.

Following the proclamation, protocol meant the Union Flag outside Wolverhampton Civic Centre has returned to half-mast for the remainder of the period of mourning for the Queen.

Some of the wreaths laid at the cenotaph in Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton civic leaders including Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dr Satya Sharma MBE DL, The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Sandra Samuels, Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Wendy Thompson, Council Chief Executive, Tim Johnson, Pat McFadden MP and Jane Stevenson MP, laid wreaths at the Cenotaph.

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