Following the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was Pope from 2005 until 2013, special instructions have been received that as a mark of respect UK Government Buildings should lower their Union Flags to half-mast from as soon as possible today Saturday 31 December 2022 until 20.00hrs.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as, or instead of, the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary. Enquiries regarding the correct protocols for the flying of Union and other flags should be addressed to the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms in the first instance.

Register to receive up-to-date advice from the College of Arms on official flag-flying days, instructions for flying flags at half-mast, and other relevant information, here.

Her Majesty The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on 8 September 2022. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales succeeded to the throne. His Majesty’s title in the United Kingdom, and in the other territories for whose foreign relations his Government in the United Kingdom is responsible, is Charles III, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge succeeded to the titles of Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, and Lord of the Isles, and to the office of Great Steward of Scotland.

On 9 September, the Earl Marshal issued an Order for General Mourning. Later that day he was received in audience by His Majesty The King.

On 10 September, an Accession Council assembled at Saint James’s Palace, of which the Earl Marshal and David White, Garter King of Arms, were members. The Council approved the text of an Accession Proclamation, which was signed by the Councillors, and ordered it to be sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm. The Council then ordered ‘that the Kings of Arms, Heralds and Pursuivants do attend at the Court at St. James’s to proceed with the usual ceremonies to proclaim His Majesty King Charles the Third’. At 11 a.m., Garter King of Arms, with the other Officers of Arms in attendance, proclaimed His Majesty’s accession at Saint James’s Palace. At noon, Timothy Duke, Clarenceux King of Arms, again attended by the other Officers of Arms, proclaimed His Majesty’s accession at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. At noon on 11 September, His Majesty’s accession was proclaimed by Robert Noel, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, at Hillsborough Castle, and by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Morfudd Meredith and Thomas Lloyd, Wales Herald, at Cardiff Castle. At 12.30 p.m. Phillip O’Shea, New Zealand Herald, proclaimed His Majesty’s accession at Parliament House, Wellington.

On 14 September, the Officers of Arms had the honour of preceding Her late Majesty’s coffin into Westminster Hall, and remained in attendance during the service conducted by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and the initial period of lying-in-state.

On 16 September, Wales Herald was in attendance upon His Majesty The King during his visit to the Welsh Parliament.

On 18 September, His Majesty The King invested the Earl Marshal with the insignia of a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour which The late Queen had conferred upon him on 2 June.

On 19 September, the Officers of Arms took part in the procession of Her late Majesty’s coffin from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey, the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, the procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, the procession from the Long Walk at Windsor to Saint George’s Chapel, and the Committal Service at Saint George’s Chapel. At the conclusion of the Committal Service, Garter King of Arms recited the styles and titles of Her late Majesty:

‘Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto His Divine Mercy the late Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Let us humbly beseech Almighty God to bless with long life, health and honour, and all worldly happiness the Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, our Sovereign Lord, Charles the Third, now, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of his other Realms and Territories King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.'


Purple Staff
The funeral processions in London and Windsor were marshalled by the Earl Marshal, assisted by Purple Staff Officers from the Guards Division. Purple staves are traditionally carried at the funeral of the monarch; purple being a royal mourning colour.

On 26 September, New Zealand Herald recited the styles and titles of Her late Majesty as Queen of New Zealand at the State Memorial Service at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington.

David White, Garter King of Arms, proclaimed the Accession of His Majesty King Charles III at St James's Palace, London, on 10 September 2022. Information about the Proclamation of the new Sovereign by the heralds may be seen here.  The text of the Accession Proclamation has been published here, and can be downloaded as a PDF.

 

The Accession Proclamation was made in Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland by other Officers of Arms: Lord Lyon King of Arms read it in Edinburgh; Wales Herald in Cardiff; and Norroy and Ulster King of Arms read it in Hillsborough.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died on 8 September 2022 at Balmoral Castle.

Edward, Duke of Norfolk, G.C.V.O., Earl Marshal, was responsible for the arrangements relating to the lying-in-state, funeral and committal of Her late Majesty.

The State Funeral of Her Majesty took place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September 2022. Following the Funeral, the Coffin travelled in Procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. From Wellington Arch, the Coffin travelled to Windsor and once there, the State Hearse travelled in Procession to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. A Committal Service took place in St George's Chapel. Information about the funeral and committal can be seen here. The Officers of Arms were in attendance.

At the conclusion of the Committal Service, David White, Garter King of Arms, proclaimed the styles and titles of Her late Majesty.

 

Royal Cypher

27 September 2022

Cypher of King Charles III

Charles III Cypher compressed

His Majesty the King’s Cypher was announced today.

The cypher consists of the initial of the monarch’s name, Charles, and title, Rex, the Latin for King, together with his regnal number in Roman numerals - all beneath a representation of the Crown.

The cypher is the personal property of His Majesty and the design was selected by him from a series of ten designs prepared by the College of Arms.

The form of stylised Crown used in His Majesty’s cypher is what is sometimes termed a ‘Tudor Crown’ and differs from the stylised Crown used by the late Queen Elizabeth II which, with its higher and dipping arches, was closer in form to St Edward’s Crown.

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