Demise of the Crown: what occurs subsequent?

Demise of the Crown: what occurs subsequent?

Demise of the Crown: what occurs subsequent?

Queen Elizabeth II sadly died yesterday, bringing to a detailed the longest reign in British historical past. Robert Hazell and Bob Morris supply a quick information to what occurs subsequent, as King Charles III prepares for each the funeral of his predecessor and his personal coronation. Additionally they discover how the brand new king should adapt to his modified constitutional standing.

On the age of 96 and after a record-breaking reign of 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has died. A lifetime of service to which she dedicated herself as a younger lady has ended:

I declare earlier than you all that my entire life whether or not or not it’s lengthy or brief shall be dedicated to your service and the service of our nice imperial household to which all of us belong.

However I shall not have power to hold out this decision alone until you take part it with me, as I now invite you to do: I do know that your assist shall be unfailingly given. God assist me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who’re keen to share in it.

[Concluding words of a speech from South Africa on her 21st birthday, 21 April 1947.] 

As we mark this anniversary, it offers me pleasure to resume to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will all the time be dedicated to your service.

[Accession Day 70th anniversary statement, 5 February 2022.]

There shall be nice public mourning for a lady who has been on the centre of the UK’s public life for thus lengthy, and plenty of heartfelt tributes. It’s not just for her longevity that she shall be remembered, but in addition for her impeccable devotion to her public duties. On this publish we clarify what occurs subsequent, by way of the accession of the brand new monarch, and plans for his coronation.  


Demise is the technical time period which relates each to the demise of a sovereign and the passage of the crown to the inheritor. It embodies the outdated frequent regulation maxim ‘Rex nunquam moritur’, that’s to say that the sovereign might die, however the crown by no means does: the inheritor’s succession is rapid on the demise or abdication of a predecessor, in order to protect the continuity of presidency. Thus, Charles is already King.

Accession ceremonies

As quickly as potential after the sovereign’s demise, a specifically augmented assembly of the Privy Council generally known as the Accession Council is summoned by the Lord President of the Council to satisfy in St James’s Palace. Whereas hitherto all Privy Counsellors have been typically free to attend, it has been determined that the trendy measurement of the Council – over 700 members – makes persevering with that customized impracticable. It follows that it may be anticipated that on this event that attendance of Counsellors shall be targeted on present, constitutionally lively office-holders.

There are two components to the proceedings and the brand new King attends solely the second half (see under). The Accession Council doesn’t set up the brand new monarch, as a result of beneath frequent regulation he mechanically turns into King on his mom’s demise. What as an alternative the Council does is proclaim the brand new sovereign and his model in London and make preparations for proclamations additionally to be made within the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire. The brand new King has chosen to be styled King Charles III.

The brand new King presides shortly afterwards in a special room at St James’s Palace at his first Privy Council attended solely by members of the Council. Typically, his first motion is to make a private declaration. Historically this contains remorse on the passing of his predecessor, a ringing assertion of constancy to the nation’s structure, and a humble request for the nation’s assist in carrying his new heavy burdens. Although brief, the declaration will be imbued with appreciable emotion. His subsequent motion is to swear and signal copies of the oath required by the Scottish Union laws of 1706–7 to assist the Presbyterian type of authorities of the Church of Scotland. Orders are additionally issued for the lying-in-state and for the late Queen’s funeral – anticipated to happen at Westminster Abbey for the primary time since 1760. Preparations for the King’s coronation shall be introduced at some later time.

Different motion

It’s deliberate that the brand new King will broadcast to the nation the identical night after which start a collection of visits to the devolved capitals to attend memorial providers for the late Queen. Parliamentary enterprise shall be rejigged to permit members to pay tributes to the Queen and take oaths to the brand new King. On the fourth day following Demise, the physique shall be conveyed from Buckingham Palace to lie in state in Westminster Corridor for 4 days and transferred thence to the Abbey for the funeral.

Constitutional penalties for the brand new King

Charles, at age 73, has now began a brand new life and can depart behind the higher public freedoms open to him as Prince of Wales. That was a largely unregulated place with few constitutional duties past occasional service as a Counsellor of State throughout his mom’s short-term diseases or absences overseas, along with the potential function of Regent ought to the Queen have turn into incapacitated.

The 5 principal penalties are:

1. Impartiality

He should always stay scrupulously neutral not solely in politics but in addition in any issues of serious public controversy. The entire rationale of a hereditary monarchy in a democratic system is to supply a head of state who is totally neutral. The monarchy should all the time be a unifying relatively than divisive establishment. It additionally allows a head of state who can concurrently be head of the nation, and converse for and to the nation as a complete: because the Queen did in her Christmas message to the nation, and in her special broadcast at first of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Fashion of Camilla

In her most up-to-date Anniversary of Accession speech, the Queen put past doubt that it was her ‘honest want’ that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, would within the regular manner turn into Queen Consort to her husband on his accession. It might, subsequently, be anticipated that she is going to attend and be anointed in that capability on the coronation.

3. The King’s charities

As Prince of Wales, Charles notably pioneered progressive charities for which he was a formidable fundraiser. The general public considerations to which this gave rise, together with a police investigation of allegations that honours had been provided in alternate for donations, should in future be averted. No King can afford to seem beholden to any personal pursuits. It follows that he should divest himself of all private involvement, devolving patronage of his charities to different members of the royal household.

4. Measurement of the royal household

Charles is alleged to wish to reduce the size of the ‘active’ family. In nowadays of a ‘service and welfare monarchy’ measurement does matter. It is because, because the late Queen put it, she needed to be seen to be believed – a mantra for the visibility of the monarchy as a complete whether it is desired to attend adequately to the rules of service and welfare. There may be additionally the purpose that, following Prince Charles’s accession, present limitations on who might function Counsellors of State beneath the Regency Acts would require assessment and additional laws.

The King and his partner can not obtain cheap public objectives with out the assistance of others. An ‘lively’ monarchy that included, for instance, solely the direct heirs would battle to fulfill the trendy expectations of a monarchy regarding a inhabitants of over 66 million folks. The smaller measurement of different lively European monarchies is as a result of – excluding Spain – they’ll extra simply afford it: their populations are a lot smaller. One of many difficulties of the current Spanish monarchy is that its lively membership is arguably too small – the King and Queen and their two nonetheless very younger daughters – regarding a inhabitants of 47 million.

In the long term within the UK, there are additionally implications for the administration of the careers of youthful royals outdoors the direct line if they aren’t to be requested to share royal duties. One of many classes arising from the departure of Prince Harry to the USA is that he was not geared up with a viable long-term non-royal occupation when it was inevitable that he would turn into remoter from the succession as his brother’s household grew.

5. The following coronation

The final coronation was attended by 8,250 friends, a big proportion of whom have been crammed into short-term seating that rose in 11 tiers. The most important contingent was the hereditary peerage. The entire proceedings befell 16 months after the Queen’s accession and lasted almost three hours. Afterwards, the Queen rode in a procession of British, Commonwealth and colonial forces that took three quarters of an hour to cross anybody level.

1953 was the final imperial hurrah. The following coronation will must be a extra modest affair, reflecting that the UK is not a world energy, and the hereditary character of the Home of Lords largely abolished. Cautious selections will must be made about how non-Christian religions ought to be represented at a eucharistic Anglican service. There may be a have to review the coronation Oaths, now that the UK is a extra secular and multi-faith society. The smaller measurement of the armed providers is prone to cut back the scale of the procession, and make a Spithead naval assessment impracticable on something like the dimensions of 1953. As to the Commonwealth, there shall be a query about how far the Realms ought to be privileged over different Commonwealth nations.


Our monarchy has managed to outlive constitutionally by contriving to be not solely no menace to democracy but in addition its reinforcer in a technique of mutual legitimation. Political impartiality has been the important thing. Its capability to replicate the nation again to itself can’t be matched by partisan politicians.

The monarchy has come to symbolise dedication to public service, and assist for charitable and voluntary actions, and Charles will readily proceed that custom. He shall be welcomed warmly, with the expectation that he’ll nurture an adaptive monarchy and proceed thoughtfully to assist the pursuits of all his folks, within the UK and around the globe.

The Unit’s web site additionally has an extensive Monarchy area, which incorporates an FAQs page, extra element on accession and coronation, and additional dialogue of what the future might hold for the monarchy.

In regards to the authors

Professor Robert Hazell was the founder and first Director of the Structure Unit. He’s the co-editor of The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy: European Monarchies Compared.

Dr Bob Morris is an Honorary Senior Analysis Affiliate on the Structure Unit, and has for a while led its work on Monarchy, and Church and StateHe’s the co-editor of The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy: European Monarchies Compared.

Featured picture: “Queen’s Speech” (CC BY 2.0) by ukhouseoflords.