King Charles III has today expressed his ‘sincere gratitude’ to those sending messages of condolence from across the globe as he spends day off alone in Highgrove before the state funeral.
After days of public events paying tribute to the Queen, King Charles and the Queen Consort returned to their Gloucestershire and Wiltshire homes shortly after leaving the late Queen’s coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster yesterday.
And upon reflection of the hectic week which saw him rush to his mother’s bedside last Thursday before her death was announced later that evening, the new King has sent his thanks to those wishing him well from around the world.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: ‘His Majesty The King and the Royal Family wish to send their sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world.
‘The Royal Family has been deeply moved by the global response and affection shown for The Queen as people join them in mourning the loss of Her Majesty.’
King Charles III has sent his ‘sincere gratitude’ to those sending messages of condolence across the globe on his one day off mourning alone before his mother’s funeral on Monday (pictured yesterday as he walked behind the Queen’s coffin)
The King was then seen driving himself away from the Wiltshire estate accompanied by The Met’s Special Escort Group. He is expected to have made the 30-minute drive to his home, Highgrove House, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire
Yesterday marked the sixth official day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, and King Charles had vigorous schedule which started just hours after the death of his mother on 8 September.
He addressed the nation the following day in a speech where he held back tears while thanking his ‘darling Mama’, hailing Elizabeth II as an ‘inspiration and an example to me and to all my family’.
In a moving speech that was screened at a service of prayer and reflection at St Paul’s Cathedral, the King spoke of a ‘time of change for my family’ while praising his ‘darling wife Camilla’ who becomes Queen Consort ‘in recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago’.
On Saturday King Charles was officially proclaimed the monarch in a historic ceremony at St James’s Palace alongside Prince William and Queen Consort Camilla.
Just this week the new King has been to Edinburgh to walk with mother’s coffin to St Giles’ Cathedral where it was to lie-in-rest, before heading to Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, then heading back down to London where he formed part of the cortege which returned the Queen to Westminster Hall.
The royal couple were seen landing in Camilla’s estate in Reybridge near Lacock, Wiltshire at around 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, landing in a field alongside the Queen Consort’s home, Ray Mill House.
Millions of people across the UK are also being urged to fall silent for two minutes during the closing moments of the Queen’s funeral on Monday – as part of a double moment of nationwide reflection honouring Her Majesty.
The two-minute silence will be held at 11.55am on Monday, during the closing chapter of Her Majesty’s state funeral – echoing a one-minute tribute scheduled for 8pm the night before.
Buckingham Palace also confirmed further details of the Queen’s funeral which will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am.
After days of public events paying tribute to the Queen, King Charles and the Queen Consort returned to their Gloucestershire and Wiltshire homes respectively shortly after leaving the late Queen’s procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster yesterday (pictured)
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said ‘His Majesty The King and the Royal Family wish to send their sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world’ (pictured at Westminster Hall yesterday)
Her Majesty has been handed to Britain by the King to lie in state until Monday for mourners to say their goodbyes (pictured in Westminster Hall)
The Queen’s coffin is currently lying in state at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster – the queue for which is currently approximately 4.2miles long with an estimated wait time of at least 9 hours.
A continuous vigil of Her Majesty’s coffin is kept by the King’s body guards which will last until 6.30am on the morning of the Queen’s funeral.
At 7.30pm tomorrow, the King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will hold the Vigil of the Princes ceremony like they did in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh just days ago.
The senior royals are expected to replicate the ceremonial act they performed in Edinburgh, where they ‘took guard’ of their late mother’s coffin for 10 minutes.
Each stood on one of the four corners of the oak coffin with their heads bowed as part of the royal cortège known as the ‘Vigil of the Princes’.
It is understood that the ban on Prince Andrew wearing military uniform, which has seen him opt for a morning suit for public appearances this week, will be lifted as an exception for the final vigil held in London.
That will likely come as a relief for the Duke, who was heckled during a procession in Edinburgh and had to solemnly bow his head while his siblings saluted as they walked behind their late mother’s coffin as it was transported by gun carriage.
But ahead of this next official engagement, the King and Queen Consort have returned to their Wiltshire and Gloucestershire estates for the first time since since travelling to Balmoral Castle on Thursday hours before the Queen’s death.
The King is expected to have a private day of reflection following the the momentous period that saw him become monarch. He is not expected to attend any public events on Thursday.
The day away from public duties has always formed part of the London Bridge operation – the detailed plan in the event of the Queen’s death.
The time away from the spotlight will allow Charles to pause and reflect on the time that has passed since his mother’s death at Balmoral on Thursday.
Shortly after arriving, His Majesty drove himself away from the Wiltshire estate to make the 30-minute drive to his home, Highgrove House, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
He was escorted by The Met Police’s Special Escort Group. The Queen Consort did not accompany him.
Upon arrival to the gates of his estate, a small crowd of people were seen waiting for him.
Charles has owned Highgrove House since 1980, having bought it from Maurice Macmillan, a Conservative MP and son of the former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
He has added to the estate over the years and now owns around 1,900 acres of strictly organically-farmed land.