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Guildford Proclaims our New King

Guildford Proclaims our New King

Crowds gathered in the sun around the steps of Holy Trinity Church in our High Street on Sunday at 3pm to hear the borough's official announcement of our new King, His Majesty King Charles III.

The Accession Council met at St. James's Palace, London to proclaim our new Sovereign on Saturday 10 September. Flags which had flown at half-mast since The Queen's death were raised briefly to their full height to mark the start of His Majesty's reign. In Guildford our Mayor Cllr Dennis Booth and our Leader Cllr Joss Bigmore watched the Union Flag as it was raised at 10.30am on Saturday from our Guildhall balcony. It returned to half mast at 1pm on Sunday only briefly rising again to full mast during Guildford's Proclamation.

Following the reading of the Proclamation by the High Sheriff at Guildford Cathedral at 1pm on Sunday, our Council robed and processed from the Guildhall to the steps of Holy Trinity Church at 2.50pm. After an introduction from the Revd Canon Robert Cotton, the Church's choir sang 'View Me Lord'. Mayor Cllr Dennis Booth then read the Proclamation words to the people of Guildford who had gathered there at 3pm. Finally Simon Persin of the Friary Brass Band played a verse of the National Anthem and all sang. 

The basis on which our monarchy is built has ensured that through the centuries the Crown has passed in an unbroken line of succession. Yesterday's ceremony marked the formal Proclamation to the people of the Borough of Guildford of the beginning of our new King's reign.

The proclamation of the new Sovereign is a very old tradition which can be traced back over many centuries. It does not create a new King. It is simply an announcement of the accession which took place immediately on the death of the reigning monarch.

As part of the ceremony Guildford's Mace was inverted. There is a tradition that when the Monarch visits a borough, the Mace (the symbol of the Mayor's authority) is inverted in recognition of the authority of the Crown. Yesterday it was inverted as a similar signal of recognition that the Crown has passed from our late Sovereign to her Successor.

At the Proclamation on Sunday, Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Dennis Booth explained to those attending:

'Yesterday the Accession Council met at St. James's Palace to proclaim our new Sovereign. The flags which have flown at half-mast since The Queen's death were raised briefly to their full height to mark the start of His Majesty's reign.

He added: 'The Accession Council also made an Order requiring High Sheriffs to cause the Proclamation to be read in the areas of their jurisdiction. The High Sheriff of Surrey discharged that duty earlier today and now, it is my humble duty to bring the words of the Proclamation to the residents of the Borough of Guildford.  Honoured guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Proclamation of the Accession.'

The Mayor then read the official Proclamation.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Joss Bigmore said after the event: 'It was a privilege to be part of Guildford's official announcement of our new Sovereign at such a momentous and historic event for us all. We support him and wish him all the very best for the coming days and weeks ahead. Thank you to those who joined us it was wonderful to see so many of you.

'We were all saddened to hear of the death of The Queen but glad she was comfortable and passed away peacefully with her family who have lost a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother as well as a monarch. 

"Like many in our community, I have never known a time when Queen Elizabeth II hasn't been our head of state providing reassurance and leadership through so much changes. Her Majesty has lived a life of extraordinary service, never stopping work for her country, leading us in many difficult as well as happy times. 

He added: 'As we celebrated her reign in the recent jubilee, many of our communities spoke so fondly about what her reign meant to them.'

Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Dennis Booth was joined by the Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Revd Canon Robert Cotton, Leader of the Council Cllr Joss Bigmore, Deputy Lieutenant Jane Macaulay (who represented the Lord Lieutenant), Councillors, Angela Richardson MP, Joint Strategic Director Dawn Hudd, Local Veterans and our local Service Organisations, our Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Officers.

Books of condolence are open during office hours (9-5pm) at the Guildhall, The Hive in Park Barn and Millmead House. Visit our website for more details and links to the online book.

Watch our video of the proclamation at Holy Trinity Church.

Published on: 12 September 2022