A new era is dawning in the UK, and it's happening any day now. On Saturday, it was Charles III's ceremonial acclamation that made this clear in its archaic and at the same time tangible way, because it was being broadcast live for the first time.
If Parliament paid his respects to the monarch on Saturday, he came to Parliament on Monday morning. A magnificent ceremony in the 900 year old Westminster Hall. Beneath the famous wooden hammer beam vault which has survived six centuries, including the Glorious Revolution and Guy Fawkes' Gunpwoder Plot.
It was dead silent in the historic hall as at 10:15 sharp Yeomen filed in, followed by ten of the king's guards, all dressed in traditional velvet red with hats and helmets and armed with spears. You enter through the north gate below Big Ben.
Then it sounds "Speaker!", whereupon the Speakers of the House of Lords and House of Commons march in from side doors. Behind them are carried the “maces”, the large golden scepters symbolizing the division of power between parliament and the royal family.
Then fanfares sound – the king is here. At his side Camilla, the Queen Consort. Dressed in black, he strides through the thousand or so guests of honor and nods to some familiar faces. Here the monarch is only a guest, more than that: he is rather a subject of the parliamentary system.
The "Queen's Speech", which will henceforth be a "King's Speech", makes this clear every year. Until that spring, it was Elizabeth II who presented the legislative program at the beginning of each parliamentary year. "My government will," begins each sentence. But it's not the Queen, it's the government that writes the speech.
In the future, this duty will be definitively transferred to Charles III. pass over This May he held her for the first time because the 96-year-old was too weak. One of the many signs that her strength was slowly but irretrievably exhausted.
Now that the Prince of Wales has been appointed King Charles III, Parliament is awaiting his formal pledge to protect and uphold the constitutional monarchy. "Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy," Charles assures politicians. "With God's help and your advice" he will follow his mother's example.
The stained glass window in the north facade here in the hall, with which Parliament honored the Queen in 2012 on her diamond jubilee, is reminiscent. "The light coming through these windows casts bright colors on the gray stones of Westminster Hall," said Lord McFall, Speaker of the House of Lords in his speech.
"God save the King", it sounds at the end. Another step has been taken in the transition from queen to king.