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His Majesty King Charles III succeeded to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – as well as 14 other Commonwealth Realms – at 15:10 on Thursday 8 September 2022. This occurred immediately upon the death of his predecessor and mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. What the media called “the new Carolean age” had begun.

The King’s activities in the first year of his reign

This briefing paper focuses on the constitutional and ceremonial aspects of the King’s activities between September 2022 and September 2023. It is not an exhaustive account of his first year as Monarch.

It begins by looking at the events surrounding the King’s accession to the throne in September 2022 and his coronation in May 2023. The briefing then looks at some of the King’s activities as Head of State, which are mainly constitutional and exercised under statute or upon ministerial advice, and as Head of Nation, which are more personal to the Monarch. Those latter duties also involve other “working” members of the Royal Family.

Next, the briefing examines the King in Parliament and the Monarch’s duties as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Other chapters look at the King and the Commonwealth (chiefly developments in the 14 Realms besides the UK where he is also Head of State), as Head of the Armed Forces and as “fount of honour”.

Finally, the annual Accession Day is explained, together with plans to memorialise Queen Elizabeth II and commentary surrounding the future of the monarchy.

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