On Sunday, 11th September, Launceston Town Council and local dignitaries gathered at various locations in the town to deliver an accession proclamation of His Majesty King Charles III to the community.
A tradition in Launceston for proclamations to be delivered at different sites across the town, the first proclamation was read outside Launceston Guildhall, and covered by Launceston Life with a Facebook Live, which is still available on our page to watch. Afterwards, the congregation moved on to the Southgate Arch, the site of the North Gate, the Roundhouse at Newport and the Green at St Stephen’s.
A proclamation is read to announce a new monarch. Historically, it would have been the first word of a new King or Queen that communities would hear, but this of course has changed over the years due to ‘modern methods of communication’.
After the crowds cheered ‘God save the King’, town clerk Chris Drake announced: “We come together this afternoon following the passing of our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. Our sadness at this time is shared by people across the globe, as we remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest reigning monarch.
“But the basis on which our monarchy is built has ensured that through the centuries the
Crown has passed in an unbroken line of succession. Today’s ceremony marks the
formal Proclamation to the people of Launceston of the beginning of our new King’s reign.
“Yesterday the Accession Council met at St James’s Palace to proclaim our new Sovereign. The 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.
“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 Cornwall discharged that duty earlier today and now, with my humble duty, I bring the words of the Proclamation to the residents of Launceston.
“The proclamation of the new Sovereign is a very old tradition which can be traced back
over many centuries. The ceremony does not create a new King. It is simply an
announcement of the accession which took place immediately on the death of the
“In an age where modern methods of communication convey news around the globe in
an instant, the proclamation is no longer the means by which people learn for the first
time that they have a new Monarch. Today, however, is one of the first occasions when
communities have an opportunity to come together and reflect on the moment in our
nation’s history when the reign of our longest-serving Monarch came to an end and our
new Sovereign succeeded.
“There is a tradition that when the Monarch visits a town, the Mace (the symbol of the
Mayor’s authority) is inverted in recognition of the authority of the Crown. In today’s
ceremony the Mace will be inverted as a similar signal of recognition that the Crown has
passed from our late Sovereign to her Successor.”
Reading the proclamation, first announced at St James’ Palace the following day, Mayor Leighton Penhale said: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late
Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second of Blessed and Glorious Memory, by whose Decease the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George: We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm and Members of the House of Commons, together with other members of Her late Majesty’s Privy Council and representatives of the Realms and Territories,
Aldermen and Citizens of London, and others, do now hereby with one voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart publish and proclaim that The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the Death of our late Sovereign of Happy Memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord Charles the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith, to whom we do acknowledge all Faith and Obedience with humble Affection; beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign to bless His Majesty with long and happy Years to reign over us.
“Given at St James’s Palace this tenth day of September in the year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-two. God save the King.”
Following the historic proclamation, town crier Cllr Tremain called for three cheers for His Majesty the King before the congregation moved on.
Proclamations are very historic and important events. The last would have taken place in Launceston in 1952, after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne after the death of her father King George VI.
We are looking for people in the community to come forward with their memories of HM Queen Elizabeth II over the years. Were you in Launceston at the time of her proclamation? Do you remember where you were during Her Majesty’s Coronation in 1953? Perhaps you have a memory, or a loved one, who was in Launceston at the time of her last visit to the town?
If you have a memory of your own, or a story told through a member of your family, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share these wonderful stories and personal accounts with the community during such a historic time for the nation.