Monday 26 September 2022

St Helena Royal Proclamation

King Charles III acceded to the Throne of England the moment his mother Queen Elizabeth II died two weeks ago. However it is still traditional for there to be an official proclamation that he has become king is all of the nations of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and overseas territories. This has happened and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha are no exception. A brief ceremony was carried out in Jamestown where the governor Nigel Philips read out the proclamation: "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 is solely and rightfully come to The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George; We, Nigel James Phillips and the citizens of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 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 and 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 under my hand at Jamestown, St Helena, this 11th day of September 2022. GOD SAVE THE KING." Source: That is a very grand and longwinded way of saying that Charles is now king of the territory.
A similar ceremony has taken place in all of the king's dominions. I find the illustration amusing, and I reproduce it above, because the clergyman on the right is wearing a covid mask. I think that is Revd. Dale Bowers, the island's bishop. I thought St Helena was supposed to be one of the few places on earth that had the pandemic under control. If there is one place on earth you should be able to lose the mask, St Helena should be it. The Queen did visit St Helena once in April 1947 (I know, three months before you-know-what!). She was Princess Elizabeth at the time and she accompanied her parents King George VI and the Queen Mother on a tour of the island. At one point they stop to feed a banana to Jonathan. Luckily it was filmed. The last couple of minutes show the royal family at Ascension see: King Charles will be visiting St Helena very soon. Now the Queen's funeral is over, one of the first things that will probably happen is that he will be sent on a tour of the Commonwealth and overseas territories. He has already done a UK tour. The airport will of course make his journey far easier.
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