Charles III will celebrate his first birthday as monarch ‘privately’ tomorrow


The King will celebrate his first birthday as monarch tomorrow and is expected to mark the occasion privately after an eventful start to his reign. 

Charles became king after the death of the Queen on September 8 and has since had a busy period. 

As Prince of Wales, he was sometimes away on official foreign tours during his birthday and would celebrate it overseas with a cake. 

Charles spent the day ahead of his 74th birthday leading the nation in honouring its war dead during the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph. 

His floral tribute to the fallen left at the memorial in Whitehall featured the words ‘In memory of the glorious dead. Charles R’. 

King Charles III leads today’s honouring of the war dead at the Sunday Remembrance Service at Whitehall, followed by the Prince of Wales and Princess Royal

King Charles III acceded to the throne after the death of the Queen on September 8 and has since had a busy period, already with a second Prime Minister

King Charles III acceded to the throne after the death of the Queen on September 8 and has since had a busy period, already with a second Prime Minister

Charles III attends a vigil at St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12 following the death of the Queen

Charles III attends a vigil at St Giles’ Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12 following the death of the Queen

On Wednesday Charles was targeted with four eggs during a visit to unveil a statue in honour of the late Queen at York Minster. 

The King’s milestone will be marked by the Band of the Household Cavalry performing Happy Birthday during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday. 

Gun salutes will be fired across the capital in honour of his birthday for the first time, with the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing 41 volleys from midday at London’s Green Park, and immediately afterwards the Band of the Scots Guards will perform Happy Birthday in the park. 

The King’s Troop is a mounted ceremonial unit in the British Army that fires salutes on royal anniversaries and major events like state visits, and provides a gun carriage and a team of black horses for state and military funerals. 

An hour after the Troop, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. 

The Army’s oldest regiment has a demanding operational reconnaissance role in addition to its ceremonial responsibilities.

Big Ben chimed eleven times at 11am, as it returns to service after years of maintenance and repair. 

As Charles leads the nation at the Cenotaph for the first time as King, the service is a poignant moment for the royal family.  On Friday, the late Queen and her commitment to war veterans was remembered in an evening attended by members of the royal family including the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princess Anne.

Today’s service also marks the 40th anniversary of the war in the Falklands, in which 255 British personnel lost their lives. Similar services were held across the country, including at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

King Charles III salutes the Cenotaph after laying his wreath as monarch for the first time, taking over from his late mother

King Charles III salutes the Cenotaph after laying his wreath as monarch for the first time, taking over from his late mother

The King was clearly emotional as he stepped into the role the late Queen Elizabeth II counted as one of her most important public duties

The King was clearly emotional as he stepped into the role the late Queen Elizabeth II counted as one of her most important public duties

King Charles III led other members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales and Princess Royal, out to attend the Cenotaph service

King Charles III led other members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales and Princess Royal, out to attend the Cenotaph service

The Prince of Wales was the second person to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, which bore the feathers of the heir apparent

The Prince of Wales was the second person to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, which bore the feathers of the heir apparent

The Queen Consort (left), Camilla, and Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, stand on the Whitechapel balcony to watch the ceremony

The Queen Consort (left), Camilla, and Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, stand on the Whitechapel balcony to watch the ceremony

King Charles (right) leads his son Prince Williams to pay their respects to veterans

Princess Anne prepares to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London

It was not the first time King Charles has led Prince William (left) and Princess Anne (right) to the ceremony – but it is the first time he has done so as a monarch

A wreath is carefully laid at today's cenotaph, the first in the reign of King Charles III

A wreath is carefully laid at today’s cenotaph, the first in the reign of King Charles III 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and wife of Prince Edward, attends the ceremony from the spouse's balcony alongside Kate Middleton and the Queen Consort

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and wife of Prince Edward, attends the ceremony from the spouse’s balcony alongside Kate Middleton and the Queen Consort

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak bowed his head after laying his wreath in a mark of respect for those who lost their lives

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak bowed his head after laying his wreath in a mark of respect for those who lost their lives

The Princess of Wales sings along to the service to commemorate war veterans and their fallen comrades

The Queen Consort watches as her husband takes the lead at the Cenotaph

The Princess of Wales (left) and Queen Consort watch on and join in the emotional service, the first since the death of the late Elizabeth II

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (left) and Prince Timothy Laurence (right) watch the ceremony to honour the war-dead on Sunday

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (left) and Prince Timothy Laurence (right) watch the ceremony to honour the war-dead on Sunday

Sir Keir Starmer looks solemnly at the other wreaths as he steps forward to lay his down on behalf of the Labour Party

Sir Keir Starmer looks solemnly at the other wreaths as he steps forward to lay his down on behalf of the Labour Party

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive at the service at the Cenotaph, at which Prince William laid a wreath

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive at the service at the Cenotaph, at which Prince William laid a wreath

Flowers and tributes across the UK and its overseas territories paid tribute to those lost in the Falklands war on its 40th anniversary

Flowers and tributes across the UK and its overseas territories paid tribute to those lost in the Falklands war on its 40th anniversary

Kate Middleton looks reflective and the picture of grace ahead of today's Remembrance service, which featured prayers and hymns

Kate Middleton looks reflective and the picture of grace ahead of today’s Remembrance service, which featured prayers and hymns

Ian Blackford, Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak (L-R) hold their wreaths in preparation as they wait for the arrival of King Charles III

Ian Blackford, Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak (L-R) hold their wreaths in preparation as they wait for the arrival of King Charles III

Seven former Prime Ministers lined up at the Cenotaph on Sunday, the most ever to watch the current PM lay his wreath

Seven former Prime Ministers lined up at the Cenotaph on Sunday, the most ever to watch the current PM lay his wreath

Huge crowds gathered along the streets of Westminster to watch the military parade on Sunday morning

Huge crowds gathered along the streets of Westminster to watch the military parade on Sunday morning

Prince William laid his wreath, featuring the new Welsh red ribbon, on the left-hand side of his father's

He was seen bowing his head during the service and joining in with prayers

Prince William laid his wreath, featuring the new Welsh red ribbon, on the left-hand side of his father’s, before bowing his head respectfully during the ceremony

People from all walks of life were involved in Remembrance Sunday, from religious leaders to Scout organisations

People from all walks of life were involved in Remembrance Sunday, from religious leaders to Scout organisations

(Left to right) British former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair's wife Cherie Blair, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's his wife Akshata Murty, British former Prime Minister Theresa May's husband Philip May and British former Prime Minister Liz Truss' husband Hugh O'Leary attend the Remembrance Sunday ceremony

(Left to right) British former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Blair, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s his wife Akshata Murty, British former Prime Minister Theresa May’s husband Philip May and British former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ husband Hugh O’Leary attend the Remembrance Sunday ceremony

The Cenotaph in London, pictured moments before the arrival of King Charles III and the two-minute silence

The Cenotaph in London, pictured moments before the arrival of King Charles III and the two-minute silence

Crowds lined the streets of London, with war veterans including Chelsea Pensioners preparing to take part in the march. 

At around 10:40am, the march past the Cenotaph paused temporarily while Scottish members of the UK’s armed forces, the Fourth Battalion of Highlanders, played the bagpipes, accompanied by drums.

At 10.58am, the military parade was brought to attention as King Charles III arrived.

Big Ben rang eleven times to mark the beginning of the two minutes of silence, and a somber hush fell over the crowd. 

After the two minutes of prayer and reflection had ended, in an emotional tribute to those killed during the wars of the last century, members of the military played the Last Post. 

King Charles III then laid his wreath and saluted to the Cenotaph on behalf of the nation. A wreath was then laid on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen Consort.

The Queen Consort’s assistant equerry, Captain Edward Andersen, laid her tribute, the first laid on behalf of Camilla alone. 

The Prince of Wales then proceeded to lay his wreath, complete with the feathers of the heir apparent. This was the wreath previously laid by his father. The wreath, bearing the colours of the Prince of Wales, also bears a brand-new ribbon in Welsh red.

Deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner leading a parade for Remembrance Sunday in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, Greater Manchester on Sunday

Deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner leading a parade for Remembrance Sunday in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, Greater Manchester on Sunday

A veteran was brought to tears during the Remembrance Sunday service at at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire

A veteran was brought to tears during the Remembrance Sunday service at at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath during a Remembrance Sunday service and parade in Edinburgh

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath during a Remembrance Sunday service and parade in Edinburgh

A national service of remembrance is held in Edinburgh, Scotland under clear skies on  Sunday

A national service of remembrance is held in Edinburgh, Scotland under clear skies on  Sunday

Wreaths at Edinburgh's Stone of Remembrance from various government, forces and citizen's organisations

Wreaths at Edinburgh’s Stone of Remembrance from various government, forces and citizen’s organisations

Members of staff from the National Memorial Arboretum as well as members of the military lay wreaths after the Remembrance Sunday service in Staffordshire

Members of staff from the National Memorial Arboretum as well as members of the military lay wreaths after the Remembrance Sunday service in Staffordshire

Members of the public take in the National Memorial Arboretum, which bears the names of those lost in conflict

Members of the public take in the National Memorial Arboretum, which bears the names of those lost in conflict

Veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces parade at the Royal Naval Memorial at the Plymouth Hoe in Devon

Veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces parade at the Royal Naval Memorial at the Plymouth Hoe in Devon

Veterans on mobility scooters, some carrying wreaths, gather on The Mall in London before the start of the military parade

Veterans on mobility scooters, some carrying wreaths, gather on The Mall in London before the start of the military parade

Those marching in Sunderland were saluted by others in military uniform watching the march, alongside the Mayor, Alison Smith (left)

Those marching in Sunderland were saluted by others in military uniform watching the march, alongside the Mayor, Alison Smith (left)

Birmingham also held a large military parade today in the West Midlands, which included ex-service personnel, regular, reserve and cadet units from the Armed Forces

Birmingham also held a large military parade today in the West Midlands, which included ex-service personnel, regular, reserve and cadet units from the Armed Forces

Some 10,000 veterans and military personnel are involved in today's march in London, which ended at the Cenotaph

Some 10,000 veterans and military personnel are involved in today’s march in London, which ended at the Cenotaph

The UK and Ukrainian flags both flew at Remembrance events in Seaham, County Durham on Sunday

The UK and Ukrainian flags both flew at Remembrance events in Seaham, County Durham on Sunday

King Charles' wreath had a ribbon which was a tribute to his mother and grandfather, incorporating their racing colours of purple and gold

King Charles’ wreath had a ribbon which was a tribute to his mother and grandfather, incorporating their racing colours of purple and gold

Today's ceremony was an emotional moment for the royal family, as it represented a passing of the baton after the death of Queen Elizabeth I

Today’s ceremony was an emotional moment for the royal family, as it represented a passing of the baton after the death of Queen Elizabeth I

Big Ben strikes back! 

Big Ben struck 11 bells at 11am

Big Ben struck 11 bells at 11am

Big Ben was struck 11 times at 11am to mark the start of the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday.

Over the past five years the Elizabeth Tower, and the clockwork and bell mechanism within it, have undergone the biggest repair and conservation project in its 160-year history.

The tower, at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament, which is also known as Big Ben after the bell inside, had been covered in scaffolding during the restoration work but that has now been removed. 

The two-minute silence marked the official return of the Elizabeth Tower’s bells after they were silenced at the beginning of the conservation programme in 2017.

Big Ben joined bells across the country and worldwide to commemorate those who lost their lives in the two world wars and later conflicts. 

The Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal then laid a wreath, before one was laid on behalf of the Duke of Kent. 

The military parade then stood at ease as music played and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer led the rest of the wreath-laying. They were followed by leader of the SNP Ian Blackford and leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey, and military representatives.

A short service including a hymn and the Lord’s Prayer was then led by the Lord Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Elisabeth Mullally. She has held the role since 2018. 

The 10,000 veterans then began filing past the memorial after the final wreaths had been laid by those affected by military losses.

PM Rishi Sunak shared a video paying his respects to war veterans on Twitter, adding: ‘On this day and every day, we will remember them.’

Sir Keir Starmer said: We will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. We will remember them.’ 

The day was marked around the UK, with services also taking place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and the WW1 Memorial in Portsmouth, and other local memorials in all four nations.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, speaking to broadcasters in Westminster, said: ‘Today is a reminder that we’ve suffered wars in Europe before and tens of thousands of British service personnel gave their lives as a civilian to defeat fascism.

‘Here we are again, tragically, decades later with a war on continental Europe in Ukraine, where a similar Russian regime is trying to impose its will on a sovereign state, costing tens of thousands of lives.

‘And, of course, what remembrance is about is recognising that freedom isn’t free – people make sacrifices and this nation made the ultimate sacrifice on two occasions in the great wars, but also (in) other conflicts, and remembrance is a time to reflect on that.’

Speaking about the King, Mr Wallace said: ‘I think he will obviously remember his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, because … for him, he’s been standing at this cenotaph for many, many years alongside her and, obviously, he is now the new monarch of this country.

‘I think he’ll reflect that she gave her service to the very end, she never stopped being the sovereign, she didn’t abdicate and all these other things that people used to speculate on. She was married to this country and her duty.’

Wreaths are laid at Sunderland's war memorial after the two-minute silence was observed by those in attendance

Wreaths are laid at Sunderland’s war memorial after the two-minute silence was observed by those in attendance

Wreaths at the Royal Naval Memorial in Plymouth, Devon - the walls bear the names of those in the Royal Navy who have been lost in past conflicts

Wreaths at the Royal Naval Memorial in Plymouth, Devon – the walls bear the names of those in the Royal Navy who have been lost in past conflicts

Service personnel and veterans from across Sunderland joined the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alison Smith, as the city paid its respects at the annual Remembrance Parade and Service at the War Memorial in Burdon Road

Service personnel and veterans from across Sunderland joined the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alison Smith, as the city paid its respects at the annual Remembrance Parade and Service at the War Memorial in Burdon Road

Veterans amass on a chilly but dry morning in London as they get ready to march to the Cenotaph in the first Remembrance Sunday led by King Charles III

Veterans amass on a chilly but dry morning in London as they get ready to march to the Cenotaph in the first Remembrance Sunday led by King Charles III

A Chelsea pensioner prepares to take part in today's emotional Remembrance Day service, complete with a poppy-adorned blanket

A Chelsea pensioner prepares to take part in today’s emotional Remembrance Day service, complete with a poppy-adorned blanket

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty leave 10 Downing Street as they head towards the Cenotaph

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty leave 10 Downing Street as they head towards the Cenotaph

Labour leader Keir Starmer in Downing Street, London, photographed ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service

Labour leader Keir Starmer in Downing Street, London, photographed ahead of the Remembrance Sunday service

Former Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson appear to eye each other up as they pay their respects to the UK's fallen

Former Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson appear to eye each other up as they pay their respects to the UK’s fallen

Some 10,000 veterans marched past the Cenotaph, watched by crowds which were ten-deep in some places

Some 10,000 veterans marched past the Cenotaph, watched by crowds which were ten-deep in some places

Hundreds of people arriving in and around Westminster as final preparations for the parade and service get underway

Hundreds of people arriving in and around Westminster as final preparations for the parade and service get underway

Current members of the British Armed Forces attend the parade in London ahead of two minutes of silence at 11am

Current members of the British Armed Forces attend the parade in London ahead of two minutes of silence at 11am

The armed forces are watched as they parade past the Cenotaph by veterans and members of the public gathered for the occasion

The armed forces are watched as they parade past the Cenotaph by veterans and members of the public gathered for the occasion

Some 10,000 veterans are to take part in today's march, making it one of the largest regular gatherings of Veterans in the UK

Some 10,000 veterans are to take part in today’s march, making it one of the largest regular gatherings of Veterans in the UK

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrives near the Cenotaph as the nation prepares to pay its respects to war dead

Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP in the House of Commons, arrives to pay his respects to those killed fighting for the UK

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (left) and Ian Blackford (right) approach Downing Street ahead of the service at 11am

Former PM Liz Truss arrives in central London ahead of today's remembrance service

Former PM Boris Johnson arrives in central London ahead of today's remembrance service

Former PM Liz Truss (left) and former PM Boris Johnson (right) arrive in central London ahead of today’s remembrance service

Chelsea Pensioners arrive to form up at Horse Guards Parade as they prepare to march along Whitehall for the Remembrance Sunday service

Chelsea Pensioners arrive to form up at Horse Guards Parade as they prepare to march along Whitehall for the Remembrance Sunday service

Her late Majesty regarded Remembrance Sunday as one of the most important royal duties and missed it only a handful of times

Her late Majesty regarded Remembrance Sunday as one of the most important royal duties and missed it only a handful of times

Many veterans arrived either in uniform or proudly wearing their service medals on their chest, alongside ordinary members of the public

Many veterans arrived either in uniform or proudly wearing their service medals on their chest, alongside ordinary members of the public

As well as the King and Queen Consort, many members of the royal family were in attendance this morning.

This includes the Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Anne and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex.

Numerous former Prime Ministers including Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron and Tony Blair were also there.

Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle laid a wreath on behalf of the entire House of Commons. 

The Remembrance Sunday ceremony has added poignancy this year as it is the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, with former veterans marching past the Cenotaph.

Retired Brigadier Jon Mullin, who served as a Lieutenant in the 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers during the conflict, is marching with South Atlantic Medal Association 82.

Reflecting on the sacrifices made to liberate the Falklands, he said: ‘I wanted to be part of a national commemoration to commemorate all those people who did this wonderful feat of arms and put it all together, and many have passed on in the intervening years’I think it’s important that the nation doesn’t forget the sacrifices.’

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