The Proclamation of King Edward VII
King Edwards Proclamation came the day after the unfortunate death of Queen Victoria on the 22nd January 1901, which caused a great deal of sorrow to the late Majesty’s faithful subjects, as she was adored by many. Originally born under the name of Albert Edward, he chose to reign as Edward VII, declaring that he did not wish to “undervalue the name of Albert”.
The Proclamation of King George V
King Edward VII passed away on May 6, 1910 at the age of sixty-nine and after reigning for ten years as King. King George V was announced as the next King on May 9 with a Proclamation taking place at St. James’s Palace. The Proclamation read as:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lord King Edward the Seventh, of Blessed and Glorious Memory, by whose Decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert : We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these of His late Majesty’s Privy Council, with numbers of other Principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and citizens of London, do now hereby, with one Voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart, publish and proclaim, That the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, is now, by the Death of our late Sovereign, of Happy Memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India: To whom we do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience, with all hearty and humble Affection: beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Prince George the Fifth, with long and happy years to reign over Us.
The Proclamation of King Edward VIII
After the death of their Father, King George V, George VI’s elder brother Edward VIII was originally proclaimed as King. However, he only reigned for 326 days, and is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history. Edward VIII abdicated from the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, as he was advised as King that he couldn’t marry a divorced woman.
The Proclamation of King George VI
The Lords of the Privy Council assembled together on December 12, 1936 at St. James’s Palace to proclaim the new King George VI.
King George was in his morning dress, accompanied by two Princesses as he leaned out of the palace window as the Proclamation was read. You can see a short clip here of the Proclamation of King George VI.
The Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed sovereign after the death of her father, King George VI. He died in the night between 5 and 6 February 1952. Elizabeth II was in Kenya at the time. Because of this and due to the different geographic location and time zones, there were several different Proclamations made on 6, 7, 8 and 11 February.
A first Proclamation was made whilst Elizabeth II was still in Kenya, and the second was made on Friday 8th February after the Queen had returned. Elizabeth II received her oath for the security of the Church of Scotland and her own personal declaration, pledging that she would always work to uphold constitutional government and to advance the happiness and prosperity of her peoples all over the world.
The London Proclamation was first made at 11am from the Friary Court balcony at St. James’s Palace and, in the City of London, the custom had been to lay it before the Court of Aldermen and to read it, after the ceremony at Temple Bar, London, at the corner of Chancery Lane, in Fleet Street, and at the Royal Exchange.
The Queen announced:
“Your Royal Highness, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen – By the sudden death of my dear father, I am called upon to assume the duties and responsibility of Sovereignty. At this time of deep sorrow it is a profound consolation to be assured of the sympathy which you and all my peoples feel towards me, to my mother, and my sister, and to the other members of my family. My father was our revered and beloved head, as he was in the wider family of his subjects. The grief which his loss brings is shared among us all. My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than that I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to uphold constitutional Government and to advance the happiness and prosperity of my people, spread as they are all the world over. I know that in my resolve to follow his shining example of service and devotion, I shall be inspired by the loyalty and affection of those whose Queen I have been called to be, and by the counsel of their selected parliaments. I pray that God will help me to discharge worthily this heavy task that has been laid upon me so early in my life”.
The British national anthem automatically became “God Save The Queen” when the Proclamation was signed.