King Charles III was officially announced as Britain’s monarch on Saturday as the mourning period for Queen Elizabeth’s passing began. Senior MPs, including Prime Minister Liz Truss, swore a new oath of allegiance to King Charles, while the date for Her Majesty’s funeral was also announced.
Charles also addressed the nation for the first time on Saturday, in an emotional speech where he spoke dearly about his mother. Yet as he takes the throne, certain phots are leaving royal fans concerned about the state of his health.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, passed away on Thursday at her summer residence of Balmoral in Scotland. Her reign saw 15 different prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to the newly-appointed Liz Truss. The Queen will be remembered as one of, if not the most, iconic figures in British history.
Queen Elizabeth dead at 96
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday.
The flag atop Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast at 6:30 p.m. local time, while an official notice announcing the Queen’s death was posted on the gates to the palace, as is tradition. Her Majesty has since been honored worldwide, not least in Britain.
On Friday, gun salutes took place in London and around the UK in tribute to Queen Elizabeth. One round was fired every 10 seconds, 96 times, one to represent each year of the monarch’s life.
Queen Elizabeth left Balmoral for the last time on Sunday – in an oak coffin draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, adorned with a big bouquet – as the hearse left the royal estate. The journey from Balmoral is the first in several events leading up to the funeral in Westminster Abbey on September 19.
On Sunday – after a six-hour drive through the Scottish Highlands, which saw thousands of mourners line the roads – the Queen’s coffin arrived in Edinburgh.
Soldiers wore kilts while bearing the coffin to the throne room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty’s official Scottish Residence. She will then lie in state at Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral, where the public can pay their respects.
King Charles – emotional address to the nation
On Monday, King Charles will fly to Edinburgh to join his sister Princess Anne and brothers, Princes Andrew and Edward, as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth is taken from one of her Scottish palaces to St. Giles Cathedral. Her coffin will be flown to London on Tuesday,
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will reportedly be held Monday, September 19, in Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty will then be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where she will be buried with her husband, Prince Philip.
The Queen’s eldest son, Charles – the former Prince of Wales – has now become King of the United Kingdom and the 14 Commonwealth realms.
On Saturday – in an emotional first address to the nation – the newly announced 73-year-old king spoke highly about his beloved mother.
“Her dedication and devotion as Sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss,” King Charles III said, adding a few heartfelt words for his wife of 17 years, Camilla, who becomes Queen Consort.
“I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.”
With King Charles taking over the throne, his duties will be quite different as they used to be. He said it will “no longer be possible” to give a lot of time and energy to “the charities and issues for which I care so deeply, but I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”
“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family”
Moreover, Prince William – next after Charles in the line of succession – and his wife Kate Middleton have officially been given new titles. They are now referred to as the Prince and Princess of Wales.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given,” King Charles said.
In his address, Charles expressed that despite the sorrow around the nation and Commonwealth, people would always “remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”
He added some emotional words to his mother.
“To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you,” King Charles said. “Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May’ flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.'”
Since the Queen’s passing, several royal family members have delivered heartfelt statements. On Monday, Prince Harry – who traveled to Balmoral Thursday as the Queen’s health deteriorated – broke his silence on the Queen’s death, saying she was his “guiding compass.”
Harry’s message to Queen Elizabetth
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren,” Harry wrote in a statement published on his Archwell website.
“I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over,” he wrote.
“And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.”
In a special session of the Parliament this weekend, Senior MPs, including Prime Minister Liz Truss, swore a new oath of allegiance to King Charles III. He has officially become the new monarch, though his coronation might still be months away.
The symbolic coronation – which has taken place in Westminster Abbey for the past 900 years – is where King Charles will formally be crowned. As there are many preparations needed, however, it will most likely happen at a later point. Remember, Queen Elizabeth took the throne in February 1952 and was not formally crowned until June 1953.
Around a year before her passing, Queen Elizabeth’s health had been a big talking point. As a result, the late monarch canceled several of her duties and travels, but as late as two days before her passing, she was seen welcoming newly appointed Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral.
Queen Elizabeth – last picture
There, she used a walking stick during the meetings and looked, as The Guardian described it, “bright but frail.”
Now, a doctor has taken a closer look at the pictures, claiming that something looked off with Her Majesty. However, it seems she put on a brave face to handle the duty, which would turn out to be her last.
According to Dr. Deb Cohen-Jones, the final pictures taken of the Queen offer an insight into her health.
Previously, people have pointed out that her hands appear to be purple, which Cohen-Jones also noticed.
“It looks like there is possibly evidence of peripheral vascular disease,” Dr. Cohen-Jones told Daily Mail. “It’s a blood circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain to narrow, block, or spasm. It can sometimes result in heart failure. If your peripheral circulation is that poor, organs aren’t receiving a good blood supply.”
The doctor added that it can be a sign of multi-organ failure. However, it’s important to remember that Buckingham Palace has not yet confirmed the cause of death, stating only that the Queen passed away “peacefully.”
In the last year, Her Majesty was known to have had mobility issues and was seen with a walking stick.
Dr. Cohen-Jones also said that the Queen’s appearance – slightly hunched – also could be a sign that something was awry with right with her health.
“The slightly hunched appearance would have been her age and more than likely osteoporosis,” she explained.
King Charles – ‘sausage fingers,’ picture, health
Over the years, King Charles has not been reported to have any significant health issues. But in recent years, details about his fingers have left royal fans concerned that he, too, could be in ill health.
Pictures of his red and swollen hands have been spreading across social media, but the King has reportedly suffered from it for years. Back in 2012, while visiting Australia, he even joked about them, saying they were his “sausage fingers.”
Indeed, Charles’ fingers appear to have been that way for many decades. In the 1980s, when Prince William was born, Charles reportedly wrote about it in a letter to a friend.
“I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am. He really does look surprisingly appetizing and has sausage fingers just like mine,” King Charles is quoted saying in the Howard Hodgson biography Charles, The Man Who Will Be King.
So the King’s hands have been a talking point all of his life. Even the Queen once commented on her firstborn son’s hands, describing them as “interesting.”
“The baby is very sweet and we are enormously proud of him. He has an interesting pair of hands for a baby,” a letter from Queen Elizabeth read.
“They are rather large, but with fine long fingers quite unlike mine and certainly unlike his father’s. It will be interesting to see what they become. I still find it hard to believe I have a baby of my own!”
Now, though, a doctor has raised his own concerns concerning King Charles’ swollen fingers.
Speaking with the Daily Star, Dr. Gareth Nye, Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, explained that while “loads of conditions” could lead to swollen fingers, some are said to be more likely than others.
What do King Charles’ red, swollen fingers say about his health?
One possibility could be oedema or fluid retention.
“Oedema is a condition where the body starts to retain fluids in the limbs, normally the legs and ankles but also in the fingers, which causes them to swell,” Nye said. “Oedema is a common condition and mostly affects people over the age of 65 as the ability for fluid control is restricted.”
He added: “To see if this is the cause, pressing the swollen area for about 15 seconds would cause a depression in the area.”
Moreover, the doctor said King Charles’ swollen fingers could also be a sign of arthritis, a common condition for people over 60. It commonly affects three main areas in the hand – the thumb joint or either joint in the fingers.
While Nye further explained that causes may include a high salt diet, blood pressure medication can also lead to swelling. Yet despite all possibilities, he states that King Charles’ “sausage fingers” are not a sign of a major health issue for the newly announced British monarch.
“There certainly aren’t any immediate health concerns to be concluded from swollen fingers and is most likely a sign of his age;” Dr. Gareth Nye told the Daily Star.
So who is Britain’s new monarch, King Charles?
King Charles – life, marriage to Diana, controversy
During his lifetime, he’s found himself embroiled in certain controversies, especially those relating to his ex-wife, Princess Diana.
He was born on November 14, 1948, the first son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. King Charles studied archaeology and anthropology in Britain and Australia, later studying history at Trinity College in Cambridge.
He then became a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot, and in the late 1970s began conducting his royal services.
At age 30, in 1981, then-Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. The wedding drew a huge crowd, as nearly 800 million around the globe tuned in. Then, in June 1982, Prince William was born; the couple welcomed Prince Harry two years later.
Sadly, Charles and Diana divorced in 1992, five years before the tragic car accident which claimed the latter’s life.
The divorce was a huge news story, especially since Charles was rumored to have had an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles for years.
However, it wasn’t until 2005 that King Charles and Camilla – now Queen Consort – tied the knot.
Alleged love affair with Camilla Parker Bowles
According to King Charles’ authorized biography, as quoted by Town & Country, Charles and Camilla’s love affair started in 1986. Charles was still married to Princess Diana at that time, and she found out about it.
In 1989, Diana confronted Camilla over the affair, telling her to back off.
“I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that,” Camilla recalled Diana saying in a tape released by The Telegraph, as quoted by Town & Country.
“[Diana] said to me: ‘You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world falling in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?'”
“So I said, ‘I want my husband.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry I’m in the way and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot,'” Camilla explained.
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