LONDON, UK — King Charles III has arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as Britain’s monarch.
The king flew to London from Scotland on Friday and was driven to the royal residence in an official Rolls-Royce. A large crowd cheered as the car arrived at the palace gates.
He got out of the car to greet well-wishers and look at some of the huge pile of floral tributes left to honor his mother Queen Elizabeth II. Some called “Thank you Charles” and “Well done, Charlie!” as he shook hands with the crowd. Several shouted “God save the King!”
The king will meet Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed just days earlier, and deliver a speech to the nation.
The king spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role. He takes the throne at a time when many Britons are preoccupied with an energy crisis, the soaring cost of living, the war in Ukraine and the fallout from Brexit.
Earlier in the day, bells tolled across Britain as the nation started 10 days of mourning for its longest-serving monarch.
In imposing city cathedrals and small-town chapels, the bells began ringing at noon local time as part of a long-planned, carefully organized series of events to mark the queen’s passing.
At the same time, the British Parliament opened a special session to pay tribute to the queen, including a moment of silence.
An hour later, a special gun salute is planned with 96 shots, one for each year of Elizabeth’s nearly-century-long life.