On October 14, 2019, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, departed from the Houses of Parliament in London after delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament. Today, on September 8, 2023, marks the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, yet the commemorations remain understated, with no official public events scheduled to observe the occasion. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP)

LONDON, United Kingdom – King Charles III expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the public as he marked the one-year anniversary of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. In a brief statement, the 74-year-old monarch reflected on the enduring affection for his mother and her lifelong dedication to public service.

“I am profoundly thankful for the enduring love and support extended to my wife and me throughout this past year as we strive to serve our nation,” he added.

The commemorations remained subdued on this poignant occasion, with the King residing at his expansive Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands, refraining from any official engagements.

Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for an unprecedented 70 years, passed away at Balmoral at the age of 96, following a period of declining health. Remarkably, throughout her reign, she refrained from publicly acknowledging her own accession, as it coincided with the anniversary of her father’s demise, King George VI, in 1952.

Last year, during her Platinum Jubilee year’s commencement on February 6, she spent the day privately at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, Eastern England.

A statement issued by His Majesty The King (FB Page)

Honoring a Legacy

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery paid tribute to King Charles III’s accession by executing a 41-gun ceremonial salute in Hyde Park at noon (1100 GMT). Concurrently, the Honourable Artillery Company, the British Army’s oldest regiment, discharged a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London at 1:00 pm.

Both regiments had been actively involved in firing the Death Gun salutes in remembrance of the Queen’s passing and the Proclamation salutes that marked the commencement of King Charles’s reign.

Prince William, the King’s eldest son and heir, along with his wife, Catherine, are anticipated to undertake royal duties and deliver a heartfelt message in honor of the late Queen.

Prince Harry, William’s estranged younger brother, was in the UK for a charity event on Thursday but was not expected to have any family encounters.

“As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away,” Harry revealed at the charity event. “She would have been the first person to insist that I still come to be with you all instead of going to her, and that’s precisely why I know exactly one year on that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together.”

Relations between Harry and his father and brother have been strained since he and his wife, Meghan, relinquished their royal roles and relocated to North America in 2020. Their criticisms of the family in television interviews, a docuseries, and Harry’s autobiography have further strained these ties.

Photo taken from Queen Elizabeth II’s FB Page

A Monumental Farewell

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II marked a monumental event in British history. For the majority of Britons, she was the sole monarch and head of state they had ever known.

During the official mourning period of ten days, tens of thousands of individuals queued for up to 25 hours to pay their respects to the Queen as her flag-draped coffin lay in state at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

Even larger crowds lined the streets of London and the route to Windsor Castle for the state funeral, which was broadcast worldwide, drawing millions of viewers.

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor, beside her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away in 2021, her parents, and the ashes of her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

Earlier this week, the government announced plans for a national memorial to honor the late monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II reigned from 1952 to 2022. Thank you, Ma’am, for everything! ❤️

Mixed Views on King Charles III

In London on Thursday, opinions on King Charles III’s first year as monarch were varied.

Some believed that he had wisely refrained from implementing sweeping reforms too hastily. “He’s got a hard act to follow, but I believe he will bring about changes,” shared Joanne Hughes, 61, outside Buckingham Palace.

However, despite King Charles’s 161 official engagements and visits to all four nations of the United Kingdom, others remained indifferent towards the new king and the monarchy as a whole.

“The monarchy is dwindling,” expressed nursing student Mimi Jaffer-Clarke. “If he wants to revive it, he needs to work on gaining the younger generation’s favor – and, sadly, we just don’t see it happening.”

In this moment of reflection, the United Kingdom continues to adapt to a new era under King Charles III, while fondly remembering the extraordinary reign of Queen Elizabeth II, whose legacy remains etched in the nation’s history.