A rousing rendition of ‘God Save the King’ rounded off the packed ‘Service of Prayer and Reflection for Queen Elizabeth’ at St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Members of the public who had spent hours on Friday (09.09.22) afternoon queueing for wristbands sat with VIPs, including the new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, from the start of the ceremony at 6pm.
The reworded British National Anthem, written in 1745, rang out for the first time in 70 years as King Charles III ascended to the throne after his late mother’s death on Thursday (08.09.22) aged 96 at her home in Balmoral.
Members of the Royal Family were not in attendance at the St Paul’s thanksgiving ceremony, but the new King’s first address to the nation was broadcast from the Blue Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace into the cathedral and on television across the world.
He called Queen Elizabeth his “darling Mama” and urged the world to “draw strength from the light of her example”, while thanking the British monarch for a lifetime of service.
A picture of Her Majesty smiling in a blue outfit sat beside her son as he made his maiden speech as King.
Members of the public had to queue to get one of a limited 2,000 wristbands to attend the memorial, which ran out in three hours.
The service saw Dean Designate Andrew Tremlett give thanks for the Queen’s “devotion to all her people”.
He said: “We remember her long life spent in the service of this country and of her Commonwealth realms around the world.
“We give thanks for a life of devotion to God, her Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, and of devotion to all her people.
“As we call to mind the promise made at her Coronation that all her judgements should be guided by Law, Justice and Mercy, we rejoice in her steady acceptance of this vocation.
“We celebrate her love for her family, her commitment to duty, and her calling to create unity and concord at the heart of the Commonwealth.
“We pray for the royal family, as they mourn their loss.
“We pray too for our most gracious Sovereign Lord, The King, that placing all his trust in God, he too may rule over us in peace with justice and compassion.”
Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, as Dean of the Chapels Royal, delivered an address.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered a blessing and Ms Truss gave a Bible reading from Romans 14.7-12.
Towards the end of the service, a single piper played a rendition of ‘Floo’ers o’ the Forest’ as he walked down the iconic aisle of St Paul’s.
The congregation then sang ‘God Save the King’ as the final hymn to close the service.