His Majesty’s Accession Day in the UK Date in the current year: September 8, 2024

His Majesty’s Accession Day in the UK There are a number of designated flag-flying days in the United Kingdom when the Union Flag must be flown on all government buildings. One of these flag-flying days is His Majesty’s Accession Day that commemorates King Charles III’s accession to the throne in 2022.

The custom of marking Accession Day was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth I, who ascended the throne on November 17, 1558, following the death of her elder sister Queen Mary I. Her Accession Day was observed in England during her reign and, according to some historians, even after the queen’s death. Known as Queen Elizabeth’s Day or Queene’s Day, it was marked with processions, parades, and other festivities. After the death of Elizabeth I, Queene’s Day transformed into a celebration of Protestantism and a day of expression of anti-Catholic sentiments.

A special church service was introduced to commemorate the monarch’s accession upon the accession of King James I. However, it eventually fell into disuse. When King James II ascended the throne, a revised version of the old service was prepared and set forth. The service fell out of use during the reigns of William III and Mary II, but was revised again during the reign of Queen Anne.

The celebration of Accession Day in its current form originated in the 20th century. King George V’s Accession Day was celebrated on May 6 from his accession in 1910 until his death in 1936. For 70 years, Accession Day was observed on February 9 to commemorate the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on February 9, 1952. Elizabeth II’s reign was the longest of any British monarch.

Elizabeth passed away on September 8, 2022. She was succeeded by her eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, who acceded to the throne as King Charles III. At age 73, he became the oldest person to ascend the British throne. The formal proclamation of Charles III’s accession in the United Kingdom occurred on September 10, 2022 at St. James’s Palace in London. The proclamation ceremony in Wales was also held on September 10, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the proclamations took place on September 11.

Accession Day is one of the official flag-flying days in the UK. It is observed by the flying of the Union Flag on government buildings. Celebratory events include a Royal Gun Salute in London (if Accession Day falls on a Sunday, the salute is fired the next day), salutes in a number of other cities and towns, and special services in cathedrals, churches, and chapels of the Church of England. Although churches of other denominations are not required to hold special services, some of them choose to do so.

It should be noted that Accession Day should not be confused with Coronation Day. The heir to the throne ascends immediately upon the death or abdication of the reigning monarch, but the coronation ceremony typically does not take place until several months later due to the mourning period (unless the previous monarch abdicated) and extensive preparations for the coronation. Coronation Day is also a flag-flying day; it is observed on May 6.

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His Majesty’s Accession Day in the UK, observances in the UK, flag-flying days in the UK, accession of King Charles III