Thousands of people turned out yesterday (Sunday, September 11) across West Suffolk for the historic proclamation of the reign of King Charles III.
There were gatherings all over the region including Bury St Edmunds, Needham Market, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Sudbury, Brandon, Clare, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket.
The formal announcement of the new Sovereign – known as the Proclamation of the Accession, involved mayors, community leaders, dignitaries and other senior public figures with huge numbers of people turning out to witness the historic occasions. The local proclamations were co-ordinated by town councils.
At 3.30pm, the Mayor of Bury, Peter Thompson, came out onto the balcony of the Athenaeum to deliver the proclamation.
He said: “We come together this afternoon following the passing of our late sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. Our sadness at this time is shared with people across the globe, as we remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest-reigning monarch.
Also speaking was the Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk, Judith Shallow, and the Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes.
John Ward, Babergh District Council leader, representing the council at the Hadleigh proclamation, said: “The momentous events of the past few days have been incredibly sad for us all, but at the same time they have included hope for the future. Today’s accession proclamations are about that future. I watched the county proclamation from the Cornhill in Ipswich and later I was privileged to represent Babergh at the proclamation in Hadleigh. A large crowd gathered to participate in this historic event. It was very moving and I was proud that so many Hadleigh residents were there for our new king.”
Derek Davis, Babergh District Council vice chairman, representing the council at the Sudbury proclamation, said: “It is incredible to know that Babergh was not even formed as a council when Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen, so to represent the district at this historic occasion was incredibly moving. While the sorrow at the loss of the Queen still bites deeply, the proclamation of King Charles III as our new monarch marks a new chapter for the district, the county and the country. Just as we were proud to serve the Queen, as she served us right up until the day she died, we will continue that allegiance to the King Charles III.”
And Paul Ekpenyong, Mid Suffolk District Council vice chairman, who was at the Needham Market proclamation, said: “I feel a deep sense of loss at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II who ascended the throne in the year of my birth. Now though, I look forward to the long and fruitful reign of King Charles III.”