he nation’s new monarch King Charles III has made his poignant journey to London, following the death of his mother the Queen.
The grief-stricken King’s plane landed at RAF Northolt in west London at around 13.34pm on Friday – his first time on English soil since becoming monarch.
He had been glimpsed on the first occasion since his accession to the throne as he departed Birkhall, his private home on the Balmoral estate, by car just over two hours earlier.
With Camilla, the new Queen, in the front passenger seat, Charles sat in the back, dressed in his mourning clothes of a black suit and tie, looking sombre as he headed to Aberdeen Airport.
Camilla stared straight ahead as they were driven from the Scottish residence, where they had rushed to be at the Queen’s bedside when she fell gravely ill.
The couple stayed overnight at Balmoral, where Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully aged 96 on Thursday afternoon.
Details of the King’s historic Accession Council which will be held on Saturday at 10am in St James’s Palace were announced by Buckingham Palace.
It will be televised for the first time in history, showing the King being formally proclaimed monarch and Charles making his declaration and oath.
A Principal Proclamation will be read in public for the first time by the Garter King of Arms in the open air from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s an hour later at 11am.
It will be followed by a flurry of Proclamations around the country, with the second one at City of London at the Royal Exchange at midday on Saturday, and further Proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at midday on Sunday.
The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge is also travelling back to Windsor to be with his family ahead of the Accession Council, which William will attend.
At Aberdeen airport, the King was carrying what appeared to be a folder or file as he made his way towards the plane.
Charles stopped to shake hands and chat to three people at the plane steps before Camilla joined him holding a see-through umbrella, edged with a black rim – the style used by the late monarch.
She was wearing a long black coat and made her way up the steps and on to the plane ahead of her husband.
Members of the royal family had made the urgent dash to be with the frail monarch as her health failed.
The Queen’s children – Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex – travelled to the castle, as did William, the Countess of Wessex and the Duke of Sussex.
Senior royals will have duties to perform in Scotland in the coming days when the Queen’s coffin begins its journey back to the capital, but Harry was spotted leaving Balmoral on Friday morning.
The Sussexes, who were coming to the end of a whistle-stop visit to Europe when the Queen died, are expected to stay in the UK to attend the Queen’s state funeral, likely be held on September 19.
Tributes continue to be paid to the woman described by the Prime Minister as the “rock on which modern Britain was built”, with the Dalai Lama expressing his “deep sadness” over the death of the Queen in a letter to the King.
He told Charles: “Your mother lived a meaningful life with dignity, grace, a strong sense of service and a warm heart, qualities we all should treasure.”
The Queen’s former homes of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral continue to attract thousands of people wanting to pay their respects to the late monarch, with hundreds of bouquets, personal notes and candles being placed in her honour.
Charles has already turned his hand to his duties as monarch despite his grief.
He gave the order that a period of “Royal Mourning” for the Queen will be observed from now until seven days after her funeral.
Royal Mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal household staff and representatives of the royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties.
Royal salutes were fired with one round for every 96 years of the Queen’s life on Friday at 1pm in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Thousands of people had stood in solemn silence for 16 minutes as the cannons boomed once every 10 seconds, sending smoke across the grounds with each round, applauding as the spectacle came to and end
The King is expected to address the nation on television on Friday evening, and hold his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The PM and senior ministers will attend a public service of remembrance at St Paul’s in central London.