by Cecilia Odey/Chioma Ugboma
Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla to commemorate the life and service of Queen Elizabeth II with private prayers.
They would also have a moment of reflection on the first anniversary of her death.
Charles and Camilla, who are staying at their Balmoral estate in Scotland, would attend nearby Crathie Kirk for the poignant event at the small church where the late queen worshipped.
The event would be a deeply personal moment for the king, who became sovereign when his mother died peacefully last year at Balmoral on Sept. 8.
The queen died at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.
The Prince and Princess of Wales will visit the Welsh cathedral of St Davids for a short private service as part of a trip to Pembrokeshire.
The king had recorded a message and released a favourite photograph of his mother to mark the first anniversary of her death and his accession to the throne.
Charles, in words written, and audio spoken, at Balmoral Castle and recorded on Thursday, said he recalled with “great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.’’
He said: “I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and me during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.’’
The formal colour photograph chosen by Charles was taken by Cecil Beaton and showed her aged 42 in 1968.
She is standing sideways and smiling in her Garter robes and wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara, made of 15 interlaced diamond circles.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also paid tribute to her.
“With the perspective of a year, the scale of her late majesty’s service only seems greater.
“Her devotion to the nations of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth only seems deeper.
“And our gratitude for such an extraordinary life of duty and dedication only continues to grow,’’ he said.
Sunak said he treasured his memories of meeting the late queen and was struck by her “wisdom, her incredible warmth, grace and also her sharp wit,’’ he said.
“People across the UK, whether they had the good fortune to meet her late majesty or not, will be reflecting today on what she meant to them and the example she set for us all,’’ he added.
Charles has been staying at his Birkhall residence and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire over the summer.
The king is not expected to have time in his diary to see his son Harry.
The duke of Sussex flew to London for a WellChild award ceremony on Thursday ahead of the start of the Invictus Games in Germany.
Harry paid tribute to his grandmother in his speech at the event, saying.
“I know exactly one year on that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together, continuing to spotlight such an incredible community.’’
Soldiers and horses who took part in the state funeral procession and proclamation salutes for the new reign will return for Accession Day gun anniversary salutes in the king’s honour on Friday.
Captain Amy Cooper, who led rider in the procession that carried the coffin to lie in state in Westminster Hall, will give order to fire 41-gun salute at midday in London’s Hyde Park.
A 62-gun salute would also be fired at the Tower of London by The Honourable Artillery Company the regiment and the King’s Troop were responsible for gun salutes following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Bells would be rung at Westminster Abbey at noon GMT in commemoration of the king’s accession. (dpa/NAN)