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Sawbridgeworth mayor proclaims King Charles III in ceremony outside town council offices





The sun burst through the clouds minutes after Sawbridgeworth had stood in silence to remember their Queen who died on Thursday.

It seemed to herald a new era for the UK and the world as a crowd of more than 100 residents gathered outside the council offices in Bell Street car park on Sunday afternoon to hear mayor Cllr Greg Rattey read the Proclamation of Accession.

Town clerk Chris Hunt addressed the crowd before they stood for two minutes’ silence to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and Cllr Rattey read the proclamation.

Sawbridgeworth mayor Cllr Greg Rattey reads the Proclamation of Accession (59254567)
Sawbridgeworth mayor Cllr Greg Rattey reads the Proclamation of Accession (59254567)

The Accession Council met at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday to formally proclaim Charles as the new sovereign before the first public proclamation of the new sovereign was read in the open air from the Friary Court balcony at St James’s Palace by the Garter King of Arms.

Proclamations were then read on Sunday in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, before mayors and dignitaries did the same in towns and villages across the UK.

After Cllr Rattey read the proclamation the gathered throng sang the national anthem God Save The King for the first time and the 309 (Sawbridgeworth) Squadron Air Cadets led three cheers for his majesty King Charles III.

The Union Flag flies at half mast from the tower of Great St Mary's Church (59206309)
The Union Flag flies at half mast from the tower of Great St Mary's Church (59206309)

Then the bells of nearby Great St Mary’s Church in Church Street rang out in celebration.

Following the shock death of the Queen on Thursday Sawbridgeworth Town Council opened a book of condolence for residents and the Union Flag was flown at half mast from Great St Mary’s. The flag was raised to full mast for the proclamation before being flown again at half mast until after the Queen’s funeral on Monday (September 19).

There was also an area established at the war memorial in the churchyard for people to lay flowers in memory of the Queen and a crocheted "topper" was placed on a post box on the corner of The Forebury and Knight Street.

A post box on the corner of The Forebury and Knight Street with a crocheted topper in memory of the Queen (59254692)
A post box on the corner of The Forebury and Knight Street with a crocheted topper in memory of the Queen (59254692)

Chris Hunt said the town council had cancelled Monday’s (Sept 12) planning committee meeting and a meeting of the finance policy and economic development committee, but planning and full council would go ahead on September 26.

Mr Hunt added that there had been a steady stream of people signing the book of condolence in the council chamber and there had been 100 messages.

Although many events were cancelled after Thursday’s news, including all football matches, organisers of the nearby High Wych Scarecrow Festival decided “after careful thought” to go ahead.

A sign at the entrance to High Wych Scarecrow Festival (59278202)
A sign at the entrance to High Wych Scarecrow Festival (59278202)

Cllr Rattey told the Indie on Monday; "Our ceremony of proclamation was organised and orchestrated beautifully. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all involved.



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