King Charles unveils plaque honouring Queen Elizabeth in Parliament

The monarch also saw the unveiling of a gift from legislators to mark his mother's platinum jubilee

King Charles III (right) in the Houses of Parliament to unveil a plaque marking the place of the lying-in-state of the late Queen Elizabeth II. PA
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King Charles III visited Britain's Parliament on Wednesday to honour his late mother Queen Elizabeth II and unveil a memorial plaque.

He revealed a plaque commemorating the lying-in-state of the late queen in Westminster Hall, where 250,000 people filed past her coffin — many waiting for hours through the night in a miles-long queue to pay their respects.

The king entered Westminster Hall to rapturous applause from mainly MPs and members of the House of Lords.

The head of the royal family looked cheerful as he returned to the place where he had trailed his late mother’s coffin just three months ago.

The king stopped to chat to several people while making his way towards the plaque.

Mobile phones were raised in the four-deep ring of bystanders around the soon-to-be unveiled plaque.

The king shared a few words with Lord Suri of Ealing, a Conservative life peer, seated in the front row. When the 87-year-old dropped his walking stick the monarch, 74, bent down to pick it up before handing it back to the member of the House of Lords. The simple but profound gesture drew laughs from the crowds and brought a smile to Lord Suri’s face.

The plaque marks the place of the lying-in-state of the late Queen Elizabeth II. PA

“It really was something that he picked up my stick,” he told The National.

“He offered me respect and it was good of him. He really does care for people.

“It was a great honour to meet him here. I have met the king before through my charitable work. I have met four members of the royal family. I met the queen at the palace where I was a guest. I had a good conversation with her and she was asking about my work."

Lord Suri, originally from India, emigrated to the UK 50 years ago.

He has done extensive work with Sikh charities. During his brief chat with the king he praised him for his efforts to reach out to various faiths, including Sikhs. “He was really happy,” Lord Suri recalled of their chat.

The king looked impressed as the cloth was pulled from the plaque instated in honour of his late mother, whom he famously referred to as “Mummy”.

Charles speaks to MP Priti Patel. AP

After the ceremonious aspects were out of the way, the king turned to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer. The pair had been seen making small talk as they awaited the monarch’s arrival.

As the king departed the hall, politicians patiently waited for their turn to get up close to the plaque and take a photo — a token to remember their part in the latest historic royal occasion.

King Charles also saw the unveiling of a gift from legislators to mark the queen's Platinum Jubilee, which was celebrated earlier this year.

The gift was a pair of bronze lamps featuring the heraldic beasts of the UK, which Charles switched on to cheers and applause.

King Charles ascended the throne immediately after his mother’s death on September 8. Her state funeral took place on September 19.

His coronation service will take place on April 6, 2023.

This week there have been distractions from royal engagements due to the release of new trailers for the latest episodes of the Harry & Meghan docuseries that is being streamed on Netflix.

The Duke of Sussex has accused unnamed palace representatives of lying to protect his brother Prince William.

The series appears to have set back any hopes for the family rift to be overcome, which were raised when the brothers were seen together at their grandmother's funeral.

Updated: December 14, 2022, 9:43 PM
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