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Why King Charles III has now added an R to end of his signature

Jess Hardiman

Published 
| Last updated 

Why King Charles III has now added an R to end of his signature

King Charles III has now been officially proclaimed monarch by the Accession Council, following a formal ceremony earlier today (Saturday 10 September). 

Since the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, many aspects of Charles’ daily life have now changed – including his official signature, which has gained an ‘R’ at the end. 

The bonus letter isn’t the initial of an extra name, but is in fact a nod to his new title as King. 

Charles' signature before becoming King. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
Charles' signature before becoming King. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

You see, the Queen used to sign with ‘Elizabeth R’ on official documents, with the ‘R’ standing for ‘regina’, the Latin word for ‘queen’. 

Obviously, Charles has not just become the next queen, so his ‘R’ actually stands for ‘rex’... Yep, you’ve guessed it, Latin for ‘king’. 

As explained by the Press Association: “Before it was simply 'Charles'. Now it will be the name he has taken as King with an additional R for Rex – Latin for King – at the end. 

“In criminal court cases, the R to denote the Crown now stands for Rex rather Regina (the Queen).” 

After being formally proclaimed the nation’s new sovereign, King Charles held his first Privy Council meeting, which was where he got to show off his flashy new signature while signing official declarations.  

King Charles signing the official declaration today. Credit: PA
King Charles signing the official declaration today. Credit: PA

The historic moment ended up becoming slightly fraught when Charles found that there wasn’t quite enough space on the small desk to sign both of the large documents before him, with footage showing him grimacing in frustration as he motioned to staff to take the pen tray away – an exchange that many people watching at home found nothing short of hilarious.

Charles automatically became King when Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday 8 September, but his role has now been officially confirmed by the Accession Council – which consists of senior government figures, the Lord Mayor of London and High Sheriffs of the City of London, Realm High Commissioners, Privy Counsellors, Great Officers of State and a number of high-ranking civil servants.

King Charles was officially proclaimed monarch today. Credit: BBC
King Charles was officially proclaimed monarch today. Credit: BBC

 The meeting this morning with the Council formally declaring that the Queen had died, before it was proclaimed that Charles was now King, with those present saying together: "God save the King." 

The ceremony had to be held a day later than normal practice dictates, as the announcement of the Queen’s death did not come until early evening on Thursday, meaning there would not have been enough time to plan the procedure for Friday morning. 

Clarence House also announced that it would mark the first time ever that the Accession Council would be broadcast on television.  

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Royal Family, UK News

Jess Hardiman
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