During the ceremony which was attended by Premier Dr Natalio Whealtey, other members of the House of Assembly (HOA), and Deputy Governor David Archer Jr, Governor John Rankin read the proclamation hailing Charles III as the BVI’s new King.
The proclamation stated: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God, to call to his mercy our late Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth II of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the Crown has solely and rightfully come, to the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, I, John James Rankin, CMG Governor of the Virgin Islands, do now hereby with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and right liege lord, Charles the III, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of all His other Realms and Territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom we do acknowledge all Faith and Obedience with humble Affection, beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless His Majesty with long and happy years to reign over us.”
After the proclamation was read, those in attendance said “God Save the King”, after which a brief gun salute followed.
In the meantime, former Premier of the BVI, Dr D Orlando Smith, recalled that Queen Elizabeth II was gracious and said even though he had never engaged her in conversation, her visit to the BVI in 1977 was quite interesting for him.
Dr Smith said he exchanged greetings with the former monarch as she visited the BVI and helped to open a new wing of the territory’s main hospital, which is now named in his honour.
“When she went to visit the maternity ward, she would stop and speak with all the patients individually and expressed empathy with them, wish them well… I was quite impressed with that,” Dr Smith said in a recent media interview.
Dr Smith also recalled that in a visit to the UK while he was Premier, the Queen greeted leaders of the overseas territories at a reception.
Dr Smith said the Queen’s interactions “demonstrated her dignity and how well she was adjusted to the part that she was playing in London and in the world.”