- King Charles III was kissed by fans who lined the grounds of Buckingham Palace
- The new King took his time speaking with the public on Friday afternoon
- One woman was so overcome by emotion she reached out and kissed his face
- A second kissed his outstretched hand as he made his way through the crowd
King Charles III graciously accepted kisses by overwhelmed fans who lined Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse of him and pay their respects to the late Queen.
The new King received a warm reception as he took the time to speak with the public on Friday afternoon while slowly making his way to the front gates of the palace.
He stepped out of his Bentley and moved through the crowd of thousands, stopping to shake hands and speak with people who had spent all morning awaiting his arrival.
Janny Assiminios was so overcome by emotion that she reached out and grabbed the King’s face before pulling him in for a kiss on the cheek.
While the act could be considered a breach of royal protocol, Charles was gracious in the moment and appeared to thank her.
Moments later, a second woman kissed his outstretched hand as he passed by.
Ms Assiminios later told CNN she asked the King permission before planting a kiss on his cheek.
‘To see him in front of me, I couldn’t believe it,’ she said with a grin after the kiss.
‘I said to him, ”may I kiss you?” and he said ”well yes”, so I grabbed him… I’m very happy, very, very much, that I got to see him and kiss him.’
The King became more emotional as the crowd cheered ‘God Save The King’.
In emotional scenes, an impromptu rendition of the National Anthem broke out as the Royal Standard was raised above Buckingham Palace for the first time of his reign.
He made an effort to address as many people in the crowd as possible, and accepted a single rose from one of the many well wishers who brought flowers along for the occasion.
In total, he spent 12 minutes with the public outside palace gates.
Film director Raynald Leconte, 47, who is from New York, said he was lucky enough to speak to the King and Queen Consort outside Buckingham Palace.
‘It was quite a moment,’ he said. ‘I said, ”condolences”. He said, ”really, really thank you very much”. And to his wife I wished her good luck and she said, ”thank you very much”. I think she said, ”I’ll need it”.’
Among the crowds, retired Ammar Al-Baldawi, 64, from Hertfordshire, said: ‘It was impressive, touching, a good move to come out to the crowds.
‘I think that’s where the royal family needs to communicate with the people now. These are true loyalists here and it’s nice to see him back in post, taking charge of the family and the Crown, which is reassuring.’
Queen Consort Camilla arrived at Buckingham Palace with Charles but maintained a distance as he greeted the public and accepted their well wishes.
She returned to his side to appreciate the bouquets of flowers and handwritten notes left at the palace gates.
Police had moved the crowds back from the main entrance of Buckingham Palace at about 1.30pm in anticipation of the King’s visit, with officers creating a 30ft pathway between the crowds and the bouquets of flowers.
Charles and his wife Camilla landed at RAF Northolt just after 1.30pm after leaving Balmoral, where they had stayed overnight after racing up to be at the late Queen’s bedside.
The King will meet Prime Minister Liz Truss this afternoon, before making a televised speech to the nation at 6pm.
Members of the royal family had made the urgent dash to be with the frail monarch as her health failed yesterday.
The Firm made an announcement of her ‘peaceful’ death at 6.30pm at Balmoral, which is considered one of her favourite residences. She and her late husband, Prince Philip, often spent the summer there.
Prince William – now using the title of the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge – left Balmoral just before 1pm and is travelling back to Windsor to be with his family ahead of the Accession Council, Kensington Palace said.
Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, still remain at the estate.
‘During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held,’ Charles said in a statement on Thursday night.
Charles was by his mother’s side for much of the day after catching the royal helicopter from Dumfries House in Ayrshire with his wife Camilla.