Charles III, the King of New Zealand, succeeded his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as sovereign immediately upon her death on 8 September 2022. To ensure that there is never a moment in which the nation is without a monarch, accession is automatic and instantaneous.
For almost 1,000 years, the monarchs of Britain, and later New Zealand, have been crowned in a special ceremony months after their accession. The coronation confers no special powers and does not affect the legal validity of the sovereign’s position. Nevertheless, it is an important event in the history of the nation, a vibrant shared experience for the public, and an occasion of deep personal significance in the life of the monarch.
Charles III has spent a lifetime training for the role of King, learning from the world’s foremost constitutional scholars, political leaders and of course his mother, the longest-serving sovereign in the history of the Commonwealth. His passions are well known, and his numerous charitable foundations and projects range from supporting the arts to fostering dialogue between different faiths and cultures and assisting young people into education, training, and work.
Queen Camilla, who supports her husband in carrying out his work and duties, was also crowned.
To see a coronation is to witness an event of unrivalled pageantry and a snapshot of living history. We know that one day William V will be crowned, and then, in turn, George VII. Each of these occasions will continue the evolution of the ceremony. Whatever elements change, many ancient aspects will certainly remain the same. In this way, a monarch’s coronation ties us all to the past, present, and future.
Stamps were issued on 3 May to commemorate the accession of the King. Click here to view the products available.