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China’s Xi congratulates King Charles III

China’s President Xi Jinping on Sunday congratulated Charles III on his accession to the British throne, state media reported.

Xi told Charles in a message that he was willing to “expand friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation, and strengthen communication on global issues,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

After a lifetime’s apprenticeship, Charles was formally proclaimed king on Saturday in a ceremony filled with the kind of pomp the UK does so well.

A court official wearing a feathered bicorn hat declared the 73-year-old “our only lawful and rightful” monarch from the balcony of St James’s Palace in London.

It followed an Accession Council meeting of senior royals, clergy and government, a centuries-old tradition seen live on television for the first time.

“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me,” Charles said in a speech before swearing an oath.

“In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set.”

Eight trumpeters accompanied the proclamation that was followed by a rousing three cheers for the new king by red-jacketed Coldstream Guards soldiers, doffing their distinctive bearskin hats.

Ceremonial gun salutes boomed simultaneously across the UK and the proclamation — a relic from the past where the new monarch needed to be announced to their subjects — was read publicly in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

William, the heir to the throne whose wife Kate takes Diana’s old title of Princess of Wales, said he would honour the queen “by supporting my father, the king, in every way I can”.

Charles automatically became monarch when the queen died, but the proclamation was the latest step in the set piece 10-day programme building up to her state funeral.

Since the queen died, crowds have massed and left flowers, cards and candles outside the royal residences from Buckingham Palace to Windsor and Balmoral, the Scottish estate where the queen died.

They have both mourned the queen and wished Charles well, with thousands more expected to line the streets in Scotland when the queen’s coffin begins its journey to London on Sunday.

“I’m sad, but you have to move on. I think the king will be different,” said 53-year-old Londoner Sarah Berdien.

“The queen has always been the queen — always the same, no drama.”

Recruitment worker Dany Van Laanen, 36, said Charles has “big shoes to fill” as he replaces his mother, who was the only monarch that most in the UK had ever known.

“I do hope he will manage to modernise the monarchy,” he said.

Charles — who has seen his popularity recover in recent years from the time of Diana’s death in a 1997 car crash — takes the throne at a moment of deep anxiety in Britain over the spiralling cost of living and international instability caused by the war in Ukraine.

The constitutional monarch, who is supposed to remain outside politics, has intimated he will now steer clear of pronouncements on issues that he has previously been outspoken on such as climate change.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss — only appointed by the late monarch on Tuesday — offered the nation’s support to Charles in parliament on Friday as she acknowledged the “awesome responsibility” he bore.

The speaker of the House of Commons and selected senior MPs swore allegiance to the new king on Saturday and Charles met Truss again, plus the cabinet and the heads of the opposition parties.


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