King Charles III Remembers Queen Elizabeth II On First Anniversary Of Her Death With Special Photo

On September 8, 2023, King Charles III posted a moving tribute to his late mother, recognizing the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's death in September 2022. "We recall with great affection her long life, devoted service, and all she meant to so many of us," Charles wrote on Twitter. The King also spoke the words in an audio clip, accompanied by a seldom-seen photo of the late Queen standing in profile, her head turned to the viewer, with a slight smile and thoughtful gaze in her blue eyes.

The message and photo also appeared on the Royal Family's official website, along with an explanation of the picture's history. The regal photo was taken by Cecil Beaton when Elizabeth was 42 years old, on October 16, 1968. It was then briefly part of a five-month exhibit at England's National Portrait Gallery until March 1969. Over a period of 26 years, Beaton took the Queen's picture numerous times: As a princess, wearing her resplendent Robe of Estate and the Imperial State Crown on her coronation in 1953, and lastly, in this 1968 photo. 

This picture features Queen Elizabeth wearing the Vladimir Tiara in its original pearl configuration.  This piece was reportedly Elizabeth's favorite tiara and originally belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. After the assassination of the Russian royal family in 1918, the tiara was secretly taken to England. Queen Mary, King Charles' great-grandmother, purchased the tiara after the duchess' 1920 death and had it enhanced with removable emeralds.

King Charles III's tribute followed in Queen Elizabeth II's footsteps

King Charles III's commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II is similar to the approach the late Queen used to honor her own father, King George VI. In 1953, Elizabeth and Prince Philip traveled to Sandringham, where George VI had died the year before. They participated in a special service there and spent the rest of the day privately remembering Elizabeth's late father. Elizabeth then established an annual tradition to visit Sandringham to memorialize George VI on the anniversary of his death.

In 2023, King Charles and Queen Camilla commemorated the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's death by participating in a private service at Crathie Kirk, a church located near the royal family's Balmoral estate in Scotland. Crathie Kirk has a special association with the late monarch since she and her family were regular attendees of the church during their visits to Elizabeth's summer home at Balmoral.  "I think that those of us that did get to see the Queen in different situations, but particularly up here, felt it today, were reminded of the loss," Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie, Crathie Kirk's minister, informed Sky News.

After the service, Charles and Camilla chatted with people outside the church to discuss and reminisce about Queen Elizabeth. The King planned to spend most of the day at Balmoral, thinking and praying in homage to his mother.