A CROWD of people gathered for the county's special proclamation ceremony to mark the beginning of His Majesty King Charles III's reign.

The new King was proclaimed at the ceremony at 1pm at County Hall in Dorchester on Sunday, September 11 - a day after the new sovereign was proclaimed at St James' Palace in London.

The ceremony was conducted by the High Sheriff of Dorset, Sibyl King in the presence of the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell.

The regional proclamation announced the accession to the county following the death of the Queen.

At the ceremony, Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell said: "It's amazing to see so many people here, it's gratifying.

"We're all in deepest sorrow across the county, the country, and indeed the world, at the passing of our late majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in whom we have lost the unique, loving and determined monarch who has for over 70 years, not only delivered the extraordinary devoted service and support she promised as a 21-year-old princess, but so very much more besides.

"We come together today to hear the proclamation of accession of His Majesty King Charles III. This therefore, despite that sorrow, is also a moment of optimism, excitement and hope, for the future as we enter on a new era of the monarchy under our new sovereign."

High Sherriff Sibyl King gave the proclamation, saying: "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 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.

"God save the King."

The service finished with the crowd joining together for the first time to sing the new national anthem God Save the King, followed by three cheers of celebration from the crowd.

Local proclamation ceremonies were also held by town councils across the county yesterday.

Dorset Echo: Local proclamation ceremony in Weymouth at the Jubilee Clock. Picture: Weymouth Town CouncilLocal proclamation ceremony in Weymouth at the Jubilee Clock. Picture: Weymouth Town Council (Image: Weymouth Town Council)

In Weymouth, the ceremony was held at the iconic Jubilee Clock on The Esplanade where council leader David Harris read the proclamation.

A spokesman for Weymouth Town Council said: "Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who came out to join us today.

"Today’s poignant occasion provided an opportunity for many in the community to come together to reflect on the moment when the reign of our longest-serving monarch came to an end and our new Sovereign King Charles III succeeded."

Union flags across Dorset returned to full mast for the reading of the proclamation before being returned to half-mast.