An enthusiastic but muted crowd assembled outside the Forest Community Centre in Bordon on September 11 for the reading of the proclamation of King Charles III’s accession to the throne.

The event was introduced by Whitehill & Bordon town crier Stuart Morrison, and the proclamation was read by town mayor Cllr Leeroy Scott, with his mayoral livery duly muted out of respect and covered in a black cloth bag.

Stuart said: “It was an honour to have played a role in the recent Jubilee celebrations, and I’m saddened by her death. She will be missed.

“It is also a real privilege to be a part of this historical moment marking the change of our nation’s sovereign. Long live the King!”

In a brief and respectful ceremony, the town crier called for attention, made a short announcement and read a section of the town crier’s prayer adapted to suit the occasion:

“Her bell is silent now.

“Her voice unheard.

“Her life of service will be recalled and its message understood.

“God be with her.”

The crowd responded enthusiastically with a rousing three cheers led by the town crier, the town mayor and town council leader Cllr Andy Tree.

Resident Jemma Jessup said: “I’m proud that our town comes together and marks these moments of historical significance.”

The Union Flag was briefly raised for the proclamation ceremony, and then lowered to half-mast shortly afterwards as a mark of respect during the national period of mourning for the Queen.

Last Friday Cllr Scott laid flowers at Jubilee Park in memory of the Queen in his capacity as the first citizen of Whitehill & Bordon.

He did so at the cherry tree which was planted for the Queen’s Green Canopy during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Cllr Scott said: “Such a great loss to our nation, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be sadly missed.

“You have done so much for our country and the world, and you have achieved so much during your reign as our Queen. Bless.”

Cllr Andy Tree travelled to London the day after the Queen’s death to pass on the sympathy of the people he represents.

He said: “Many residents have expressed their sadness at the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I saw it as my duty to travel to Buckingham Palace last Friday morning when I placed flowers from Whitehill Town Council, as town council leader, on behalf of our residents across Whitehill & Bordon in the centre of one of the gates.

“I was also mindful of representing residents in Lindford as their county councillor.

“The Queen was undertaking her duties only two days before her death, where we have seen photos of her standing and appointing a new prime minister. Other women of her generation would have been retired for more than 30 years. That puts into perspective her sense of duty and total commitment to the role she promised to fulfil for life. I wish His Majesty King Charles III well as he starts his reign.”

A book of condolences can be signed at the Forest Community Centre.

Handwritten messages for the book can also be sent to Whitehill Town Council, Forest Community Centre, Pinehill Road, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 0BS.