Gun salute rings out in Colchester to mark the accession of King Charles III

  • Gun salute at Colchester to mark the accession of King Charles III

Gun salutes rang out from stations in Colchester and around the country to mark the accession of King Charles III.

Twenty-one rounds were fired by 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, based at the Colchester Garrison, from the Colchester & East Essex Cricket Club at 11am.

Major Douglas Collett, battery commander of the Airborne Gunners, was in charge of the salute.

"To be involved in the proclamation is a terrific honour," he said. "It is something myself and my soldiers will probably only do once in our careers and will remember for our entire lives.

"There's a huge amount of enthusiasm for the event among my soldiers. One of them actually drove six hours last night so he could be back here for this today."

Colchester is the official saluting station for the East of England. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Colchester was given the honour of being a Royal Saluting Station by Her Majesty The Queen in 2006.

It is the official saluting station for the East of England - one of eight in the country.

Cllr Tim Young, Mayor of Colchester, said: "We're in the fortunate position of being one of the few saluting stations, so it's very significant for Colchester.

"It's momentous and we're very proud to have it here in the home of the garrison in East Anglia."

Gun salutes also rang out from stations at the Tower of London and Hyde Park.

Outside of London, salutes were fired from Cardiff Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Gibraltar, Colchester, York, Larkhill near Stonehenge, naval bases in Devonport and Portsmouth and a number of stations at sea.

The Airborne Gunners fired 21 shots in honour of King Charles III. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The salutes were timed to coincide with the Principal Proclamation of the King, which was read by Garter King of Arms at 11am from the balcony above Friary Court, St James' Palace.

Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome.

They are now used to mark special occasions on certain days of the year, many of them with royal associations.

Gun salutes occur on royal anniversaries including Accession Day, the monarch's birthday, Coronation Day, the monarch's official birthday, the State Opening of Parliament, royal births and when a visiting head of state meets the monarch in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.

The Ministry of Defence said there are historical records of salutes taking place as early as the 14th century when guns and ammunition began to be adopted widely.

Similar gun salutes were fired to mark the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

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