Crowds filled Ross-on-Wye town centre to hear the proclamation of King Charles III on Sunday, delivered by town mayor Cllr Ed O’Driscoll.

The mayor attended the county proclamation at Hereford Cathedral at 2.10pm on Sunday, before declaring the new reign to local residents at 5pm.

The Market House setting was highly appropriate and moving, as the new monarch walked in the footsteps of his mother there three years ago when he visited the historic town building, where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had stood on the balcony 62 years earlier on a Royal Visit.

The ceremony in Ross was opened by the town crier, introducing deputy lord lieutenant for Herefordshire Paul Deneen and Ross mayor Ed O’Driscoll. The deputy lord-lieutenant explained the process, and Cllr O’Driscoll then read the proclamation from the Lords Spiritual and Temporal before cheering thrice, “God save the King”.

Following the passing of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday evening at 96, the union flag was flown outside of the Market House at half-mast to signify the start of the official period of mourning.

The flag was then raised on Saturday at 11am until after the town’s proclamation on Sunday, when it was lowered with The Last Post bugle call.

It will remain at half-mast until 8am on the day after Her Majesty’s funeral.

A statement issued afterwards said: “On behalf of Ross-on-Wye Town Council and the Mayor of Ross-on-Wye, Cllr Ed O’Driscoll, we wish to express our thanks to the community of Ross-on-Wye for turning out in their hundreds for the proclamation ceremony which took place on Sunday.

“We understand this has been a difficult time for the nation, and we hope this event and those coming up will assist the town in coming to terms with the sad loss of Her Majesty the Queen.”

Books of condolence for Her Majesty remain open at St Mary’s Church (9am to 6pm) and The Larruperz Centre (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, and Sunday 1pm to 5pm) until Tuesday September 20.

There will be a special service for Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at St Mary’s Church at 7pm on Sunday September 18.

Local MP Jesse Norman paid tribute to the Queen “for a lifetime dedicated to extraordinary public service”.

“Her contribution to the fabric and stability of this nation, to its international reputation and to charitable causes around the world over 70 years is inestimable.”