What to know about U.K. accession rules after queen's death
By SYLVIA HUI Associated Press
The British monarchy's rules state that "a new sovereign succeeds to the throne as soon as his or her predecessor dies."
That means Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son, Prince Charles, became king immediately upon her death Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Within 24 hours of a monarch's death, a new sovereign is proclaimed formally as soon as possible at St. James's Palace in London by the "Accession Council."
However, it may be months or even longer before Charles' formal coronation.
In Elizabeth's case, her coronation came on June 2, 1953 -- 16 months after her accession on Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, died.