Queen Elizabeth was a “life well lived”, her son and successor Charles said on Friday in his maiden televised address as King to a grieving nation as he vowed to carry on his “darling mama’s” lifelong service to the UK and beyond.
Sitting next to a photograph of his mother and wearing a black suit and tie, King Charles III said the “affection, admiration and respect” the Queen inspired “became the hallmark of her reign”.
He thanked his “darling mama” for her “love, affection, guidance and example”, as he expressed gratitude to the country’s longest-serving monarch for her 70 years of service and spoke of the “profound grief” that had gripped the royal family and the nation with her passing away.
“Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today,” said 73-year-old Charles.
“I pay tribute to my mother’s memory, and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings sadness to so many, and I share that sense of loss beyond measure with you all,” he said.
In an indication of the estimated date of the Queen’s funeral, which is yet to be confirmed, the King noted: “In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.
“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.” In the historic address, the new King pledged to serve the United Kingdom, its realms and the Commonwealth with loyalty and respect.
“As The Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said.
“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the Realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life,” he noted.
Reflecting upon how his life is set to change from being the heir apparent to the monarch, Charles admitted it would no longer be possible for him to devote much of his time and energies to the charities and issues he cares deeply about.
“But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others,” he said, adding that he would be counting on the help of his “darling wife, Camilla” in his new role.
Charles also used his address to create his son and heir, Prince William, the Prince of Wales and also Duke of Cornwall – the titles he formerly held.
He said: “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.” The King also expressed love for his younger son, Harry, and his wife Meghan “as they continue to build their lives overseas”, which would be seen as a conciliatory move amid reports of tensions within royal circles over the couple’s step back from frontline royalty.
The broadcast, which followed a minute’s silence at St. Paul’s Cathedral, was recorded in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace this afternoon, King Charles III and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, greeted large crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London before holding his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Charles, who ascended to the throne on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday returned from Balmoral Castle in Scotland and was met with emotional crowds to express their condolences. Amid applause and cheers, and even a hug and kiss from a member of the public, the royal couple made their way into their new home at Buckingham Palace.
Charles will be formally proclaimed as King at the Accession Council at 10 am local time on Saturday in the State Apartments of St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace has said. It will mark the first time in history that the ceremony will be televised.
However, he has begun his royal duties already and would have discussed the plans for the Queen’s funeral with Prime Minister Truss during their first in-person audience at Buckingham Palace.
Truss, who was appointed by the late Queen on Tuesday, spent approximately half an hour with King Charles III.
The meeting came just before his first televised address as monarch.