King Charles III has said he feels “profound sorrow” over the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and has pledged to carry on her “lifelong service” to the nation.
Charles, who spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role of king, made his first address to the nation as monarch on Friday. He became king on Thursday after the queen’s death.
“That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today,” he said. He delivered the address with a framed photo of the queen on a desk.
“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.
Charles said he could “count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla” after she became queen consort.
Charles also elevated his heir William to become the new prince of Wales, the highest title for the heir to the throne.
“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.”
His speech was broadcast on television and streamed at St Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people were attending a service of remembrance for the queen. Mourners at the service included Prime Minister Liz Truss and members of her government. ‘Darling Mama’
Charles expressed his love for Prince Harry and Meghan, his son and daughter-in-law, a significant gesture towards a couple whose relationships with the rest of the family have been strained.
“I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he said.
Addressing his “darling Mama”, joining his father the late Prince Philip, who died last year, “I want simply to say this: thank you,” the new king said.
“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
The date of the queen’s state funeral has yet to be confirmed but is expected on September 19.
“In a little over a week we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest,” Charles said.
“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example,” he said.
“On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support.
“They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.”
As the country began a 10-day mourning period, people around the globe gathered at British embassies to pay homage to the queen.
In London and at military sites across the United Kingdom, cannon fired 96 shots in an elaborate, 16-minute salute marking each year of the queen’s life.
On the king’s first full day of duties, Charles left Balmoral and flew to London for a meeting with Truss, appointed by the queen just two days before her death.
He arrived at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s London home, for the first time as sovereign, emerging from the official state Bentley limousine alongside Camilla, to shouts from the crowd of “Well done, Charlie!” and the singing of the national anthem, now called, God Save the King.
One woman kissed him on the cheek.
Everyday politics was put on hold, with lawmakers paying tribute to the monarch in Parliament over two days, beginning with a special session where Truss called the queen “the nation’s greatest diplomat”.
Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III.
Author: Al Jazeera