King Charles III made his first public speech as Britain’s new monarch on Friday in the wake of the death of his “dear maternal uncle” Queen Elizabeth II.
“I speak to you today with the deepest feelings of sadness,” the 73-year-old said, beginning the solemn statement already taped on television.
“Queen Elizabeth had a life well lived; a promise fulfilled with destiny and her passing is deeply saddened. I renew that promise of lifelong service to all of you today.”
In his first acts as the new monarch, the king conferred the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales to his eldest son William and his wife Kate – the same titles that Charles and his late wife Diana had previously held.
Charles also specifically mentioned his youngest son Prince Harry and daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, whose relations with the royal family have been strained after leaving royal life and moving to California.
“I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” Charles said.
Sitting at a table with a portrait of his late mother, Charles also thanked the Queen for her lifelong service.
“To my dear mother, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late father, I just want to say this: thank you,” he said. “Thank you for your love and dedication to our family and family of nations, you have served so diligently over the years.”
Elsewhere, Charles vowed to follow in his mother’s footsteps and give a life of service to the British people and members of the Commonwealth.
He said, “As the Queen herself did with such unshakable devotion, I also now wholeheartedly myself, during the rest of the time, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation, God grant me ,” They said.
“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in regions and regions around the world, and whatever your background or beliefs, I will endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love for the rest of my life.”
His address came after Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, arrived at Buckingham Palace on Friday after a flight from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where members of the royal family had gathered to mourn the long-serving monarch .
The couple spent time greeting hundreds of mourners who had gathered outside the palace as the crowds chanted “God save the king”.
He also briefly inspected the mass of flowers left against the huge black gates before going inside.
Prior to his address, King Charles held his first official audience with new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who only met with the Queen on Tuesday in what would be his last public engagement.
Charles is believed to have been one of the few royals who supported his 96-year-old mother at the time, when she died Thursday afternoon.
His new title was immediately bestowed upon him at the moment of his long-ill mother’s reign as the oldest and longest-serving British sovereign.
The late Queen’s long bout of mostly unspecified health problems gave the eldest of her four children enough time to prepare for the historic role she was raised to fulfill.
He formally opened Britain’s parliament in May 2022, when his mother was forced to recall it for the first time in nearly 60 years, seen as an exercise by many royal onlookers.
The centuries-old accession protocol states that “the new sovereign succeeds to the throne immediately after the death of his predecessor,” giving rise to the famous saying, “The queen is dead – may the king live long!”
However, according to long-standing royal tradition, his ceremonial coronation is expected to be delayed by several months to allow for a period of mourning.