Britain’s King Charles III has delivered a historic televised address to the nation, paying a poignant and moving tribute to his “darling Mama” the Queen in his first public broadcast as monarch.
Charles said of his “beloved mother” the late Elizabeth II: “We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example”.
He added: “To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.
“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 King pledged his whole life as service as the new sovereign just as the Queen did, saying: “That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today”.
And he used his speech to announce that he had created his son William the Prince of Wales, with Kate the Princess of Wales, and expressed his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”, a symbol of his bid for reconciliation amid past troubles with the Sussexes.
He also paid tribute to his “darling wife” Camilla – calling her “my Queen Consort”, saying he can “count on her loving help” and praising her by saying: “I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.”
The King also set out his changing role, as he steps away from his considerable charity work which shaped his life as the heir to the throne.
“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply.
“But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others,” he said.
The monarch pre-recorded the lengthy speech, which was just under 1,000 words and lasted around nine-and-a-half minutes in the Blue Drawing Room of the royal residence in central London, and it was played out at 6pm on Friday.
The King, dressed in a sombre black suit, black tie and with a black and white checked handkerchief in his breast pocket, said: “I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow.
“Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.
“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.”