The people of Britain, the Commonwealth and the world heard from the new King for the first time this evening.
Speaking from the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace in a video recorded earlier today, King Charles III spoke of his ‘beloved mother’ and of the grief that his family is feeling at this time.
Dressed in black, The King looked mournful as he made a personal speech about the loss he and his family have just suffered as well as the role he will now take on, while also briefly mentioning his own family. He paid tribute to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, saying she 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’.
Reflecting on the speech his mother had made on her 21st birthday, nearly five years before she would become Queen, King Charles solemnly pledged to ‘uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation’.
‘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.’
The King also, briefly, touched on his own age of 73 when he said ‘throughout the remaining time God grants me’, while also admitting that he will not have the time to devote himself the way he had to his commitments before, having taken on this much larger role.
But throughout it all, The King will have his Queen by his side, his ‘darling wife, Camilla’. ‘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,’ he said. The 73-year-old also touched on his sons, William and Harry, and their wives. He wished his youngest well, saying: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’
The speech contained a surprise for all those watching when, speaking about William had taken on his Scottish titles and some other roles, The King proclaimed that ‘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.’
“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.”
His Majesty The King addresses the Nation and the Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/xQXVW5PPQ2
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 9, 2022
The announcement is unusual as there is normally some time between a former Prince of Wales becoming monarch and them bestowing the Prince of Wales title on their heir. Charles himself did not become Prince of Wales until July 1958, six years after his mother became Queen.
To end his first speech to the nation, King Charles III paid one final tribute to his mother, one that tugged on all our heartstrings: ‘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”.’
Thank you, Ma’am.