“Throughout her life, her majesty the queen — my beloved mother — was an inspiration, an example to me and all my family. And we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example,” he said in the address televised across the world.
King Charles III promised “lifelong service” in his speech Friday, echoing his mother’s pledge made 75 years prior on her 21st birthday.
His full speech can be viewed below.
“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 endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and and love as I have throughout my life.”
The King also announced his elder son and heir, Prince William, will assume his former titles, including Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall.
“With Katherine 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 center ground, where vital help can be given,” he said. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
His speech was 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.
The moment the queen passed away, Charles became King Charles III, but he will officially be proclaimed King by the Accession Council on Saturday. His coronation is likely months away. In Queen Elizabeth II’s case, her coronation came 16 months after her father, the late King George VI, died.
“It could take up to a year. This hasn’t happened for a long time, 70 years now. So I think they’re working through the principles,” Royal broadcaster Ian Pelham Turner said during an appearance Wednesday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “There’s a lot of protocol.”
“In 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,” the king said. “In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”