The newly made King of England, Charles III, gave his first speech, addressing the commonwealth and the world.
The speech was simple, lasting only nine minutes, but carrying with it the weight of a kingdom in transition. Charles explained that he spoke with feelings of profound sorrow and spoke highly of his late mother the Queen, calling her an “inspiration and example to me and to all my family.”
“Alongside the personal grief that all my family are feeling, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where The Queen was Head of State, in the Commonwealth and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than 70 years in which my Mother, as Queen, served the people of so many nations.”
Charles renewed his mother’s promise that she made at the age of 21 in 1947 to “devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples”:
That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty.
Her dedication and devotion as Sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.
After some more fond remembrances of the Queen, Charles moved on to the changes that will now happen for himself and the royal family, including giving his son Prince William his position as Prince of Wales:
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.
As my Heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me.
He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.
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.
Charles said that his mother would be laid to rest in a little over a week’s time and that he and his family give the people their heartfelt thanks for their support and condolences. Finally, he addressed his late mother directly.
“And 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,” said Charles. “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.’”