UNITED KINGDOM: Britain’s new Monarch King Charles III, paid a heartfelt tribute to his late “beloved mama” Queen Elizabeth on Friday, vowing to serve as monarch with “loyalty, respect and love” as he has for more than seven decades.
In his first address to the nation, Charles paid tribute to his mother for her devotion to her family and those she ruled, saying her loss had brought great sadness and “a sense of loss beyond measure”.
Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and towering on the world stage for 70 years, died on Thursday at her home in Scotland at the age of 96, prompting an outpouring of tributes from home and around the world.
Her death which meant he became king and head of state of the UK and 14 other realms including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea was “a moment I dreaded”, Charles previously told the Prime Minister Liz Truss.
“Queen Elizabeth had a life well lived; a promise kept by fate, and in her passing there is the deepest sadness,” Charles said in his speech, delivered from Buckingham Palace with a photo of her on display beside him.
“I renew this promise of lifetime service to all of you today.
When news broke of her failing health, he and other members of the royal family rushed to be by the queen’s side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle.
He returned to Buckingham Palace in London on Friday, where he was greeted by cheers, applause and the crowd singing “God Save The King”.
In his televised message, 73-year-old Charles reflected on his mother’s vow she made in 1947 at the age of 21 to dedicate her life to the service of her nation, a vow he vowed to emulate “for the rest of the time that God gives me”.
“It was more than a promise: it was a deep personal commitment that defined her entire life. She sacrificed herself for duty,” he said.
“Wherever you live in the UK or realms and territories around the world, and whatever your background or belief, I will endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”
Charles said he had made his eldest son William the new Prince of Wales, a title he had held for decades and traditionally held by the heir to the throne. William’s wife Kate becomes Princess of Wales, a role last held by the late Princess Diana.
He also expressed his love for his younger son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, whose stepping down from their royal roles two years ago caused deep turmoil in the family and sparked a major crisis in the monarchy.
On Saturday, Charles will be officially proclaimed king at a Council of Accession meeting held at St James’s Palace, followed by proclamations across the country in a display of traditional British pomp and ceremony. Read more
Britain has declared a period of mourning until the state funeral for Elizabeth, which will take place in just over a week. Dignitaries from around the world are expected to arrive, including US President Joe Biden, who announced on Friday that he would attend.
An online book of condolences was opened and thousands gathered at the royal palaces to pay their respects to the woman her grandson Harry once described as the “grandmother of the nation”, with some shedding tears as they laid flowers.