King Charles made his first address as King Charles III on Friday, and said his mother Queen Elizabeth’s 96 years demonstrated “a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept,” and pledged in his first speech as king to serve his people as she did.
The 73-year-old new Monarch address was broadcast nearly 24 hours after his mother’s death was announced, also named his son and heir, Prince William, as Prince of Wales, a title usually held by the male heir to the throne, as well as his successor as the Duke of Cornwall, holding responsibilities “which I have undertaken for more than five decades.”
The new King says that William’s wife Catherine, currently the Duchess of Cambridge, will become Princess of Wales, a title previously held by Charle’s first wife, Princess Diana, who dies in a car crash in 1997 roughly one year after their divorce.
The King however signaled no new role for his younger son and American-born daughter in law, saying simply, “I express my love to [Prince] Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
Charles nine-minute address was recorded at Buckingham Palace after his return from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where he and Queen Consort Camilla were at Elizabeth’s bedside, centered on the woman he called “my darling mama,” whose 70-year reign was the longest serving heir in British history.
“Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen, my beloved mother, was an inspiration, an example to me, and to all my family,” the king, wearing a black suit, white shirt and black striped tie, said. “And we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.”
Charles continued, “When the queen came to the throne, Britain, and the world was still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times. In the course of the last 70 years, we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.”
“To my darling mama,” he said, in a voice freighted with emotion, “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.”
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