Britain’s King Charles vowed on Friday to follow the example of his mother Queen Elizabeth in devoting himself to duty. He said this during a solemn address to the nation in which he also described his love for her, and for his wife and children.
Charles became King on Thursday after the Queen died aged 96 at her Scottish residence of Balmoral. On Friday, Charles flew down from Scotland to London and rendered his first speech as sovereign, which was filmed at Buckingham Palace.
“Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing,” the king said in the opening moments of his address, which he delivered with a photograph of her displayed next to him.
“That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
Charles cited the late queen as an inspiration and example to him. He praised her profound personal commitment to serving the people of the United Kingdom and her other Commonwealth realms.
“In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations,” he said.
“As every member of my family can testify, she combined those qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability to always see the best in people.”
Charles spoke of extreme sorrow at losing his mother, saying that he felt it “beyond measure”.
The new monarch also praised his “darling wife” Camilla, saying that she would bring to the demands of her new role as Queen Consort the steadfast devotion to duty on which he had come to rely since they married 17 years ago.
Camilla had been subjected to scrutiny and was despised as the reason for Charles’s split with Princess Diana.
Charles named his heir William and his daughter-in-law Kate the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales, which he and Diana earlier held.
Charles also spoke lovingly of his younger son Harry and daughter-in-law Meghan, a significant gesture towards a couple whose relationships with the rest of the royal family have been strained.
“I want to also express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he said.