Leaping straight into his new duties upon assuming sovereignty on the heels of his mother’s death, King Charles III delivered his first public address on Friday September 9th.
His speech was streamed to an audience of about 2,000 who attended a remembrance service for the queen at St Paul’s Cathedral, and was also televised for the at-home audience.
The address began with the King’s own expression of “profound sorrow” surrounding his mother’s death, as he paid tribute to her long legacy and promised to carry on her promise of lifelong service.
“Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen — my beloved Mother — was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today. 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”, he said.
“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. 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 endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life”, the King added.
The King went on to reflect on the vast changes that have been seen in the country throughout the Queen’s lengthy reign, and promised to embrace the diversity that has been built upon in that time.
” In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of Realms – of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud – have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant. The role and the duties of Monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government”, he said.
Charles’ first day of duties saw him travel back home to London.
He was greeted at Buckingham Palace by well-wishers who sang the national anthem, which has been adjusted to to reflect the change in the Monarch and is now called “God Save the King”.
There he met with Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen in the final days of her life.