LONDON – King Charles III gave his first speech to the nation as British monarch on Friday following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
In his speech, he paid tribute to his mother, saying, "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," King Charles continued.
He recalled his mother’s pledge in 1947, on her 21st birthday, broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to "devote her life, whether it be short or long" to the service of the peoples.
The queen made sacrifices for duty, he said.
The king continued, "I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all."
He said his mother ascended the throne as Britain and the world emerged from World War II and that many things had changed 70 years later, including British society, which he said had "become one of many cultures and many faiths."
He said that while the institutions of the state had also changed, they retained their values.
"The role and the duties of monarchy also remain," King Charles said, highlighting his responsibility towards the Church of England and his own deep-rooted faith.
"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," he said.
"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 endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love, as I have throughout my life."
He said he would no longer be able to keep up with the charities and issues he attended to while heir to the throne, and added this work would continue in the hands of others.
King Charles then turned to family matters.
"This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla," he said.
"In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my queen consort. 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 for his heir, William, Charles said his first-born son would now assume the Scottish titles that the now-king had born while in line for the throne, while also succeeding him as Duke of Cornwall to take on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall – duties which Charles had carried out for more than 50 years.
The king added, "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 center ground, where vital help can be given."
Charles also mentioned his younger son, Harry, saying, "I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas."
The King said in "little over a week's time," his mother would be laid to rest.
On behalf of his family, he thanked the public for their condolences and support, saying they meant "more to me than I can ever possibly express."
"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," King Charles said.
"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'." (Anadolu)