First speech of King Charles III: transcript and video

I speak to you today with feelings of deep sorrow. Throughout her life, her Majesty the Queen – my beloved Mother – has been an inspiration and an example to me and my whole family, and we owe her the most sincere debt a family can owe to her. the mother; for her love of her, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived; a promise with fate kept and she is deeply saddened by her disappearance. Today I renew to you all that promise of service for a lifetime.

In addition to the personal pain my whole family is experiencing, we also share with so many of you in the UK, in all countries where the Queen was Head of State, in the Commonwealth and around the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the over seventy years in which my Mother, as Queen, has served the people of many nations. In 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, she engaged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to dedicate her life, be it short or long, to the service of her peoples. It was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment that characterized her whole life. She made sacrifices for her duty. Her dedication and devotion as Sovereign has never wavered, through moments of change and progress, through moments of joy and celebration, and through moments of sadness and loss. In her service life, we have seen that constant love of tradition, coupled with that fearless embrace of progress, that make us great as nations. The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can testify, she has combined these qualities with warmth, humor and an unerring ability to always see the best in people. I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and honor her life of service to her. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with all of you.

When the queen ascended the throne, Britain and the world were still facing the hardships and consequences of World War II and still living by the conventions of yesteryear. Over the past seventy years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the state have also changed. But, through all the changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of the Realms – whose talents, traditions and accomplishments I am so inexpressibly proud of – have thrived and flourished. Our values ​​have remained, and must remain, constant.

The role and duties of the monarchy also remain, as well as the particular relationship and responsibility of the Sovereign to the Church of England, the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In that faith, and the values ​​it inspires, I was educated to have a sense of duty to others and to respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and parliamentary system of governance. As the queen herself did with such unwavering devotion, I too now solemnly pledge, for as long as God grants me, to uphold constitutional principles in the heart of our nation. And wherever you may live in the UK, or in Kingdoms and territories around the world, and whatever your background or beliefs, I will try to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have done all my life.

My life will obviously change as I take on my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to devote so much of my time and energy to the charities and issues that I care so deeply. But I know that this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.

This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my dear wife, Camilla. In recognition of her loyal public service of hers from our marriage seventeen years ago, she becomes my queen consort. I know it will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty that I have learned to rely so heavily on. As my heir, William now takes on the Scottish titles that have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as the Duke of Cornwall and he takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have assumed for more than five decades. Today I am proud to create Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have had the privilege of carrying so much throughout much of my life and duty. With Catherine by her side, our new Prince and Princess of Wales, I know, will continue to inspire and guide our national conversations, helping to bring the marginalized to the center of the ground where vital help can be given. I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.

In just over a week, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth, and indeed as a global community, to rest my beloved mother. In our grief, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example. On behalf of my entire family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever express. And to my dear mum, as you begin your last great journey to reach my dear deceased dad, I simply want to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and the family of nations that you have served so diligently all these years. May “the flights of angels sing you to your rest”.