King Charles III addresses the world for the first time by paying tribute to his mother and our late Queen. Highlights from his speech:
I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow.
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.
In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life – whether it be short or long – to the service of her people.
That was more than a promise. It was a profound personal commitment, which defined her whole life.
In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition together with that fearless embrace of progress which makes us great as nations.
The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became a hallmark of her reign.
I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and I honour her life of service.
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.
When The Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were 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.
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.
As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself throughout he remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.
Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world and whatever maybe your background and beliefs I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”
My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities.
It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply.
But I know 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 darling wife Camilla. 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.
(Images: ITV News)