The new king of England delivers his first speech to the British, dedicating some emotional words to the queen consort Camilla
King Charles III has addressed millions of Britons for the first time amid the sense of collective shock and profound emptiness left by Elizabeth II after 70 years of reign. In a recorded message at Buckingham Palace, after he arrived from Balmoral, the monarch has picked up his mother’s witness and renewed his promise of “long service to the British”.
“When she inherited the Crown, she promised to be at the service of her British all her life, long or short,” Charles recalled, in a solemn tone and with contained emotion. “She turned those words into the deep personal commitment that defined her reign. She has been an example and an inspiration to me and everyone in my family,” he said, adding: “Queen Elizabeth had a life well lived and kept her promise with destiny”.
In the most personal moment of his speech, the 73-year-old king recalled how “affection, admiration and respect” became the hallmark of his reign. “And as any member of the family can testify, she combined those qualities with warmth, humor and an unmatched ability to always see the best in people,” he added.
Charles III has also paid tribute “to the loving support of my dear wife Camilla”, at the moment of remembering that he has received the title of queen consort. She also had affectionate words for his son William and even extended her “love” and her best wishes to Harry and Meghan “across the Atlantic.”
Dressed in a dark suit and tucked in by Camilla, Charles took the first mass bath in front of the Buckingham gate, where he was cheered upon arrival with shouts of “God save the king!” (“God save the king!”). Charles has warmly greeted those gathered and exchanged words with them and has even been kissed by an admirer.
The act will be divided into two parts and will conclude with a declaration and an oath of the new king, who will have to wait, however, several months for the coronation act, as happened with his mother after the death of King George VI.
Charles III will symbolically start his first tour of the country as the new king in Scotland in the coming days, which will later take him to Northern Ireland and Wales. Throughout the week he will preside over various events in London and will join the procession that will finally accompany the coffin on September 19 between Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. Elizabeth II will be buried that day next to the tomb of Philip of Edinburgh in the crypt of St. George’s Chapel.
The heir to the throne spent Thursday night at Balmoral Castle, after having shared the last hours with the queen on her deathbed, in the company of her sister Anne. The rest of the family arrived at the royal residence in Scotland when the queen had already passed away, so quick was the outcome.
The tributes to the queen have begun this Friday with the 96 salvos (one for each year of the queen) fired from various places in London. The queen’s coffin will remain at Balmoral for another day and will be transferred to Holyrood Palace on Saturday and then to St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Thousands of Scots will be the first to pay tribute to Elizabeth II in a religious ceremony that will take place on the same day at St. Giles, and will be attended by members of the royal family.