King Charles III yesterday formally addressed Britons and the Commonwealth for the first time as King, in a pre-recorded address from Buckingham Palace’s Blue Drawing Room.Guns fired, bells tolled and mourning crowds greeted the new King as he led Britain into an uncertain new era.
In his speech, he paid a moving tribute to his mother’s “life well lived” and vowed to renew her “promise of lifelong service.”Charles also gave a nod to his own children, announcing that Prince William would take on his former title as the Prince of Wales and expressed his love “for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
The new King said on her late mother: “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’s 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. She made sacrifices for duty.“Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.
“In her life of service, we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which 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 combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.”
Going Down Memory Lane
Going down memory lane, the new king said 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.But said in the course of the last 70 years, “we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.”
He said the institutions of the State had 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.”Continuing, he said: “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.“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.“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. As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me.
“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 centre ground where vital help can be given.
“In a little over a week’s time, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest. In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”The new king ended on a personal note: “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. 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.”
God Save the King!
Earlier yesterday morning, the new monarch was greeted by cheers and cries of “God save the king!” from a waiting crowd as he returned to the palace to assume his birthright at the age of 73.He shook hands and took time to observe some of the many floral tributes left in honor of his mother when he arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly after 2 p.m. local time
Charles traveled to London from Balmoral, the Scottish castle where the royal family rushed to be by the queen’s side in her final moments.Mourners had been gathering outside the palace to lay flowers and to witness history, as a well-rehearsed plan for how the nation will bid farewell to one monarch and welcome another swung into action.
There were gun salutes at nearby Hyde Park and at the Tower of London. 96 rounds were fired, one for each year of Elizabeth’s life. Flags on official buildings are flying at half-staff. The bells at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey rang out at noon (7 a.m. ET), echoed by church bells across the country.The queen’s death at 96 shortly after doctors placed her under medical supervision, came as little shock given her age and recent health issues. But with the country facing unprecedented economic hardship due to spiraling energy costs and inflation, her absence may be felt even more keenly as Britain confronts a crisis without her for the first time in seven decades.
Mixing with Well-wishers
A smiling King Charles III shook hands with some of the thousands of well-wishers gathered outside Buckingham Palace yesterday as he returned to London following the death of his mother.Shouting “God save the King” and with an impromptu burst of the reworded national anthem, members of the crowd greeted Charles and Queen Consort Camilla after they emerged from their car following a flight from Scotland.
The royal standard was raised for the first time in Charles’s reign, as the new monarch and Camilla inspected bouquets of flowers left on the palace fence by members of the public, before entering their new London home.
Yesterday, the new king also held his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was only appointed on Tuesday in one of the queen’s last official acts before her death.At 73, Charles is the oldest monarch yet to ascend the throne of the United Kingdom, following the death of his “cherished” mother at her Scottish estate of Balmoral on Thursday.
Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, died at her home in Scotland aged 96 last Thursday.She died peacefully at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands in the afternoon, marking the end of an era in the United Kingdom.One of the planet’s most recognisable people, she was the only British monarch most people alive today had ever known.
UK Rail, Postal Staff Halt Strikes
British railway and postal workers, at the forefront of sector-wide strikes over a cost-of-living crisis, have halted upcoming walkouts following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.The Communication Workers Union had planned to continue a 48-hour stoppage yesterday but it was called off “out of respect for” the queen, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said in a statement following the queen’s passing in Scotland on Thursday.
The Trades Union Congress said it had postponed its four-day annual conference due to have begun Sunday.“The UK’s trade union movement sends our condolences to the Royal Family on the death of the Queen, and recognises her many years of dedicated service to the country,” the TUC added in a statement.
The RMT rail union said it was suspending walkouts planned for next week and the TSSA transport union has called off its September strikes.Train drivers’ union Aslef has also suspended a planned stoppage.
“RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth,” its general secretary Mick Lynch said in a statement.“The planned railway strike action on 15 and 17 September is suspended.
“We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country,” Lynch added.Network Rail, which manages Britain’s railways, said it welcomed “the unions’ decision to call off” strikes.
Culled from THISDAY