King Charles III delivers historic first address to British nation

London, UK - Britain's King Charles III on Friday delivered a historic televised address to the nation, paying tribute to his "darling mama," the Queen, in his first public broadcast as monarch.

King Charles III delivering his first address to the British nation as monarch.
King Charles III delivering his first address to the British nation as monarch.  © REUTERS

Charles said of his "beloved mother" the late Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday: "We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example".

He added: "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.'"

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The King pledged his whole life as service as the new sovereign, just as the Queen did, saying: "That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today".

And he used his speech to announce that he had made his son William the Prince of Wales, with Kate the Princess of Wales. In a sign of an effort at reconciliation amid past troubles with the Sussexes, he also expressed his "love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas."

Charles also paid tribute to his "darling wife" Camilla, calling her "my Queen Consort."

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King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrive at Buckingham Palace on Friday.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrive at Buckingham Palace on Friday.  © REUTERS

The King also set out his changing role, as he steps away from the charity work that shaped his life as the heir to the throne.

"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," he said.

The monarch pre-recorded the speech, which was just under 1,000 words and lasted around nine-and-a-half minutes in the Blue Drawing Room of the royal residence in central London.

He is expected to be proclaimed king on Saturday, but the official coronation will take weeks to organize.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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