Charles III’s first speech as king. The day after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, his son Charles finally spoke in front of the camera. A most anticipated speech for anyone facing a difficult time in the UK. During her lifetime, the sovereign, who died at the age of 96, had achieved the feat of bringing together the British, without ever giving her opinion on political issues. A task that seems very delicate for the new king, nicknamed on many occasions “the trainee”, because of his advanced age without having been crowned.
During his televised speech, King Charles III paid tribute to his mother who knew how to touch the hearts of all his subjects. “I speak to you today with a feeling of deep sadness” he began by affirming and continuing: “My beloved mother was an inspiration, an example for me and all my family. We share with you, in the Kingdom United, in all the countries of the Commonwealth and throughout the world, a great feeling of gratitude for her 70 years of reign where she served so many people”.
By addressing his country, the monarch renewed his will to serve the British people. He then rolled out a program answering many questions such as religion, reaffirming his loyalty to the Anglican Church but also revealing that he could no longer serve the charities for which he had committed. “My life will of course change with these new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much time to my charities,” he explained. It was his son, Prince William, who thus became Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall.
Regarding his other son, Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan Markle, King Charles III expressed his love to them “as they build their lives abroad”. His wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, was also honored. Her last words were directed for her mother in a tender farewell message. “My dear mother, I would like to say to you: ‘this is your last journey to go find dad’. I would simply like to say to you: ‘thank you’. I hope that troops of angels will accompany you in your sleep”.
This afternoon, after leaving Scotland where his mother bowed out, the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms enjoyed a walkabout in front of Buckingham Palace. Embraces, greetings, handshakes… King Charles III takes his new role very seriously, he who is, in British history, the heir who waited the longest before acceding to the throne.
Prior to her return to London, the bells at St. Paul’s, Westminster and Windsor rang to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. By early afternoon, 96 cannon shots (one for each Queen’s year) had been fired from Hyde Park. From this Friday, a national mourning began until the days of the funeral of Elizabeth II. In a press release released by Buckingham Palace, the royal family should observe a seven-day mourning period after the funeral of the former sovereign. As for the day of the Queen’s funeral, it should be a public holiday throughout the country.
This Saturday, September 10 at 11 a.m., Charles III will be proclaimed king by the Council of Succession before a group of senior MPs, senior officials and Commonwealth commissioners at St. James’s Palace. What about his coronation? We might have to wait a few more months. Like his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned more than a year after her accession to the throne in February 1952.