London: King Charles the IIIrd said on Friday that he will follow his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, in serving the people of the United Kingdom and its territories across the world with “loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life”.
In his first address to the nation as King, made from Buckingham Palace, he also announced that he is making his son, Prince William, the heir to the throne by conferring the title of Prince of Wales on him. He said that his wife, Camilla, would become his Queen Consort.
Paying tribute to the late monarch, he said that she was “an inspiration” and an example to him and to his family.
“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.”
Recalling that 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, he said: “That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life.
“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.”
“I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and I honour her life of service,” King Charles said.
He said, “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.”
Noting that his life will change as he takes up his “new responsibilities”, the King said: “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.”
Stressing that this is “also a time of change for my family”, he said he will “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.”
King Charles also said that William, apart from the Prince of Wales, “now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me” as well as succeeding him as Duke of Cornwall.
“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.”
He also mentioned his youngest son – the Duke of Sussex – and his wife, saying: “I express my love for Prince Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”