King Charles’ speech in full
“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 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 peoples.
“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 waivered, 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. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.
“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.
“In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.
“The institutions of the State have 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.
“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.