King Charles has spoken to a grieving nation of his deep loss on the death of Elizabeth II on Thursday. The sovereign’s address was broadcast in St Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm as hundreds of people gathered for the service of prayer and reflection.
Charles, dressed in a black suit and tie, spoke with framed pictures of his mother beside him.
The King described his mother as having pledged to devote her life “to the service of her peoples.”
“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,” said Charles.
“That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty.
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“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,” he continued.
“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.”