'Pa, we are all so proud of you': Prince William pays tribute to King Charles and late Queen during coronation concert

7 May 2023, 22:37 | Updated: 7 May 2023, 22:38

William gave a speech on stage
William gave a speech on stage. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to his father King Charles and late grandmother at the coronation concert.

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The prince delivered his speech in front of a crowd of 20,000 revellers at the star-studded Windsor Castle gala where the royal family gathered en masse to watch singers such as Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

He praised the King's decades of service, his campaigning on green issues and the Prince's Trust charity.

He went on to make a sweet reference to his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, saying: "I know she's up there, fondly keeping an eye on us."

William told his newly crowned father: "She would be a very proud mother."

He also said: "Pa, we are all so proud of you."

By publicly calling Charles "Pa" and expressing the royal family's pride in him, he echoed the speeches his father gave at the late Queen's successive Jubilee concerts, when he referred to her as "Mummy".

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William giving his speech
William giving his speech. Picture: Alamy

William also made his own historic pledge as he thanked the millions who serve in the military, schools, NHS and local communities, saying: "I commit myself to serve you all. King, country and Commonwealth."

More than 20 members of the royal family watched from the royal box as William delivered his speech.

On Saturday, William was the only member of the royal family tasked with paying homage to the King during the ancient coronation ceremony, as he knelt before his father, touched his crown, kissed him on the cheek and vowed to be his "liege man of life and limb".

William’s tribute to King at coronation concert: Pa, we are all so proud of you

The prince began his stint on stage with the words "Good evening Your Majesties".

But he made no other direct mention of his stepmother the Queen.

Camilla was anointed and crowned with Charles in Westminster Abbey.

William launched into a joke about Richie's well known hit All Night Long, saying: "Good evening Windsor! A huge thank you to everyone for making this such a special evening.

"I want to say a few words about my father, and why I believe this weekend is so important.

"But don't worry, unlike Lionel, I won't go on all night long."

The royal box
The royal box. Picture: Alamy

He described how his father's first words on entering Westminster Abbey for his coronation - when he responded to the official greeting by a young chorister - were a pledge of service.

"It was a pledge to continue to serve," William said.

"Because for over 50 years, in every corner of the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world, he has dedicated himself to serve others, both current and future generations, and those whose memory must not be neglected."

William ended his speech saying "God save the King", with the crowd then going into the national anthem.

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen of Take That perform during a concert at Windsor Castle
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen of Take That perform during a concert at Windsor Castle. Picture: Alamy

The show in Windsor saw performances by Katy Perry, Take That, Lionel Richie, and Nicole Scherzinger.

Stars including Hugh Jackman, Pierce Brosnan, Dame Joan Collins, Bear Grylls OBE, Alan Titchmarsh, and Sir Tom Jones also gave pre-recorded video messages in honour of the King throughout the concert, which was hosted by Hugh Bonneville.

At the same time, 10 towns and cities across the country were treated to "spectacular" light displays, while 1,000 drones took to the sky for a UK-first "multi-location drone show".

The light display included the Welsh dragon, spanning 140m, beamed into the sky above Cardiff to the soundtrack of Paloma Faith singing Lullaby, while James Nesbitt performed a spoken word piece written by Daljit Nagra, chair of the Royal Society of Literature.

Hit makers including Katy Perry, who sang Roar and Firework, and Lionel Richie, who played renditions of Easy and All Night Long, entertained the 20,000 strong audience backed by a world-class 70-piece orchestra.

Lionel Richie performs during the concert at Windsor Castle in Windsor
Lionel Richie performs during the concert at Windsor Castle in Windsor. Picture: Alamy
Katy Perry performs during the concert at Windsor Castle in Windsor
Katy Perry performs during the concert at Windsor Castle in Windsor. Picture: Alamy

Take That then took to the stage with Greatest Day, Shine and, to close the show, Never Forget, featuring an intro from The Choristers of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The 300-strong Coronation Choir, conducted by Gareth Malone, performed an uplifting version of the Emeli Sande song Brighter Days, while Steve Winwood sang his hit song Higher Love, accompanied by the Commonwealth virtual choir, with singers from more than 40 Commonwealth countries.

The evening also saw a collaboration between five Royal patronages - The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal College of Music and The Royal College of Art - who came together for the first time to perform Somewhere from West Side Story.

Other collaborations included Andrea Bocelli and Sir Bryn Terfel, who sang You'll Never Walk Alone, and Lang Lang and Nicole Scherzinger, who performed Reflection from Mulan.