King Charles III delivers emotional tribute to 'darling mama' as he renews her promise of 'lifelong service'

9 September 2022, 18:12 | Updated: 9 September 2022, 19:01

King Charles gives address to the nation following Queen's death

By Sophie Barnett

King Charles III has paid tribute to his "darling mama" and renewed her promise of lifelong service in his first address to the nation.

The 73-year-old monarch, who will be proclaimed at the Accession Council tomorrow, said Queen Elizabeth was "a life well-lived" in an emotional tribute.

He said: "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."

The King pledged his whole life as service as the new sovereign just as the Queen did, saying: "That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today".

"We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example," he said.

"To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.

"Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May 'flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest'."

Read more: A nation meets its new King: Crowds greet Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace

Read more: Grieving Harry consoles airport worker before flying back from Balmoral after Queen's death

King Charles III has vowed to renew the Queen's promise of lifelong service.
King Charles III has vowed to renew the Queen's promise of lifelong service. Picture: Royal Family

He also used his first speech as sovereign to announce that he had created his son William the Prince of Wales, with Kate the Princess of Wales.

He also appeared to offer an olive branch to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, expressing his "love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas", a symbol of his bid for reconciliation amid past troubles.

He also paid tribute to his "darling wife" Camilla - calling her "my Queen Consort", saying he can "count on her loving help" and praising her by saying: "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."

The King's first televised address was played at the start of the public service of remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral.

Thousands of people, including new Prime Minister Liz Truss and a number of other senior ministers, gathered at the cathedral to pay tribute to the Queen from 6pm.

Read more: Prime Minister Liz Truss and senior ministers attend remembrance service for the Queen

Read more: Andrew Marr's poignant reflection on the life of the Queen

Thousands of people gathered to watch King Charles III make his first speech to the nation.
Thousands of people gathered to watch King Charles III make his first speech to the nation. Picture: Alamy

Earlier on Friday, King Charles and the Queen Consort Camilla were greeted by cheering crowds as they arrived at Buckingham Palace, their new residence.

The grief-stricken King arrived by car after touching down at RAF Northolt earlier.

He spent time shaking hands and greeting well-wishers outside the palace gates.

King Charles and the Queen Consort enter Buckingham Palace

One member of the public could be seen kissing the King's hand as he slowly worked his way along the line of those assembled.

In a touching moment Charles put his hand around his wife who appeared close to tears after the couple shook every outstretched hand and acknowledged words of sympathy from the crowds during a 15-minute walkabout at the place gates.

They had travelled from Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, where they had raced to be at the bedside of the Queen after she was put under medical supervision.

The monarch's four children - Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward - as well as her grandsons Harry and William flew to Scotland as soon as Buckingham Palace made the announcement.

But the 96-year-old's two eldest children were the only ones to make it to Balmoral before she died, it's understood.

On Saturday, His Majesty the King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10am.

Photographer describes 'frail but smiley' Queen during last official photograph

It will be held in the State Apartments of St James's Palace, London, and will be attended by the Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Cabinet.

"The Accession Council, attended by Privy Councillors, is divided into two parts," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"In Part I, the Privy Council, without The King present, will proclaim the Sovereign, and formally approve various consequential Orders, including the arrangements for the Proclamation.

"Part II, is the holding by The King of His Majesty's first Privy Council. The King will make his Declaration and read and sign an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve Orders in Council which facilitate continuity of government.

"The Accession Council will be followed by the Principal Proclamation, which will be read at 11.00hrs from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James's Palace. The Proclamation will be read by Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers of Arms and the Serjeants at Arms. This is the first public reading of the Proclamation."

The Queen is expected to be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in 10 days' time, on Monday, September 19.