LONDON — King Charles III has delivered his first public address, in an emotionally charged pre-recorded broadcast which began at the same time as a Friday evening service to commemorate his late mother began at St Paul’s Cathedral.
It came just a day after Queen Elizabeth died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, and after Britain’s new head of state traveled south to London, arriving at Buckingham Palace alongside of his wife Camilla, now the queen consort, and before expecting crowds of thousands.
He spoke from the same room Elizabeth had often used for her Christmas TV shows, but his tone was mostly dark and serious as he paid homage to her not just as a monarch, but as a mother.
Here are three of the main takeaways:
1. As King, He Must Hand Over Charities
For decades, Charles has focused much of his attention and intellect on programs and passions that have interested him: underprivileged youth, climate, agriculture and even community development are topics close to his heart. heart and who have inspired his efforts. But he acknowledged in his speech that the charities and organizations he has supported or led must now be led by others, as he takes on the additional constitutional roles and responsibilities of royalty. “This important work will continue in the trusted hands of others,” he said.
2. It promises continuity
The new king insisted that an essential part of his mission as monarch would be to provide some form of consistency in matters both temporal and spiritual, as he said his mother had done, despite enormous social, political and cultural changes across Britain over the past seven decades. He said that although state institutions have changed, and despite various challenges, he said UK values have remained constant and should continue to do so. As the new head of the Church of England, he said his own faith had helped him develop a sense of duty to others and to respect the British system of parliamentary government.
3. The new queen consort has shown ‘loyal public service’
He focused on the important role that two women had already played in his life, his mother and his wife, but also how the latter, Camilla, would continue to support him during this time and the years to come. He said her new post as queen consort was a recognition of her own “public loyalty”. He seemed eager to play his own ability to meet what he called the “demands” of this new role, but also – in the most moving words of his entire delivery – he thanked the woman he called his ” darling mom” for her love and devotion.