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‘My life will change’: Five key takeaways from King Charles’s historic address | UK News

King Charles III has given his first address to the nation after the Queen’s 70-year reign came to an end on Thursday.

His Majesty paid tribute to his “beloved mother” as he made a “solemn pledge” to serve the country with “loyalty, respect and love”.

Here we take a look at five key takeaways from the historic address.

‘My life will change’

King Charles developed a reputation for being outspoken when he was the Prince of Wales.

He is well-known for having championed causes such as fighting climate change and advocating medicines and alternative therapies.

Tears, cheers, and a kiss for the King – live updates

As the Prince of Wales, he was sometimes accused of meddling in political and social matters which might not concern him, and believed he should be able to speak freely about issues which he felt were important to the country.

However in his address to the nation, he hinted he will change his behaviour now he is head of state.

“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities,” he said.

“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”

King Charles’s change of approach would be in line with comments he made in 2018 where he acknowledged being heir-to-the-throne and being monarch were two very different roles.

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Harry and Meghan

King Charles also sent his love to his son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been living in California since stepping back as senior royals in 2020.

The Queen is said to have been disappointed after Harry and Meghan failed to consult her about their decision.

King Charles said in his address: “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”

Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral shortly after his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II passed away.
Image:
Prince Harry arrived at Balmoral shortly after his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II passed away

William and Kate

In one of the key moments of the speech, King Charles said he was “proud” to hand his son William his former title of Prince of Wales.

The monarch added he had been “so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty”.

Meanwhile, William’s wife Catherine has become the first person since Diana to use the title Princess of Wales.

The King said: “With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”

The couple’s children are now Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Wales.

King Charles also said William “now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me”.

“He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades,” he added.

EMBARGOED TO 2230 BST WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7 Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, accompanied by their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a settling in afternoon at Lambrook School, near Ascot in Berkshire. The settling in afternoon is an annual event held to welcome new starters and their families to Lambrook and takes place the day before the start of the new school term. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2022.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte

Tributes to the Queen

The King paid tribute to his “beloved mother” as an “inspiration and example to me and to all my family”.

“Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well-lived; a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing,” he said.

The King continued: “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.”

Read more:
King Charles in pictures
The events that shaped Britain’s new King

King Charles also said his mother’s “dedication and devotion as Sovereign never waivered” and the “affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign”.

He added: “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.”

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Watch the King’s speech in full

How he plans to lead

King Charles said his faith is “deeply rooted” in the Church of England and he was “brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

What we learned from King Charles’s first address to the nation | UK News

It was our first opportunity to hear from him. A new King, a man expected to lead the UK in tribute and a son in mourning.

The sense of loss for his “dear Mama” clearly profound.

In the most heart-warming terms, he expressed what she had meant to him, his siblings and her grandchildren.

Memorial service for Queen held at St Paul’s Cathedral – live updates

“We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding, and example,” he said as he shared a more personal side, her “warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people”.

It was a reminder of how Queen Elizabeth II often kept the family together during the most challenging times, as he went on to tactfully but clearly answer the questions many have asked ahead of this new reign.

He confirmed that Camilla, in recognition of her devotion to public service, will be Queen Consort.

He announced that Prince William and Kate are now to be known as the Prince and Princess of Wales, a royal source later saying that Kate “appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path”.

And despite everything what has happened, the King also publicly expressed his love for Harry and Meghan.

As he takes on this new role at the age of 73, he acknowledged he has already led a full life as heir, he has his own style but like his mother, his pledge was clear.

“That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today,” he said, reflecting on that famous speech his mother made to serve until the end when she was just 21.

Read more:
What changes with the Queen’s death – and when?
Photographer reveals story behind Queen’s last public picture

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God Save The King sung for first time

But the more pressing question about whether we will continue to see his campaigning streak now he is head of state was also seamlessly addressed.

A man who’s been criticised at times for straying too close to the line of political neutrality, and even over stepping it, he said: “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.”

The baton seemingly now being passed to his son William, not just as his heir, but giving us a strong sense he will rely on him and Kate to “continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given”.

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His final lines set the tone for the coming days.

“To my darling Mama,” he said. “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’,” he said.

It conveyed a softness, a deep appreciation that while now is his moment to step up, it is most importantly a time for measured heartfelt reflection in memory of a monarch who meant so much to so many.