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.
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“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.
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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.