Sep 9, 2022 - World

King Charles III delivers first speech after Queen Elizabeth's death

King Charles III greets well-wishers as he arrives at Buckingham Palace.
King Charles III greets well-wishers as he arrives at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

King Charles III remembered his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as an "inspiration" who showed "love, affection, guidance and understanding" during her reign in televised remarks from Buckingham Palace Friday.

The big picture: It was Charles' first address to the United Kingdom since the death of his mother and his ascension to the throne, which set in motion a carefully choreographed mourning period.

  • The speech, which was pre-recorded, aired before a national service of remembrance for the queen at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
  • Charles, 73, became King Charles III immediately after his mother's death. He is the oldest person to assume the British throne.
  • He has already met with Prime Minister Liz Truss, according to BBC News. The two reportedly spent half an hour together.

What he said: "The queen, my beloved mother was an inspiration, an example to me and to all my family and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance and understanding," he said.

  • "The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign," he added.
  • "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 said.

Charles greeted crowds outside of Buckingham Palace Friday, joined by his wife Camilla, who is now the queen consort. He directly spoke and shook hands with people who shared condolences for the queen's passing.

What's next: The king has called for a "Royal Mourning" period for seven days after the queen's funeral, according to the Royal Family.

  • A funeral date has not been announced.
  • “I don’t know what the details are yet but I’ll be going,” President Biden told reporters, per the White House pool
  • Charles' will officially be proclaimed the king Saturday morning in a ceremony that will take place at St. James's Palace.

State of play: Charles has been preparing to take the crown for his entire life.

  • He is the first British heir to earn a university degree and grow up in the media's spotlight.
  • That spotlight brought attention to his complicated divorce from Princess Diana. He has also spent the bulk of his career weighing in on modern-day issues, such as the environment, the AP notes.
  • Charles had previously hinted at how he will manage the royal family as king. He will likely cut down the number of working royals and attempt to reduce expenses. He has also suggested he won't weigh in on modern-day issues as much as he has in recent years.

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