King Charles III, in his first address to the nation as king, remembered his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday at age ninety-six, as an “inspiration” who exuded “love, affection, guidance, and understanding” during her seven-decade-long reign.
He also made clear his intention to carry on his mother’s legacy while honoring her service.
“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty 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 could owe to their mother,” King Charles III said during a nearly nine-minute-long pre-recorded televised remarks from Buckingham Palace on Friday.
“That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today,” he continued. “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. 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 endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love.”
“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 centerground, where vital help can be given,” he said.
“I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he added.
In concluding his speech, King Charles III showed appreciation for the public’s support and addressed his mother directly.
“To my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my late papa, I must say only this: Thank you,” he said. “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.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Friday told reporters that he will be attending Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
“I don’t know what the details are yet but I’ll be going,” he said before boarding Air Force One in Ohio.
Biden also revealed he had not yet spoken to King Charles III. “I know him. I haven't spoken to him,” he said. “I did not call him yet.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.