In an emotional broadcast speech on Friday, King Charles III swore to continue his late mother’s long career of service to Britain and the Commonwealth and promoted his heir William to the position of prince of Wales.
Charles also expressed his “love” for his estranged younger son Harry and Harry’s wife Meghan in his first vocal statements following the Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
After Camilla was crowned queen consort, the new monarch added that he could “count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla.”
After his mother passed away on Thursday at the age of 96, ending a record-breaking reign of 70 years, Charles said he understood the “sense of loss beyond measure” felt by the general population.
“That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today,” he said.
“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.”
Addressing his “darling Mama,” joining his father, the late Prince Philip, who died last year, “I want simply to say this: thank you,” the new king 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.”
Charles held the titles of duke of Cornwall and duke of Rothesay in Scotland as the queen’s heir; both titles were instantly transferred to William on Thursday.
Prince of Wales, the heir apparent’s highest honor, was still up to the queen to grant or refuse.
“Today, I am proud to create him prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru (in Welsh), the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty,” Charles 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 center ground where vital help can be given.”
Although the date of the queen’s state funeral has not been set, September 19 is the most likely date than I ever could to you.
“In a little over a week’s time, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest,” Charles said.
“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example,” he said.
“On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support.
“They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.”