Key points from the King’s first address to the nation

·3-min read
The King named William and Kate as Prince and Princess of Wales (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
The King named William and Kate as Prince and Princess of Wales (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Loving tributes to his late mother and decisive action were central to the King’s first address to the nation as monarch.

Charles used his speech, which lasted almost eight minutes, to pay tribute to his “darling Mama” but spoke warmly of other family members also.

Here are some of the key moments from the speech.

– Paying tribute to the Queen

The King said his “beloved mother was an inspiration”. He said she “was a life well lived” and was “mourned most deeply in her passing”.

He described the “deep sense of gratitude” for the Queen’s 70 years of service.

“She made sacrifices for duty, her dedication and devotion as sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss,” he said.

“The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign,” he said, adding: “She combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.”

He added: “And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.”

– New titles for William and Kate

William is to be given Charles’s Scottish titles, he is to be Duke of Cornwall and takes on responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall.

But Charles also names William and Kate as Prince and Princess of Wales.

“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty,” he 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.”

– Loving words for Harry and Meghan

Albeit a brief snippet of his speech, the King used his address to “express his love” for his second son.

“I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he said.

– Praise for Camilla

Charles spoke fondly of the Queen Consort. He said he would “count on the loving help of my darling wife”, adding: “In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort.

“I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.”

– His pledge as King

Charles said he promised “life-long service”, adding: “I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”

The King 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.”

– Stepping away from some of his charitable roles

Charles said his life would change as he took on new responsibilities and “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”.

– Quoting Shakespeare

The King ended his speech with the words “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.

This is a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

As Hamlet dies in the play, Horatio says: “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”