'My life will change': Five key takeaways from King Charles's historic address

·4-min read

King Charles III has given his first address to the nation after the Queen's 70-year reign came to an end on Thursday.

His Majesty paid tribute to his "beloved mother" as he made a "solemn pledge" to serve the country with "loyalty, respect and love".

Here we take a look at five key takeaways from the historic address.

'My life will change'

King Charles developed a reputation for being outspoken when he was the Prince of Wales.

He is well-known for having championed causes such as fighting climate change and advocating medicines and alternative therapies.

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As the Prince of Wales, he was sometimes accused of meddling in political and social matters which might not concern him, and believed he should be able to speak freely about issues which he felt were important to the country.

However in his address to the nation, he hinted he will change his behaviour now he is head of state.

"My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities," he said.

"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. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others."

King Charles's change of approach would be in line with comments he made in 2018 where he acknowledged being heir-to-the-throne and being monarch were two very different roles.

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Harry and Meghan

King Charles also sent his love to his son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been living in California since stepping back as senior royals in 2020.

The Queen is said to have been disappointed after Harry and Meghan failed to consult her about their decision.

King Charles said in his address: "I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas."

William and Kate

In one of the key moments of the speech, King Charles said he was "proud" to hand his son William his former title of Prince of Wales.

The monarch added he had been "so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty".

Meanwhile, William's wife Catherine has become the first person since Diana to use the title Princess of Wales.

The King 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."

The couple's children are now Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Wales.

King Charles also said William "now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me".

"He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades," he added.

Tributes to the Queen

The King paid tribute to his "beloved mother" as an "inspiration and example to me and to all my family".

"Queen Elizabeth's was a life well-lived; a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing," he said.

The King continued: "In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.

"That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty."

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King Charles also said his mother's "dedication and devotion as Sovereign never waivered" and the "affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign".

He added: "Every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people."

How he plans to lead

King Charles said his faith is "deeply rooted" in the Church of England and he was "brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others".

"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," he said.

"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 endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life."