King Charles III addressed lawmakers and peers on Monday after being officially proclaimed as king following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth. The ceremony took place in Westminster Hall, where the speakers of the House of Lords and House of Commons offered their sympathies to the new king.
In his address, King Charles thanked parliament for their condolences, and pledged to follow his mother’s example of “selfless duty.”
“While very young, her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation. This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion,” he told the assembled lawmakers and peers. “She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”
“As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a pattern to all Princes living.’”
Following his address, in which King Charles also described parliament as “the living and breathing instrument of our democracy,” the new king and his wife, Queen consort Camilla Parker-Bowles, traveled to Edinburgh, where he will meet with Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Queen Elizabeth died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after 70 years on the throne. On Monday, the queen’s coffin will be taken in a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, with the king and royal family members following on foot. A state funeral will take place the following Monday, on September 19.
On Monday, Prince Henry issued his first statement since the death of Queen Elizabeth, thanking his grandmother for her commitment to service, sound advice and “infectious smile.” “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace,” he said in the statement.