King Charles III on Monday addressed Parliament for the first time as Britain’s monarch during which he spoke about his ”darling late mother” and pledged that he would follow her in upholding ”the precious principles of constitutional governance”.
Responding to the condolences offered by the House of Commons and Lords at Westminster Hall, the king said he was deeply grateful for the addresses of condolences which so touchingly encompass what the Queen meant to us all.
Paying tribute to his mother, Charles said, ”As (William) Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living.” Charles said he cannot help but ”feel the weight of history which surrounds us and reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions, to which MPs and peers dedicate themselves.” ”Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy,” he said.
He said connections to ”my darling late mother” are seen all around us, from the Silver Jubilee fountain to sundial in Old Palace Yard marking her Golden Jubilee.
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The 73-year-old monarch will now fly to Edinburgh with Queen Consort Camilla to lead a royal procession behind the late Queen’s coffin as it makes its journey from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles’ Cathedral in the Scottish capital. Following a special service to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s life, the coffin will lie-at-rest at the cathedral for 24 hours to allow members of the public to pay their respects.
King Charles III will have an audience with Scottish First Nicola Sturgeon and attend the Scottish Parliament to receive a motion of condolence. On Monday evening, the monarch will hold a vigil with other members of the royal family at St. Giles’ Cathedral, where the coffin will be draped in the Royal Standard flag and the Crown of Scotland placed on top.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me,” Charles said in his declaration on being proclaimed King over the weekend.
”In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world,” he said.
The King is scheduled for a customary tour of all parts of the United Kingdom, with Northern Ireland next on his schedule followed by Wales later in the week.