Speed Reads

the king's speech

King Charles III pledges 'lifelong service' in 1st address since queen's death

King Charles III has delivered his first address since officially becoming Britain's new monarch.

In a televised address Friday, Charles expressed "profound sorrow" over the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, remembering her as an "inspiration," to whom his family owes "the most heartfelt debt." 

"Queen Elizabeth's was a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing," Charles said. "That promise of lifelong service, I renew to you all today."

The king reflected that his mother's life was defined by her "profound personal commitment" to the people, also remembering her for her "warmth, humor, and an unerring ability always to see the best in people." He went on to "solemnly pledge myself throughout the remaining time God grants me to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation."

In his address, Charles confirmed his son, Prince William, will officially become duke of Cornwall and prince of Wales, the titles that "have meant so much to me." William's wife, Catherine, becomes the new princess of Wales. The address somewhat surprisingly included a mention of Charles' son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, who dramatically left the royal family in 2020 and moved to California, later leveling allegations of racism.  

"I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives oversees," Charles said. 

Charles will be formally proclaimed king on Saturday, while the queen's funeral is expected to take place around Sept. 18. He concluded his speech by thanking his late mother "for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years."