he King paid a heartfelt tribute to his ‘beloved mum’ last night and in a historic televised address pledged her life in service to the nation as she had.
Sitting at a mahogany desk next to a photograph of the Queen he had chosen at Clarence House, Charles III appeared on the verge of tears at times – praising his late mother as an inspiration and example to his entire family.
He said: ‘We owe her the sincerest debt a family can owe to their mother; for his love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.
“To my darling Mum, as you embark on your last great journey to join my dear late Dad, I simply want to say this: thank you.
“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and the family of nations you have served so diligently for all these years.”
In a final fanfare borrowed from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he added: “Let ‘flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.”
In Act 5 Scene 2 of Hamlet, Horatio holds his dying friend in his arms and pays homage to the Prince of Denmark saying, “Now crack a noble heart.” Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing your rest.
The line is often used as a mark of respect when someone dies.
Her signature “angels” also featured in the musical composition Song for Athene, by John Tavener and performed at Diana’s funeral in 1997.
The King’s moving address, his first to the nation and the Commonwealth as a monarch, was seen by millions across the UK and around the world.
MPs watched the speech in silence in the Commons chamber, some visibly wiping away tears, before applauding at the end of the speech.
The nine-and-a-half-minute broadcast was taped on Friday afternoon in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace where the late Queen Elizabeth II delivered many of her Christmas messages.
The king echoed the vow his mother had made on her 21st birthday – to dedicate her whole life, however long, to service.
Her Majesty added: “This promise of service for life, I renew it to you today.
“As the Queen herself has done with unwavering devotion, I too solemnly undertake, for the time remaining
God grant me to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.
The monarch used his address to make William and Kate the new Prince and Princess of Wales, an honor not always bestowed immediately on the heir to the throne.
He also presented an olive branch to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, expressing his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”.
The king, dressed in a black suit, white shirt, black tie and black and white checkered handkerchief in his breast pocket, paid tribute to his ‘beloved wife’ Camilla, the new queen consort.
He said: “I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the unwavering dedication to duty that I have so relied upon.”
He vowed to uphold the monarchy’s dedication to the Church of England and its values.