King Charles vows to follow Queen Elizabeth's example of 'selfless duty'

·4-min read
King Charles addressed MPs credit:Bang Showbiz
King Charles addressed MPs credit:Bang Showbiz

King Charles has vowed to "faithfully" follow the late Queen Elizabeth's "example of selfless duty".

The 73-year-old monarch was accompanied by his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, when he visited Westminster Hall on Monday (10.09.22) to hear Addresses of Condolence from the House of Lords and the House of Commons in response to the death of his beloved mother last Thursday (08.09.22).

In his speech, Charles quoted Shakespeare and reflected on the "weight of history" around them, including the "tangible connections" to his late mother.

He said: "My Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

"I am deeply grateful for the Addresses of Condolence by the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so touchingly encompass what our late Sovereign, my beloved mother The Queen, meant to us all. As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was “a pattern to all Princes living”.

"As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which Members of both Houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all.

"Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy. That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great Hall and the reminders of Mediaeval predecessors of the Office to which I have been called. And the tangible connections to my darling late mother we see all around us; from the Fountain in New Palace Yard which commemorates The late Queen’s Silver Jubilee to the Sundial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee, the magnificent Stained Glass Window before me for the Diamond Jubilee and, so poignantly and yet to be formally unveiled, your most generous gift to Her late Majesty to mark the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee which we celebrated only three months ago, with such joyful hearts.

"The great bell of Big Ben – one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and housed within the Elizabeth Tower also named for my mother’s Diamond Jubilee – will mark the passage of The late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday."

Charles then went on to pay tribute to the queen's "unsurpassed devotion".

He said: "My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

"We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of The Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples. 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.

"She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow."

The king gave his address following remarks from Lord McFall and Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speakers of the House of Lords and House of Commons respectively.

Lord McFall opened the proceedings with a tribute to the queen, who he described as "joyous", as well as a "beloved and deeply missed mother of the king".

He added: "Our late Majesty’s joyous unstinting and reassuring presence across the years made it difficult to contemplate that type of long and inspiring reign of deep and unparalleled devotion would ever end.

"We, and the nation, closed our eyes to this inevitability. But it has ended."

He said everyone feels "a sense of loss beyond measure” and will remember “her commitment, her kindness, her humour, her courage, and her fortitude, as well as the deep faith, which was the anchor of in her life.

"We and future generations will draw strength from her shining example."

He then pledged the support of the House of Lords to the new king and his queen consort.

He said: "Your Majesty, on behalf of all the members of the House of Lords I pledge my loyalty to you, and wish you and Her Majesty the Queen Consort well.

"We are proud and indeed humbled to welcome you as our King."

Sir Lindsay then touched on the "deep grief" of the king and his family.

He said: "This is a loss that is felt around the world.

"It is a loss to all of us, but we know most of all it is a loss to you, your Majesty and the Royal family.

"Newspapers have been filled with photographs of the late Queen, the most touching have been the glimpses into family life usually sheltered from public life.

"Deep as we know our grief is, we know yours is deeper."

The speaker believes the king will bear his new responsibilities with the same "fortitude and dignity" shown by his late mother.

He added: "To be a king and wear a crown is more to them that see it, than them who bear it."