Monday, September 12, 2022 4:42 pm
King Charles III promised to faithfully follow the example of his mother in a speech in London’s Westminster Hall as both Houses of Parliament gathered to express their condolence to the new British monarch.
He said this in a short response inside the hall after a formal expression of condolence from lawmakers and peers.
The new King quoted Shakespeare as he spoke movingly of tributes and monuments to his mother inside the Palace of Westminster and spoke of feeling the weight of history as he stood inside the historic room.
Speaking from a gilded lectern, Charles said: “I am deeply grateful for the addresses of condolence.’’
He said the addresses “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.
“The traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment, for the betterment of us all.’’
Also Prime Minister Liz Truss and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer of Labour, joined lawmakers and peers on Monday morning under the cavernous timber roof of the ancient building in central London.
A fanfare of trumpets sounded as the King and Queen Consort, both dressed in black, arrived in Westminster Hall.
The crowds in the hall stood to attention and only sat once the King had done so, before the Lord Speaker, followed by the Speaker of the House of Commons made a formal address to Charles.
The King told the assembled audience that “Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy’’ as he referenced the connections to “my darling late mother’’.
The ceremony ended with Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, standing as the national anthem was played.
Later, in Edinburgh, the Queen will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to nearby St. Giles’ Cathedral.
There her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, will attend a service of thanksgiving for her life.
Charles will lead some of the royals expected to be the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence – on foot.
While the Queen Consort and other members of the monarchy follow in cars.
Members of the public would be able to view the coffin to pay their respects for 24 hours before it will be taken to London to lie in state.
Later in the evening, the King and other members of his family, likely his siblings will hold a vigil at the cathedral in honour of the Queen.
The Duke of Sussex earlier released an emotional statement, promising to “honour his father as the new King’’.
Harry’s in an emotional statement also paid tribute to his grandmother’s everlasting legacy, saying: “you are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.’’
He reflected on his “first meetings with the Queen, including “the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.’’
And in a poignant final line referencing the late Duke of Edinburgh, he said.
“We, too smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.’’
Crowds were expected to swell central London in the coming days, ahead of the Queen’s lying in state in the British capital after being moved from Edinburgh. (dpa/NAN)