King Charles III, in his first speech, promises “service for life” | Chicago News


Britain’s King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, Friday, September 9, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. (Yui Mok/Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III promised in his first address to the nation as monarch on Friday to continue Queen Elizabeth II’s “lifetime service” as Britain entered a new era under a new ruler. Around the world, the Queen’s exceptional reign has been commemorated, celebrated and debated.

Charles, who has spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role of king, addressed a nation mourning the only British monarch most people alive today have ever known. He takes the throne at a time of uncertainty both for his country and for the monarchy itself.

He spoke of his “deep sadness” over his mother’s death, calling it an inspiration.

“This promise of lifelong service that I renew to all of you today,” he said in the recorded 9.5-minute speech, which came with a framed photo of the Queen on a desk in front of him.

“As the Queen herself has done with unwavering devotion, I too solemnly pledge myself, during the time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said. -he declares.

The King’s speech was broadcast on television and streamed to St Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people attended a memorial service for the Queen. Mourners at the service included Prime Minister Liz Truss and members of her government.

As the country entered a 10-day period of mourning, people from around the world gathered at British embassies to pay their respects to the Queen, who died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday.

In London and at military sites across the UK, cannons fired 96 shots in an elaborate 16-minute salute marking each year of the Queen’s life.

In Britain and its former colonies, widespread admiration for Elizabeth herself was sometimes mixed with contempt for the institution and the imperial history she symbolized.

On the king’s first full day on duty, Charles left Balmoral and flew to London to meet Truss, who had been appointed by the queen just two days before his death.

He arrived at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s London home, for the first time as a sovereign, stepping out of the state’s official Bentley limousine alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort, to shouts from the crowd of “Well done played, Charlie!” and the singing of the national anthem, now called “God Save the King”. A woman gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Under scrutiny and pressure to show that he can be both caring and regal, Charles walked slowly past flowers piled up at the palace gates for his mother. The atmosphere was both mourning and celebration.

The seismic change of monarch comes at a time when many Britons are facing an energy crisis, soaring costs of living, war in Ukraine and fallout from Brexit.

As the Second Elizabethan Age drew to a close, hundreds of people arrived overnight to mourn together outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and other royal residences, as well as British embassies around the world. Some came simply to pause and reflect.

Finance clerk Giles Cudmore said the Queen had “just been a constant through everything, everything good and bad”.

At Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, mourner April Hamilton stood with her young daughter, struggling to hold back tears.

“It’s just such a big change that’s going to happen,” she said. “I’m trying to hold on today.”

Daily politics were put on hold, with lawmakers paying tribute to the monarch in parliament for two days, starting with a special session in which Truss called the queen “the country’s greatest diplomat”.

Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III.

Meanwhile, many sporting and cultural events have been canceled as a mark of respect, and some businesses – including the Selfridges department store and the Legoland theme park – have closed. The Bank of England has postponed its meeting for a week.

But while Elizabeth’s death portends monumental change for some, daily life in Britain has continued in other ways, with children at school and adults at work facing worries regarding inflation.

Charles, who became monarch immediately after his mother’s death, will be officially proclaimed king in a special ceremony on Saturday. The New King is expected to tour the UK in the coming days.

The Queen’s coffin will be brought to London, where she is expected to rest in state ahead of a funeral at Westminster Abbey, scheduled for around September 19.

Elizabeth was Britain’s longest-serving monarch and a symbol of constancy in a turbulent time that saw the decline of the British Empire and disarray in her scandal-ridden family.

The impact of losing Elizabeth will be unpredictable. The continued public affection for the Queen had helped maintain support for the monarchy during family scandals, including the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, but Charles does not enjoy that kind of popularity.

“Charles can never replace her, you know,” said 31-year-old Londoner Mariam Sherwani.

Like many, she referred to Elizabeth as a grandmother figure. Others compared her to their mothers or their great-grandmothers.

But around the world, her passing revealed conflicting emotions about the nation and the institutions she represented.

In Ireland, some football fans cheered.

In India, once the ‘crown jewel’ of the British Empire, entrepreneur Dhiren Singh described his own personal sadness at his death, but added: ‘I don’t think we have room for kings and queens in the world today”.

For some, Elizabeth was a queen whose crown shone with shards of a magnificent 3,106-carat diamond mined from grim mines in southern Africa, a monarch who inherited an empire that resented them.

In the years following her accession to the Queen, tens of thousands of Kenya’s Kikuyu were herded into camps by British colonizers under threat from the local Mau Mau rebellion. Nations across the continent rejected British rule and chose independence during his first decade on the throne.

She led a power that has at times been criticized for lecturing African nations on democracy but denying many of their citizens visas to visit Britain and experience it firsthand.

While the global fascination with Britain’s queen is baffling to some, others felt a personal connection to a woman who seemed to be ubiquitous, from banknotes used on multiple continents to TV shows like ‘The Crown’ – which suspends the production to honor it.

Adi Trivedi, a 33-year-old British lawyer living in Paris, called Elizabeth a “model of humility, duty, stripping the ego of a state office”. He hopes to join the mourners at Buckingham Palace soon, so that “we can truly celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II together”.


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