KING CHARLES III has spoken of the deep roots of his Christian faith in his first public address as monarch.
In an address, broadcast at the start of a service of remembrance in St Paul’s Cathedral for the late Queen, his mother, on Friday evening, King Charles spoke of the duty and respect for others that stemmed from his upbringing in the Church of England.
“In the course of the last 70 years,” he said, “we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.
“The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of realms — of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud — have prospered and flourished.
“Our values have remained, and must remain, constant,” he went on. “The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England — the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.
“In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms, and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.”
He continued: “As the Queen herself did, with such unswerving devotion, I too, now, solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation, and wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background and beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love, as I have throughout my life.”
King Charles spoke of his “beloved Mother . . . darling Mama” as “an inspiration and example to me and to all my family”. Hers was “a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept”. He mentioned in particular her warmth, humour, and her “unerring ability to see the best in people”.
The emphasis in his short address was on service: “In her life of service, we saw that abiding love of tradition together with that fearless embrace of progress which makes us great as nations,” he said.
“The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became a hallmark of her reign. I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and I honour her life of service.” And he concluded: “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”