King Charles III delivers a poignant speech after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles addressed the nation on Friday evening

King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday 8th September in Balmoral, on September 9, 2022 in London, England.
(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

King Charles addressed the nation on Friday evening

After Buckingham Palace announced the tragic news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had died on Thursday 8th September 2022, King Charles III addressed the nation in a pre-recorded televised speech on Friday evening.

He opened with a dedication to his late mother, 'I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen - my beloved Mother - was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.

'I pay tribute to my mother's memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss beyond measure with you all.'

The late Queen with King Charles III at the opening of parliament - king charles speech

He touched on the speech the young Princess Elizabeth delivered at the tender age of 21 from South Africa, 'In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life - whether it be short or long - to the service of her people. That was more than a promise. It was a profound personal commitment, which defined her whole life.'

King Charles went on to say that he will renew that lifelong service today and pledged his duty to a life of service. 'I too now solemnly pledge myself throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation. Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world and whatever maybe your background and beliefs I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.'

He made note of the inevitable changes that are about to happen within his life, including not having as much time to dedicate to charities and issues close to his heart.

Camilla and King Charles - king charles speech

He confirmed that his wife Camilla will take on the role of Queen Consort and that William and Catherine will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. He also added that he would be creating his son William as the new Prince of Wales. 'With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.'

He spoke of his love for his youngest son Harry and his wife Meghan, 'I want to express my love to Harry and Meghan who continue to build their lives overseas.'

He closed the speech, with obvious tears in his eyes, with these words:

'And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May "flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest".'

According to 'Operation London Bridge', Charles is set to formally become King tomorrow morning and will be expected to hold his first Privy Council alongside an audience with the Cabinet and the Prime Minister.

He will then begin his tour of the UK, starting with Scotland and then on to Wales and Northern Ireland, before returning for the Queen's funeral on Monday 19th September.

Earlier today King Charles and the Queen Consort, Camilla, stopped on their way into Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds there paying their respects at the gates. They stopped to speak to people, shake their hands and read the notes attached to the flowers.

Our thoughts are with the royal family at this difficult time.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.