King Charles III quotes William Shakespeare to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in first Parliament address
King Charles III on Monday addressed Parliament for the first time as Britain's monarch during which he paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
King Charles III gave his first speech to Parliament as the British monarch on Monday. He paid respect to Queen Elizabeth II and vowed to defend "the precious principles of constitutional governance" in the same way that his "darling late mother" had.
The 73-year-old monarch pointed to the numerous reminders of his mother's reign all around the historic Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament complex as he responded to the condolences expressed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords at Westminster Hall in London. He also reflected on the "weight of history."
He quoted William Shakespeare to pay tribute to the Queen, who passed away aged 96 in Scotland on Thursday. "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," said Charles.
"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 said.
Quoting Shakespeare, he noted: "As Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living."
In establishing the tone for his interactions with peers and MPs, Charles referred to Parliament as "the living and breathing instrument of our democracy". He emphasised the "tangible connections to my darling late mother" that could be found everywhere, such as the Big Ben bell, housed in the Elizabeth Tower, which was also given its name in honour of his mother's Diamond Jubilee.
"We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen's dedicated service to her nations and people," the King said.
"While very young her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people. This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty which, with God's help and your councils, I am resolved faithfully to follow," Charles said.
Around 900 members of Parliament and peers gathered for this stage of the constitutional ritual of State Mourning, as they pledged loyalty to the new sovereign.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, read out the condolence message, which was then handed to the new monarch, who Camilla, the Queen Consort, accompanied.
"Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper... There is nothing we can say in the praise of our late Queen, your mother, that you do not already know," said Hoyle.
At the end of the condolence ceremony, the 73-year-old monarch left for Edinburgh with Queen Consort Camilla to lead a royal procession behind the late Queen's coffin as it makes its journey from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles' Cathedral in the Scottish capital.
The coffin will lay at the cathedral for 24 hours after a special service honouring Queen Elizabeth II to allow public members to pay their respects.
King Charles III will meet with Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, then go to the Scottish Parliament to accept a condolence motion.
On Monday evening, the monarch will hold a vigil with other members of the royal family at St. Giles' Cathedral, where the coffin will be draped in the Royal Standard flag and the Crown of Scotland placed on top.
"I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me," Charles said in his declaration on being proclaimed King over the weekend.
"In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world," he said.
The King is scheduled for a customary tour of all parts of the United Kingdom, with Northern Ireland next on his schedule followed by Wales later in the week.
Meanwhile, the journey of the Queen's coffin from Scotland to England will be undertaken by air on Tuesday, when the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, will accompany it to the Bow Room at the monarch's London residence of Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, the coffin will be borne in procession to the Palace of Westminster for lying-in-state at Westminster Hall in London until the day of the funeral on September 19.
Buckingham Palace has issued a detailed advisory for members of the public who plan to queue up to be able to pay their respects during this phase of the mourning. The closed coffin will rest on a raised platform known as a catafalque and people will be able to pass by the catafalque.
Large crowds are expected, with warnings of long queues and delays on public transport and a ban on photography. Visitors will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in, with only a small bag permitted. With thousands expected to turnout, people are warned they may even have to queue overnight with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will keep moving.
(With inputs from PTI)