In his address to the nation, the king said: “Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
The king said the “affection, admiration and respect” the queen inspired “became the hallmark of her reign”, adding: “And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.”
The king said that when the queen came to the throne: “Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times. In the course of the last seventy years 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.”
Charles began his address by telling the nation: “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.”
In an address to the nation, the king said his mother pledged to devote her life “to the service of her peoples” on her 21st birthday in 1947.
He said: “That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life.
“She made sacrifices for duty.
“Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.”
The King pledged himself to the “constitutional principles” at the “heart of our nation” and to serve the UK and other countries where he is head of state with “loyalty, respect and love”.
He said: “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 or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”
The King said his eldest son and heir, William, assumes the Scottish titles “which have meant so much to me”, and succeeds him as the Duke of Cornwall.
He said: “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.
“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.
King Charles added he wished to “express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”.
The king ended his address by saying: “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’.”
MPs applauded the king’s address after they watched it in silence in the Commons chamber.
Some could be seen wiping away tears during the speech.
The House of Commons had been suspended for a short period to allow MPs to watch the speech on televisions in the chamber.
Mourners are beginning to take their seats in St Paul’s Cathedral for the service of prayer and reflection which will began at 6pm.
The audio of the King’s televised address was broadcast in St Paul’s Cathedral as hundreds of people gathered for the service. Ahead of the address being played in the cathedral, Charles was referred to as “our new King”.
The first official rendition of God Save the King will be sung at the end of the memorial service for the Queen.
The lyrics to the national anthem will change from “Queen” to “King” and “her victorious” to “him victorious” to mark that King Charles III has now taken over as monarch.
Earlier on Friday King Charles received the heartfelt condolences from the public when he arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as the nation’s new monarch.
The King has greeted well-wishers gathered outside Buckingham Palace to view floral tributes left in memory of his mother, and to thank the crowds for offering their sympathy.
It was the King’s first walkabout and encounter with the public since his accession.
Charles and the Queen consort travelled to the head of state’s official residence from Balmoral to view floral tributes left in memory of his mother, and to thank the crowds for offering their sympathy.
In a touching moment Charles put his hand around his wife who appeared close to tears after the couple shook every outstretched hand and acknowledged words of sympathy from the crowds during a 15-minute walkabout at the place gates.
There was an outpouring of support for the new monarch and his wife from well-wishers, with one calling out “God save the King” when the couple first arrived, another shouting out “We love you King Charles and we loved your mum”, and spontaneous cheering.
King Charles III and the Queen view tributes left outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.