I speak to you today with deep sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen – my beloved mother – has been an inspiration and an example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the sincerest debt that a family can owe to her mother ; for his love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth’s life was well lived; a promise with fate kept and she is deeply mourned in her passing. This promise of lifelong service that I renew to you today.
In addition to the personal grief felt by my whole family, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where the Queen has served as Head of State, in the Commonwealth and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than seventy years in which my Mother, as Queen, has served the people of so many nations. In 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, she pledged on a Cape Town broadcast to the Commonwealth to dedicate her life, whether short or long, to the service of her peoples. It was more than a promise: it was a deep personal commitment that marked his whole life. She made sacrifices for duty. Her dedication and devotion as Sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss. In his life of service we have seen that abiding love of tradition, and that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations. The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the mark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can attest, she combined these qualities with warmth, humor and an unerring ability to always see the best in people. I pay homage to the memory of my Mother and I honor her life of service. I know his death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share this sense of loss, beyond measure, with all of you.
When the Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still dealing with the hardships and aftermath of World War II, and still living by the conventions of old. Over the past seventy years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many religions. State institutions have changed in turn. But, through all the changes and challenges, our nation and the great family of the Kingdoms – whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud of – have prospered and prospered. Our values have remained and must remain constant.
The role and duties of the monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s special relationship and responsibility to the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In this faith and the values it inspires, I was raised to cherish a sense of duty to others and to hold in the utmost respect the treasured traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and system of government. parliamentary. As the Queen herself has done with unwavering devotion, I too solemnly pledge myself, for as long as God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation. And wherever you live in the UK, or in the kingdoms and territories around the world, and whatever your origins or beliefs, I will strive to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have done throughout my life.
My life will of course change as I take on my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to devote so much of my time and energy to the charities and issues that I care about so deeply. But I know that this important work will continue in the trusted hands of others.
It is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my dear wife, Camilla. In recognition of her loyal public service since our marriage seventeen years ago, she becomes my queen consort. I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the unwavering dedication on which I have counted so much. As heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles that meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and assumes the responsibilities of the Duchy of Cornwall which I have held for over five decades. Today I am proud to create it Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been privileged to bear for so much of my life and duty. With Catherine by her side, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginalized to the center where vital help can be given. I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.
In just over a week, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth, and indeed as a global community, to rest my beloved mother. In our pain, let us remember and draw strength from the light of his example. On behalf of my entire family, I can only offer my most sincere thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever express. And to my dear Mum, as you embark on your last great journey to join my dear late Dad, I just want to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and the family of nations you have served so diligently for all these years. May “flights of angels sing your rest”.