“It is my most sorrowful duty to announce you to the death of my beloved mother, the queen,” the regent, 73, said on Saturday, September 10, while addressing the accession council at St James’s Palace. “I know how deeply you, the entire nation — and I think I may say the whole world — sympathize with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered. It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister [Princess Anne] and my brothers [Prince Andrew and Prince Edward] and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss.”
Charles went on to address the 70-year rule of his late mother, who died on Thursday, September 8, at the age of 96.
“My mother’s reign was unequaled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion,” His Majesty added on Saturday. “Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.”
He continued: “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 across the world. In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose sovereign I have been called upon to be, and in the discharge of these duties, I will be guided by the council of their elected parliaments.”
The Accession Council’s Saturday proclamation— which was broadcast on television for the first time — also saw Charles’ wife, Queen Consort Camilla, and his eldest son, Prince William, stand at the new monarch’s side.
“I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the crown estate to the government for the benefit of all in return for the sovereign grant which supports my official duties as head of state and head of nation,” Charles concluded his speech. “In carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, to which I dedicate what remains to me of my life. I pray for the guidance and help of almighty God.”
As Charles begins his reign, he has especially leaned on Camilla, 75, and the Duke of Cambridge, 40, for support.
“King Charles calls Camilla his ‘tower of strength,’” a source exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, September 9. “[He] says she makes him a better man. This is obviously a challenging time for him as he transitions into a new era without his beloved mother and he’s incredibly emotional.”
The insider added: “[Charles] knows he’ll never outshine the queen and doesn’t expect to, but he does plan to make a difference in his own, unique way.”