King Charles III pledges to serve nation as UK mourns late queen

King Charles III has said he feels “profound sorrow” over the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and has pledged to carry on her “lifelong service” to the nation.

Charles, who spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role of king, made his first address to the nation as monarch on Friday. He became king on Thursday after the queen’s death.

“That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today,” he said. He delivered the address with a framed photo on the queen on a desk.

“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,” he said.

INTERACTIVE – Succession to the British throne – Charles III

Charles said he could “count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla” after she became queen consort.

Charles also elevated his heir William to become the new prince of Wales, the highest title for the heir to the throne.

“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.”

His speech was broadcast on television and streamed at St Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people were attending a service of remembrance for the queen. Mourners at the service included Prime Minister Liz Truss and members of her government.