The late queen’s funeral will be held on September 19, says Buckingham Palace

sovereign responsibilities, which have now passed to me,” Charles said in a speech before being sworn in. “As I take on these responsibilities, I will strive to follow the inspiring example I have been given.”

King Charles III pledged to follow his mother’s example of “service for life” in his inaugural address to Britain and the Commonwealth on Friday, after ascending the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Speaking for the first time as monarch from Buckingham Palace, the 73-year-old thanked his “dear Mum” for her “love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations.”

“Let flights of angels sing to you to rest,” Charles, dressed in a black suit and tie, said in an emotional speech, citing a quote from Hamlet. “As the queen herself did with such unwavering devotion, so now do I solemnly pledge, for the remaining time that God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.” As Charles spoke, dignitaries attended a somber memorial service for the late queen at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which saw the first official performance of the updated national anthem “God Save the King.”

Charles, who had his first audience with British Prime Minister Liz Truss as monarch, will be formally proclaimed king to the public at 11:00 am (10:00 GMT) on Saturday. In his speech, he said that his eldest son William, who is rising in the line of succession to become heir apparent, would become the new Prince of Wales.

William’s wife, Kate, will also assume the title of Princess of Wales once held by her mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997. Charles also expressed “love” for his youngest son Harry and Harry’s wife, Meghan. , who has negatively criticized the royal family. when the couple separated to start a new life in the United States. Elizabeth II reigned for an unprecedented 70 years, a source of stability in a period of extraordinary change, whose death prompted heartfelt tributes around the world.

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The new king and other members of the royal family will observe a period of prolonged mourning from Friday until seven days after his funeral. The date of the funeral, which will be attended by the Heads of State and Government, has not yet been officially announced, but it is expected to be on Monday, September 19. As Britons adjusted to the shock of the departure of their only head of state since after World War II, tributes poured in for one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

Flowers were also left at British embassies around the world, including in Moscow, currently at odds with London over the war in Ukraine. Buckingham Palace in London became the epicenter for thousands of mourners, with flowers piling up as a sign of the queen’s reverence.

“I came to pray,” said Joan Russell, a 55-year-old project manager from northeast London, tears streaming down her cheeks as she looked at the tributes lining the gates. “She has been our monarch all my life and she has led by example, she has learned, she has listened, wherever she goes, she is our hallmark,” she added, noting that “Charles has had a great example to follow.” .

The Premier Truss offered the nation’s support to Charles, saying he now had an “impressive responsibility” at the start of two days of special tributes to his mother in parliament. “Even while he is in mourning, his sense of duty and his service is clear,” she said. Truss lavished praise on the queen as “one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known”.

“His legacy will live on through the countless people he met, the global history he witnessed and the lives he touched,” the prime minister said. While the government has said that organizations are not required to suspend their activities during the period of national mourning, many do so out of respect.

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The Premier League postponed all matches this weekend, the TUC unions’ coordinating body postponed its congress which was due to start on Sunday, while rail and postal workers halted forthcoming wage strikes as Britain is hit by skyrocketing inflation and spiraling energy prices.

Elizabeth’s public appearances had become more rare in the months since she spent an unscheduled night in hospital in October 2021 for undisclosed health tests. She was seen smiling in Tuesday’s latest official photos of her as she named Truss as the 15th Prime Minister of her reign, which began with Winston Churchill in Downing Street. But the queen, visibly thinner and more stooped, leaned on a cane. Her hand was also bruised dark blue-purple, causing concern.

Jane Barlow, the photographer who took the last public pictures of the queen on Tuesday, said she was “fragile” but in “good spirits”. The queen’s closest relatives rushed to her bedside Thursday at Balmoral, a private residence nestled among thousands of acres of moorland and grouse woodland in the Scottish Highlands.

However, some of her closest relatives, sons Andrew and Edward, and grandsons William and Harry, arrived after she died that afternoon. Her body is expected to remain there initially before being taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sunday. From the Scottish capital, her coffin will travel to London on Tuesday for a site accessible to the public.

Officials expect more than a million people to file past the catafalque in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the parliamentary complex, ahead of a televised funeral at Westminster Abbey opposite.

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