King Charles III 'deeply grateful' for parliament condolences in his first address to MPs

The monarch will later lead a procession behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin in Edinburgh

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King Charles III made a historic address to MPs and peers for the first time on Monday, before leading a procession behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin.

The new monarch and Queen Consort took their seats on thrones at the foot of steps in Westminster Hall as Lords and MPs offered their condolences.

“As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living,” he said.

“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history, which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment to the betterment of us all.”

The Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith, pledged his loyalty to the new monarch and presented an address on behalf of the House of Lords.

He said the queen was both “a leader to and a servant of the people”.

Her humility and integrity commanded the respect and captured the imagination of peoples and nations across the globe, he said.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who presented an address on behalf of MPs, said the loss of the queen was felt around the world.

The king then took to the stage to say he was “deeply grateful” for the condolences from the lords and commons.

He said the queen “set an example of selfless duty which, with God's help, and your counsel I am resolved to follow”.

“The great bell of Big Ben, one of the most powerful symbols of our nation, throughout the world and housed within Elizabeth Tower, also named for my mother's diamond jubilee, will mark the passage of the late queen's progress from Buckingham Palace to this parliament on Wednesday,” he said.

“My Lords and members of the House of Commons. We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.

"While very young, her late majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government, which lie at the heart of our nation.

“This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty, which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”

The hall then sang God Save the King before the royal couple returned to Buckingham Palace.

The UK mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II - in pictures

Updated: September 12, 2022, 1:32 PM
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