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Charles pays emotional tribute to his mother

September 10, 2022

Britain and the world are reflecting on the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and her role in shaping the world. A state funeral is expected to take place within 10 days.

Britain's King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace
King Charles III paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II in his first speech addressing the nationImage: Yui Mok/Pool Photo via AP/picture alliance

Tributes continued to pour in from around the world on Friday, a day after Queen Elizabeth's passing, with her son Charles recounting her life of service in his first speech as king.

In an emotional address, King Charles III thanked his mother for her love and devotion to their family.

"Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing," the new king said.

Charles makes first speech as king

"Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen, my beloved mother, was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family," he said.

Recalling her pledge as a 21-year-old in 1947 to dedicate her life to public service, Charles said it has been "a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life."

He vowed to follow his "darling mama's" example of lifelong service.

The UK has declared a period of mourning until the state funeral for the queen, which will be held in 10 days

Workers pause strikes to mourn Queen

British rail and postal workers announced they would halt their upcoming walkouts, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) called off a 48-hour stoppage Friday "out of respect for" the queen, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) suspended walkouts planned for next week, while the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association called off its September strikes.

"RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth," its general secretary Mick Lynch said in a statement. "We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country," Lynch added.

President Biden to attend funeral

As world leaders expressed their condolences, US President Joe Biden confirmed on Friday that he would attend the state funeral. 

All living former US presidents expressed their thoughts on the queen's passing. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, said Elizabeth made "the role of queen her own with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic."

George W. Bush called Elizabeth II "a woman of great intellect, charm, and wit,'' and Jimmy Carter said her "dignity, graciousness and sense of duty'' were inspiring. 

Mourning a head of state

At the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth was the sovereign of 14 other countries including Jamaica, Canada, Australia, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

New Zealand and Canada will likely observe an official period of mourning, though the details have not yet been announced.

"Regardless of what anyone thinks of the role of monarchies around the world, there is undeniably, I think here, a display of someone who gave everything on behalf of her people," said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a tearful tribute to the queen, whom he first met as a child and admired personally, saying she will "forever remain an important part" of Canada's history.

"She was one of my favorite people in the world," Trudeau said.

Earlier this year Jamaica indicated it wanted to cut ties with the monarchy and become independent, and there have been renewed calls by groups in Australia to become a republic.

Commonwealth reflects on 'servant queen'

The queen's accession to the throne came at a time when Britain's colonial empire was ending and she is credited with embracing the independence of her former dominions.

But she was a fierce champion of the so-called British Commonwealth, an organization of former colonies that spans much of the globe, looping in a third of the world's population and a fifth of its landmass.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape reflected on the Queen after her passing, saying she was "the anchor of our Commonwealth" and "we fondly call her 'Mama Queen'"

The foundation of South African anti-apartheid fighter, the late Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, said that "although ensconced in the pomp, ceremony and lifestyle of royalty and empire, in a world of profound inequality, she was a servant queen.''   

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences, calling Elizabeth "a stalwart of our times.''

jcg/kb (AFP, dpa, AP)