Charles to new UK PM: I dreaded Queen’s passing; we’ll try and keep everything going

New king meets with Liz Truss in Buckingham Palace, three days after she was appointed by the Queen

Britain's King Charles III (L) greets Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss (R) during their first meeting at Buckingham Palace in London on September 9, 2022. (Yui Mok/Pool/AFP)
Britain's King Charles III (L) greets Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss (R) during their first meeting at Buckingham Palace in London on September 9, 2022. (Yui Mok/Pool/AFP)

Britain’s King Charles III told British Prime Minister Liz Truss Friday that losing his mother was the day he had “been dreading,” but that “we’ll try [and] keep everything going.”

The king met with Truss at Buckingham Palace after he flew from Scotland to London. Queen Elizabeth II had appointed Truss to the role on Tuesday just two days before her death.

With cameras briefly allowed to film the meeting, Truss offered “very, very sincere condolences” to the new king.

Said Charles: “Very good to see you. You’re very kind to come in, I know how particularly busy you are.”

“We mustn’t take up too much of your time, but it’s been so touching… this afternoon, when we arrived here, all those people who have come to give their condolences and flowers,” he said.

Added the new monarch: It’s “the moment I’d been dreading, as I know a lot of people have, but we’ll try [and] keep everything going.”

The new prime minister praised the queen during the start of a special session of Parliament, calling her “the nation’s greatest diplomat” and said her devotion to duty was an example to everyone.

Normal business in Parliament has been suspended and lawmakers will spend two days offering their memories and reflections on the queen. Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III, the new monarch.

In his inaugural address to Britain and the Commonwealth on Friday, King Charles III pledged to follow his mother’s example of “lifelong service.”

Speaking for the first time as monarch from Buckingham Palace, the 73-year-old thanked his “darling mama” for her “love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations.”

“May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest,” Charles, wearing a black suit and tie, said in an emotional address — in a quote from Hamlet.

“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.”

As Charles spoke, dignitaries attended a somber remembrance service for the late queen at St Paul’s Cathedral that saw the first official rendition of the updated national anthem “God Save the King.”

Britain’s King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, Friday, September 9, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. (Yui Mok/Pool Photo via AP)

Charles, who spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role of king, addressed a nation grieving the only British monarch most people alive today had ever known. He takes the throne in an era of unease for both his country and the monarchy itself.

He spoke of his “profound sorrow” over the death of his mother, calling her “an inspiration and example to me and to all my family.”

“That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today,” he said in the 9 1/2-minute address, recorded earlier in the day and delivered with a framed photo of the queen on a desk in front of him.

The king’s speech was broadcast on television and streamed at St Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people attended a service of remembrance for the queen. They included Truss and officials in her government, along with hundreds of members of the public who lined up for tickets.

Britain’s King Charles III looks at floral tributes left outside of Buckingham Palace in London, on September 9, 2022, a day after Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. (Daniel Leal/AFP)

Charles will be formally proclaimed king to the public at 11:00 a.m. (1000 GMT) on Saturday.

The new king and other members of the royal family will observe an extended mourning period from Friday until seven days after her funeral.

The date of the funeral, which will be attended by heads of state and government, has yet to be officially announced but is expected to be on Monday, September 19.

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