King Charles makes his first address. | POOL

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"Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen, my beloved mother, was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family. We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother, for her love, affection, guidance and example.

"Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss. In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition together with that fearless embrace of progress which makes us great as nations. The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became a hallmark of her reign.

"I pay tribute to my mother's memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you. And I share that sense of loss beyond measure with you all.

"When The Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War and still living by the conventions of earlier times. In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.

"The institutions of the state have changed in turn. But through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of realms - of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud - have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant. The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the sovereign's particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England - the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.

"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. Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world and whatever maybe your background and beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

"This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife Camilla. In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort. I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.

"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. I express my love for Prince Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.

"To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest."