King Charles III pledged “lifelong service” to his subjects in his first televised address to the nation as monarch, in which he paid tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth II.

“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,” he said. “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’.” 

In the pre-recorded message to Britain and the Commonwealth, the King also acknowledged the moment of change felt by Britons and in his own Royal Family. He suggested that given his new responsibilities, his own public interventions -- he has made his views known on issues from architecture to the environment -- would become a thing of the past.

Yet he also said his heir, Prince William, would assume the role of trying to “inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”

He continued: “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”

Earlier, Charles had arrived at Buckingham Palace as the UK entered a period of national mourning, stopping his car before it went through the gates and walking among the gathered, shaking their hands and receiving their condolences. It was a notable and deliberate move, signaling the new head of state is determined to show he would follow his mother’s example by maintaining a close relationship between the Royal Family and the public.

The King will hold a private audience with Liz Truss later on Friday. The UK’s new prime minister -- who only took office herself on Tuesday -- will also give a reading at a remembrance service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Charles automatically became King as soon as the Queen died, but formal recognition will come at a meeting of the so-called Accession Council at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Buckingham Palace will also announce the date and details of the Queen’s funeral arrangements on Saturday, it said in the statement.

US President Joe Biden will be among the world leaders who will attend her funeral.

“In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest,” Charles said in his address. “In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”