LONDON (AFP): Charles III on Monday made his first speech to parliament as king since ascending to the throne following Queen Elizabeth II´s death, hailing the “vital” traditions of British lawmakers.
The country´s new monarch gave his inaugural parliamentary address in front of members of the elected lower House of Commons and the upper chamber House of Lords packed into Westminster Hall.
The oldest part of Britain´s centuries-old parliament, it will host the coffin of his late mother from Wednesday evening for four days of official lying-in-state until her state funeral Monday.
“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,” Charles said.
“Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy,” he added, noting the queen had set “an example of selfless duty which, with God´s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”
Charles will next travel to Scotland, where he will join a procession to accompany the queen´s coffin along Edinburgh´s Royal Mile to St Giles´ Cathedral, before a religious service and vigil later Monday.