King Charles III has delivered his first King’s Speech and opened the address with a touching tribute to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth III.
The British monarchy largely plays a ceremonial and constitutional role in the governance of the United Kingdom. Whether King or Queen, the speech marks the beginning of a new parliamentary session and outlines the government’s legislative agenda for the session.
The last session of Parliament was opened by Charles’ late mother Queen Elizabeth II in May 2022 when Boris Johnson was prime minister.
King Charles opened his address with a heartfelt and emotional tribute to the late Queen.
“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.
“Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing.
“That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
The first King’s Speech in more than 70 years is delivered to the UK parliament by King Charles pic.twitter.com/KJLQzVUB97
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 7, 2023
Social media reaction to the ten minute announcement was mixed at best with many praising the king while others taking a dimmer view on his words and his position as king:
Congratulations Good luck
— Юлияна Ценова (@TsenovaYul87779) November 7, 2023
Love King Charles!! He is a very wise man!
— ANIMALS DO HAVE A VOICE! Evolved beings care! (@healing_energy4) November 7, 2023
I enjoyed His Majesty King’s Speech, and I am so very excited about the United Kingdom and Her Commonwealth, and all of His Majesty Realms
— Karen Atkins (@KarenAAtkins) November 7, 2023
Why do we still live under a monarchy? Who’s King?
— Jason Bourne (@GoodieeGoods) November 7, 2023
All the pomp and circumstance looks ridiculous
— CindyKOlson (@CindyKOlson1) November 7, 2023
Looks ridiculous. Its 2023! No one person should stand above any other, especially by birthright. Time to end the monarchy.
— tone (@wiz889) November 7, 2023
It was a big day for Britain’s constitutional monarchy showing all the pomp and circumstance with the king travelling from Buckingham Palace to Parliament in a gilded horse-drawn carriage.
The spectacle did draw some anti-monarchy protestors chanting “Not my King” as he passed by.
He addressed his subjects from a golden throne wearing the Imperial State Crown which holds nearly 3000 diamonds.
The focus of the speech was on law and order, and economic growth. It also outlined how the current Conservative government plans to tackle next year’s national election.
The intention to further relax environmental regulations following the lift on a moratorium on North Sea oil and gas extraction in July and proposed legislation to mandate the annual issuance of new oil and gas drilling licenses in the North Sea were also disclosed.
Such measures are in direct contravention to the King who has been a lifelong champion of green causes.
King Charles will be celebrating his 75th birthday on Tuesday, 14 November with a gathering of friends and family at Clarence House in London. Speculation has been rife whether his estranged son, Prince Harry, was invited to attend the celebration or not.