Britain's new king included Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, in an emotional inaugural address Friday while renewing the late Queen Elizabeth's long-ago promise of unfailing duty and service. "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," King Charles III, who assumed the crown at his mother's death Thursday, said in a prerecorded speech, the Washington Post reports. He conferred new titles on Prince William and his wife, Kate, and added words of reassurance for his younger son.
"I express my love for Prince Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas," Charles said. The couple live in California and no longer participate in the duties of the royal family. William and Catherine become the prince and princess of Wales, the king announced. Addressing the UK and the Commonwealth, he acknowledged that he's in for changes, as well. "It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply," said Charles, 73. "But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others."
Her son seemed to well up as he thanked Elizabeth—calling her "my darling mama"—for her dedication "to our family and to the family of nations," per Metro. "In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples," Charles said. "That was more than a promise: It was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life." Charles will be officially proclaimed king on Saturday at St. James's Palace, where the Accession Council will meet, per the New York Times. (Read more King Charles III stories.)