King Charles III addresses Houses of Parliament for first time as monarch

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King Charles III and the Queen Consort take sit in Westminster Hall this morning. Credit: Sky

King Charles has addressed MPs and peers for the first time as monarch in the Houses of Parliament.

The new King made his address in Westminster Hall, the place where his mother with lie in state from Wednesday.

King Charles III told the MPs and peers in attendance in Westminster Hall: 

“I am deeply grateful for the addresses of condolence by the House of Lords and the House of Commons which so touchingly encompass what our late sovereign, my beloved mother, the Queen, meant to us all.” 

The King said that Parliament “is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy.”

King Charles III said: “We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.

“While very young her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation. 

“This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty which with God’s help and your counsels I am resolved faithfully to follow.”

The King concluded his remarks and there then followed a rendition of “God Save The King.” 

The historic hall, which is the oldest part of the Parliamentary estate and dates back to 1097 and was packed as politicians gathered to hear from the new monarch.

The King will now travel to Scotland to inspect a guard of honour at the Palace of Holyrood before attending a ceremony of the keys on the forecourt.

Members of the public will be able to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen at the Lying-in-State at The Palace of Westminster in London from Wednesday evening.

Ahead of that a ceremonial procession will take place on Wednesday afternoon that will see The Queen’s coffin travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster for the Lying-in-State.

Members of the public can watch the procession in person at the ceremonial viewing areas along the processional route, or at a screening site in Hyde Park. The viewing areas and screening site at Hyde Park will open at 11am on Wednesday 14 September and people will be admitted in order of arrival time.

The ceremonial procession will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.

At the Lying-in-State, The Queen’s closed coffin will rest on a raised platform, called a catafalque, in Westminster Hall and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top. Each corner of the platform will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

The public will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30am on the day of the funeral – Monday 19 September.

Those wishing to attend will be required to queue for many hours, possibly overnight. Large crowds are expected and people are encouraged to check ahead, plan accordingly and be prepared for long wait times.

All those attending the Lying-in-State will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in, with only small bags permitted. Step-free access will be available for those who need it.

The full address for Westminster Hall is 3 St Margaret St, London SW1P 3JX, and the nearest tube station is St. James’s Park which is on the Circle and District Lines. It is also accessible from Westminster station, which is on the same lines and also can be reached on the Jubilee line.

For those unable to travel, key moments of the ceremonial procession and the Lying-in-State will be broadcast on the BBC, Sky News and ITV.

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