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King Charles Praises Parliament As "Living Instrument Of Our Democracy" In Westminster Hall Speech

King Charles III has addressed Parliamentarians for the first time since he became Head of State (Alamy)

3 min read

King Charles III has praised Parliament as the “living and breathing instrument of our democracy” as he addressed parliamentarians at a ceremony in Westminster Hall for the first time as Head of State.

Charles also commented on the “commitment” of MPs and Peers during a ceremony in which he received condolences from the speakers of the House of Lords and House of Commons. 

Speaking from Westminster Hall this morning, the King said that he felt “the weight of history” surrounding him as he paid tribute to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died last Thursday. 

“Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy,” he said. 

“That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great hall, and the reminders of medieval predecessors of the office to which I have been called.” 

The King pledged to “faithfully” replicate the Queen’s “selfless duty” in his role as head of state.  

“My Lords, and members of the House of Commons we gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples," he said. 

“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.” 

His comments followed tributes to the Queen by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hall and Lords Speaker Lord McFall. 

Hoyle reflected on two days of tributes to the Queen already paid by MPs who have remarked on her “sense of duty, her wisdom, her kindness”. 

Addressing Charles directly, Hoyle told Westminster Hall: “Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper. 

“We offer our heartfelt sympathy to you and all the Royal Family. 

“We know that there is nothing we can say in the praise of our late Queen, your mother that you will not already know.” 

He spoke after Lord McFall who shared his own memories of the “treasured Queen”. 

“Her humility and integrity commanded the respect and captured the imagination of peoples and nations across the globe,” Lord McFall said. 

“Her late majesty's joyous, unstinting, and reassuring presence across the years, made it difficult to contemplate that her long and inspiring reign of deep and unparalleled devotion would ever end.” 

The King and the Queen Consort will now fly to Edinburgh ahead of a service to celebrate the Queen’s life this afternoon. 

Westminster Hall is the oldest existing part of the Palace of Westminster and will play a crucial role in this week’s proceedings. From Wednesday, it is where the Queen will lay in state for four days ahead of the funeral at Westminster Abbey next Monday. 

There have been warnings that queues for the public to see the Queen as she lies in state in Westminster this week could be many hours and miles long, as many thousands of people are anticipated to turn out. 

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