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The King said he was “deeply grateful” for the formal condolences expressed by MPs and peers during the poignant ceremony held in Westminster Hall. He 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 and Queen Consort, dressed in black, arrived for the “addresses to the sovereign” to a fanfare of trumpets from the Household Cavalry.
Minutes earlier, the King’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, dressed in their distinctive Tudor uniforms of red, white and yellow, and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, wearing hm helmets with white swan feather plumes, slow marched to the steps of the Great Hall to stand in watch over the monarch.
MPs and peers were seated under the medieval timbered roof, with Prime Minister Liz Truss and Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer, along with former premiers Boris Johnson and Theresa May in the crowd.
With Camilla by his side, the King listened as Lord Speaker, Lord McFall, read condolence on behalf of peers conveying “the deep sympathy felt by this House in the grief Your Majesty has sustained by the death of our late beloved Queen Your Majesty’s mother of blessed and glorious memory”.
The King appeared amused when Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle mentioned the Glorious Revolution in his address to the monarch.
Sir Lindsay offered “our heartfelt sympathy” to Charles and the Royal Family in his speech, before recalling the many occasions in which the Queen visited Westminster Hall.
He recounted the time she came to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution, before joking: “It is perhaps very British to celebrate revolutions by presenting an address to Her Majesty.”
The Glorious Revolution permanently established Parliament as the ruling power of England and, later, the United Kingdom, representing a shift from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.
The addresses to the sovereign is a traditional ceremony that highlights the constitutional relationship between the monarchy and parliament.
It was held in Westminster Hall, which has borne witness to some of the most momentous turning points over the last 1,000 years. King Charles I was tried and condemned to death in the hall in 1649.
It has been the venue for the lying-in-state of Prime Ministers and Royals, including Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother and, from tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth II.
Westminster Hall has also been used for celebrations to mark important moments, such as the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
To mark her Diamond Jubilee, a stained glass window was installed. Charles said: “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, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all.
“Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy.”
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.”
“And the tangible connections to my darling late mother we see all around us – from the fountain in New Palace Yard which commemorates the late Queen’s Silver Jubilee to the sundial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee, the magnificent stained glass window before me for the Diamond Jubilee.
“And, so poignantly and yet to be formally unveiled, your most generous gift to her late Majesty to mark the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee which we celebrated only three months ago, with such joyful hearts.
“The great bell of Big Ben – one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and housed within the Elizabeth Tower also named for my mother’s Diamond Jubilee – will mark the passage of the late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.”
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