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Britain's King Charles III Invokes Shakespeare in His Tribute to His Mother Queen Elizabeth

PTI

Last Updated: September 10, 2022, 20:43 IST

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Britain's King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland, during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James's Palace in London on September 10, to proclaim him as the new King. (Image: AFP)

Britain's King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland, during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James's Palace in London on September 10, to proclaim him as the new King. (Image: AFP)

King Charles III was proclaimed Britain's new monarch on Saturday in a ceremony, steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism, televised for the first time in history

Britain's King Charles III paid a heartfelt tribute to his "darling Mama" in a historic television address and pledged his life to serve the nation as the late Queen Elizabeth II had done. Sitting at a mahogany desk next to a photograph of his mother and wearing a black suit and tie, King Charles III, in his first speech as the new monarch last night, said the "affection, admiration, and respect" the Queen inspired "became the hallmark of her reign".

In an emotional display of his affection, he ended his speech by quoting from William Shakespeare's epic play Hamlet: "May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest". In the final scene of the tragedy, almost every character lies dead on the stage and the titular character is dying in his friend Horatio's arms. When Hamlet passes, Horatio is left alone with bodies all around and looks down at his friend to say a line that we all have heard.

"Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince," says Horatio, before adding: "And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. The famous line is frequently used by people to express their respect when someone dies.

According to the Daily Express newspaper, King Charles III was noted to have included a "subtle mention" to his late ex-wife Diana, Princess of Wales in his first speech as the new monarch. Broadcaster Dawn Neeson noted the quote, an extract from Hamlet, had previously been linked to Princess Diana, the report said.

"The phrase from Hamlet was also sung or read at Diana's funeral. So I do wonder if him choosing that particular phrase was maybe a subtle mention and a nod to his late wife. I do hope that's the case," Neeson told Sky News. His "angels" sign-off also featured in the musical composition Song for Athene, by John Tavener and performed at Diana's funeral in 1997.

In addition to honouring his mother’s memory, Charles III also confirmed Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall would be anointed as the new Prince and Princess of Wales. King Charles III was proclaimed Britain's new monarch on Saturday in a ceremony, steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism, televised for the first time in history.

The throne had passed to the 73-year-old former Prince of Wales following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday and Saturday's ceremony marked his formal declaration and oath-taking at St. James's Palace in London.

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first published:September 10, 2022, 20:43 IST
last updated:September 10, 2022, 20:43 IST