As a mother, so son.
Invoking the spirit of service while simultaneously acknowledging the intensity of loss, King Charles III gave his first Christmas speech after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away.
The king, 74, opened his address Sunday in the church’s quire, where his mother delivered the same speech in 1999: “I am standing here in this lovely chapel of St. George at Windsor Castle, so near to where my loving mother, the late queen, lies put to rest with my darling father.
“I am reminded of the extremely moving letters, cards, and notes that so many of you wrote to my wife and me, and I cannot express how much I appreciate your kindness and concern for our entire family.”
Added him: “For those of us who have lost loved ones, Christmas is an especially difficult time. Every time the seasons change, we are aware of their absence, and we treasure our memories of them.” The longest-reigning monarch ever, the queen passed away in September at the age of 96.
When the queen passed away, Charles succeeded to the throne right away. His coronation is expected to take place in May. He donned a dark blue suit for his live Christmas address on television. Charles stood near a Christmas tree in contrast to Elizabeth, who frequently gave the yearly address while seated at a desk.
The monarch also discussed his mother’s belief in God as well as their common belief in other people. He paid tribute to the “selfless commitment of our Armed Forces and Emergency Services who work constantly to keep us all safe, and who performed so beautifully while we mourned the loss of our late Queen,” in addition to the medical professionals, educators, and public servants.
He also discussed religions other than Christianity: “Once more, our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and gurdwaras have come together to feed the poor and offer love and support all year long. The most amazing manifestation of loving our neighbor as ourselves is such genuine unity.”
In the taped message, the monarch expressed sympathy for those who were having a difficult time getting by “during a time of immense fear and difficulty.” The United Kingdom, like certain other regions of the world, is dealing with rising inflation, which has put many households in a cost-of-living dilemma.
Nurses, ambulance crews, teachers, postal employees, and train drivers went on strike last month, putting pressure on the U.K. administration of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. According to opinion surveys, there is strong support for the employees, particularly nurses. Unions want salary increases that are on pace with inflation, which in November was 10.7%.