First Portrait of King Charles Revealed — and Includes a Clear Tribute to His Mother

King Charles III
King Charles III

Yui Mok/AP/Shutterstock King Charles

King Charles III has his first official portrait as monarch.

A new image of the 73-year-old monarch was released in coordination with his first speech, which was broadcast on Friday, one day after the death of Queen Elizabeth. The photo showed Charles seated at a desk in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace. Displayed was a photo of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, sporting one of her signature brightly colored outfits complete with a wide-brimmed hat.

“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow,” King Charles began. “Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.

King Charles and Queen Camilla traveled from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth died, to Buckingham Palace in London on Friday. Charles walked along the gates of the palace, where mourners left flowers and other tributes to the late Queen. He also greeted members of the public gathered outside the royal residence.

The couple, dressed in black, were welcomed by mourners singing “God Save the King” and cheering for them.

Their arrival in London Friday was poignant, as it marked their first time in the capital city as monarch and consort.

King Charles III views floral tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace
King Charles III views floral tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace

Samir Hussein/WireImage King Charles and Queen Camilla

Charles and Camilla, 75, had traveled to the Queen’s side in the Scottish Highlands after Buckingham Palace announced that her doctors were “concerned” for Her Majesty’s health. Charles had been in Scotland Wednesday, carrying out engagements.

There, they were joined by Princess AnnePrince WilliamPrince AndrewPrince Edward, his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Harry, who was in Europe this week with wife Meghan Markle for a series of charity visits.

Prince Harry was the first to be seen leaving Balmoral Castle Friday morning, followed by King Charles and Queen Camilla; Prince William was seen departing the royal family’s Scottish residence later in the day.

On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth died at age 96 at her beloved Balmoral Castle.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” officials said in a statement. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The Queen’s eldest son immediately ascended to the role of monarch upon her death, becoming King Charles III. Camilla will also now be styled as Queen Consort, an honor Queen Elizabeth directly expressed her wishes for in February.

Charles was further referred to as “His Majesty, the King” on letterhead from Buckingham Palace, in his first statement as monarch following the death of his mother.

King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort greet the crowd upon their arrival Buckingham Palace in London, on September 9, 2022
King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort greet the crowd upon their arrival Buckingham Palace in London, on September 9, 2022

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images King Charles and Queen Camilla

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” King Charles said.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” he continued. “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held,” the King concluded.

As he becomes the third King Charles in British history, the new monarch has abandoned his former title, the Prince of Wales. It is expected that his eldest son, Prince William, will inherit it. The title of Prince of Wales is typically given to a male heir apparent. Edward VIII held the title for the bulk of his life before ascending to (and within months, abdicating) the throne.

However, the title of Prince of Wales won’t immediately pass to William upon his grandmother’s death: It must be given to him by the sovereign. Charles received the title at just 9 years old from his mother.

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