King Charles III paid tribute to the Queen and said he feels the “weight of history which surrounds us” as he addressed parliament for the first time as monarch.
In the speech, he quoted William Shakespeare in a tribute to his late mother, saying: “As Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living.”
The King spoke after the Lords Speaker and the Commons Speaker expressed their condolences to His Majesty in a ceremony in Westminster Hall.
King Charles referenced the connections to “my darling late mother” in the 11th-century chamber, such as the “magnificent” stained glass window to honour her Diamond Jubilee.
He said: “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.”
The King said parliament is the “living and breathing instrument of our democracy” as he pledged to follow his late mother’s example of commitment to constitutional government.
He finished his speech by saying: “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.”
As part of the official mourning period following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the King and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, heard tributes from MPs and peers.
The Speakers of both Houses – Sir Lindsay Hoyle for the Commons and Lord McFall for the Lords – presented letters of condolence, which the King responded to.
In his tribute, Sir Lindsay said the death of Queen “is a loss that is felt around the world”.
Lord McFall said the Queen’s “humility and integrity commanded the respect and captured the imagination of peoples and nations across the globe”.
The ceremony ended with both Charles and the Queen Consort standing as the national anthem was played.
Prime Minister Liz Truss, as well as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, joined MPs and peers under the cavernous timber roof of the ancient building in central London.
Westminster Hall, the oldest building on the parliamentary estate, is also where the Queen’s coffin will lie in state from Wednesday for public viewing.
Having left Balmoral yesterday morning, the Queen’s cortege is now at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
King Charles, who will fly to the Scottish capital after his address to parliament, will lead the Royal Family in procession as his mother’s coffin is moved to St Giles’ Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving this afternoon.
Members of the public will be able to view the coffin at the cathedral and pay their respects from 5pm for a period of 24 hours.
During his day in Edinburgh, the King is also due to hold audiences with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Alison Johnstone, the presiding officer of the Scottish parliament.
Later in the evening, the King and the Queen’s three other children will mount a vigil at the cathedral in honour of their late mother.