Charles III’s first full day as king dominated Britain’s newspapers on Saturday, with front pages dedicated to his emotional tribute to his “darling mama”.
Charles set the tone for his reign in his maiden televised address on Friday, in which he hailed Queen Elizabeth II’s “unswerving devotion” during her record-breaking seven decades on the throne.
His debut performance earned praise from the media, particularly the moment when, choking back tears, he bade farewell to his late mother, who died on Thursday.
The line “to my darling Mama, thank you,” headlined the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Sun, and Daily Star.
The Daily Express led with the Shakespeare quote from Charles that followed, in which he implored: “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
The new monarch looking pensive as he arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as king made the front page image on the Independent, Guardian and The Times, which also carried the words “God Save the King”.
They focussed on Charles’ commitment to serve the country with “loyalty, respect and love”.
The Telegraph’s editorial praised the king’s “warm understanding”, and urged Britons to “cherish” the upcoming ritualistic displays.
“As King Charles III addressed the nation last night, it was with a warm understanding of what his people yearned to hear: fierce love and sharp grief for Queen Elizabeth II; profound understanding of his now awesome responsibility; an expression of the firm faith that will guide him and a solemn dedication to the duty that is now his,” it read.
“The coming weeks are also a glorious reminder that the country she led is as steadfast as she (Elizabeth II).
“Such ritual is a vital expression of a constitution not written in some dusty, sacred text, but living and breathing and shaped every day by those who inhabit its great offices: palace, Parliament, people,” it added.
The Times focused on the king’s pledge to serve his subjects.
“Some have voiced fears that he will be a meddlesome monarch, prone to interfering in politics”, said its analysis.
“To them he emphasised how he would respect ‘the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government’ and ‘uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation’.”
Popular tabloid The Sun said the speech had calmed some fears that Charles would not be able to fill the void created by the passing of Elizabeth II.
“Charles, with his moving first speech, has given us every confidence he will fill that with wisdom, skill and compassion,” said its editorial.
“We have occasionally worried he might be an activist King, a risk to our monarchy’s future. But no longer,” it added.