King Charles III announced in his first public address since Queen Elizabeth II’s death that his heir Prince William is now the Prince of Wales and Kate Middleton has been named the Princess of Wales, a title previously held by the late Princess Diana.
“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty,” Charles said Friday.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”
A royal source said that William and Kate “are focused on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales.”
“Over time Prince and Princess of Wales will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously,” the source adds.
“The new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role, but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Charles made specific mention of his younger son, Prince Harry, and his daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, saying he expressed “his love” to the couple as they continue to build their lives in California after resigning from their royal duties.
“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow,” the newly named monarch, 73, said in the pre-recorded message, calling his late mother “an inspiration and example” to himself and his family members.
“We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example,” Charles continued. “Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived, a promise that destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today.”
The king, who received his new title immediately after the Queen died at Balmoral Castle Thursday at age 96, praised his late mother’s “profound personal commitment which defined her whole life,” adding that “she made sacrifices of duty.”
“Her dedication and devotion never wavered through times of change, through progress, through times of joy and celebration and through times of sadness and loss,” he said.
Charles will embark on a tour of the UK in the days leading up to the late sovereign’s funeral, which is part of the the nation’s 10-step “Operation London Bridge” plan. While he will not be officially named king until Saturday morning, royal author Tina Brown told Page Six she believes he will be a solid leader.
“I actually think he’s going to come into his own,” Brown said. “I think he’s going to be a good king.”