King Charles appears in high spirit as he delivers first Commonwealth Day address
King Charles III delivered his first Commonwealth Day speech on Monday, urging the nations to “unite and be bold” in order to reach its “near-boundless potential” as force for good.
The 74-year-old, in his first Commonwealth Day address as monarch, says the diversity of the 56 member states continues to ‘amaze and inspire’ him.
Charles appeared in high spirits to send a strong message to his people amid growing republican sentiment and questions about the Commonwealth’s future.
The monarch said: “Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Our shared humanity contains such precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.”
He added: “This extraordinary potential, which we hold in common, is more than equal to the challenges we face. It offers us unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it.”
The monarch, whose theme was “forging a sustainable and peaceful common future”, said the Commonwealth had an “incredible opportunity, and responsibility” to create a future that was in harmony with nature and preserved the planet for future generations.
He added: “The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.”
In his historic address, the new King also paid a special tribute to the late Queen, telling the congregation that the service was “an occasion of particular pride” for his beloved mother, from whose example he drew strength.
The Commonwealth secretary-general, the prime minister of Samoa, high commissioners, senior politicians and dignitaries from across the UK and the Commonwealth were among the guests of honour in the 2,000-strong congregation.
Also attending were athletes from the home nations who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last summer, as well as faith leaders, and more than 750 schoolchildren and young people from throughout the UK.
King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince and Princess of Wales and members of the royal family have entertained the members of the Commonwealth community at a Buckingham Palace reception.