A subtle nod to Diana? Charles ended his first address as King with Hamlet quote ‘may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’ – lyrics famously sung at the funeral of the late princess
- King Charles referenced song performed at Diana funeral in tribute to Queen
- He ended first address as King with ‘may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’
- It was a Hamlet quote used in music performed at the funeral of Princess Diana
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
King Charles made a poignant reference to a song performed at Princess Diana’s funeral as he paid tribute to his mother the Queen on Friday evening.
The monarch recorded an address tonight in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recorded some of her Christmas messages.
Ending his address, King Charles III said: ‘May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.
It was a reference to lyrics from Song for Athene, which was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana as her cortège departed from Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997.
King Charles referenced lyrics from Song for Athene, which was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana as her cortège departed from Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997
Although the King did not mention his late ex-wife by name in his first address as monarch to the nation, he referenced lyrics from a song performed at her funeral
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday aged 96, at Balmoral Castle, leaving a nation to mourn the adored monarch
The coffin bearing Diana, Princess of Wales, is carried by Welsh Guardsmen through Westminster Abbey during her funeral service in London. Song for Athene includes the line ‘May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’, which the King said in tribute to his mother at the end of his address
The lyrics themselves borrowed the line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Song for Athene was composed by Britain’s John Tavener with lyrics by Orthodox nun Mother Thekla.
Addressing the nation for the first time as King, the monarch said: ‘I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow.
‘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.’
He added: ‘In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.
‘In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.
‘On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support.
Members of the public in St Paul’s Cathedral listened to the pre-recorded address by King Charles III
He said: ‘To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you’
Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Althorp, Prince Harry and King Charles (then Prince of Wales) walk behind Diana, the Princess of Wales’s funeral cortege on September 6
‘They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.
‘And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.
‘Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.
‘May “flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest”.’
As Charles said his speech this evening he sat behind a desk with a posy of sweet peas mixed with rosemary, which represents remembrance.
The vase on the table had three corgis at the base and was in the Queen’s audience room.
During the speech, the King also announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had taken the title of ‘Cornwall’ at the same moment he became the monarch.
As of 6pm this evening, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge are also known as Prince and Princess of Wales.
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