King Charles III paid tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth in his first Christmas message in which he also spoke of the “selfless dedication” of Britain’s public service workers.
In a pre-recorded address from St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Charles thanked those who supported his family following his mother’s death in September.
“I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself and I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family,” he said.
“Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition.”
“In the much-loved carol ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ we sing of how ‘in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light.’ My mother’s belief in the power of that light was an essential part of her faith in God, but also her faith in people – and it is one which I share with my whole heart. It is a belief in the extraordinary ability of each person to touch, with goodness and compassion, the lives of others, and to shine a light in the world around them,” he said.
“This is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society.”
Charles spoke of the “great anxiety and hardship” for those struggling to “pay their bills and keep their families fed and warm”. And he praised the emergency services workers who “worked tirelessly to keep us all safe.”
Charles’ message Sunday was the first Christmas Day message not delivered by the Queen since 1957.
The coronation ceremony for the new King will take place in May.