Britain's King Charles III addresses the Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall in London, Britain, on Monday. Photo by British Parliamentary Recording Unit/EPA-EFE

Britain’s King Charles III addresses the Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall in London, Britain, on Monday. Photo by British Parliamentary Recording Unit/EPA-EFE

Sept. 12 (UPI) — Britain’s King Charles III made his first speech as monarch to both houses of parliament on Monday, during which he promised to follow the example of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles gave the speech from Westminster Hall in London for a traditional ceremony in which lawmakers express their condolences following the death of the former monarch, who died last Thursday at the age of 96.

In his remarks, Charles praised the queen and said he’s “deeply grateful” for lawmakers’ condolences. He also said that he intends to continue his mother’s “selfless duty” to Britain.

The new king called British Parliament “the living and breathing instrument of our democracy” and said the queen sought to uphold the country’s deeply rooted history and traditions.

“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us, and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment to the betterment of us all,” Charles III said.

“My lords and members of the House of Commons, we gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples. She pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation.”

Hundreds of lawmakers crowded into the hall to hear Charles speak. The king gave his remarks in Westminster Hall because British monarchs are actually not allowed in the House of Commons — a tradition that goes back to the 1600s and King Charles I, who at one point attempted to enter the chamber to arrest certain members of parliament.

Charles, dressed in the ceremonial uniform of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales, is accompanied by his sister, Princess Anne, on the drive from Buckingham Palace to the Guildhall for the traditional ceremony admitting him as a Freeman of the City of London. File Photo courtesy of British Information Services | License Photo

Lawmakers didn’t allow it and the confrontation resulted in a nine-year civil war and the eventual beheading of King Charles I. No monarch has been allowed in the House of Commons since.

“Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper,” Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said to the king and Queen Consort Camilla. “There is nothing we can say in the praise of our late queen, your mother, that you do not already know.”

After the speech, Charles left London for Edinburgh in Scotland to lead a procession behind the queen’s coffin as it moved from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Meanwhile on Monday, the English Football League said its postponement of games will last until Tuesday.

When play resumes, the contests will hold a moment of silence before each match and black armbands will be worn by players to honor the late queen. Flags will be flown at half-mast while the country’s national anthem is played.

The postal service said it will suspend mail delivery next Monday for the queen’s funeral. The day has also been declared a national bank holiday.

Charles, dressed in the ceremonial uniform of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales, is accompanied by his sister, Princess Anne, on the drive from Buckingham Palace to the Guildhall for the traditional ceremony admitting him as a Freeman of the City of London. File Photo courtesy of British Information Services | License Photo

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