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King Charles III addresses nation as he, U.K. mourn Queen Elizabeth II

Here's a recap of events on Sept. 9, the day after Queen Elizabeth II's death, including the new King Charles III returning to Buckingham Palace. (Video: Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

LONDON — Britain’s new king, Charles III, addressed the nation for the first time as reigning monarch Friday, praising what he said was the “sacrifice” and “unswerving devotion” of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In a televised speech from Buckingham Palace, Charles pledged to “uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.” The United Kingdom began a period of national mourning for Elizabeth, who served as queen for more than 70 years and died peacefully at her estate in Scotland on Thursday.

Earlier, Charles and his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, shook hands with well-wishers gathered in front of the palace. Bells rang, and a gun salute of 96 rounds, one for each year of Elizabeth’s life, paid tribute to the country’s longest-serving monarch.

Here’s what to know

  • Charles, 73, delivered his inaugural speech to the nation Friday, ahead of a prayer service for the queen at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Here’s what to know about royal succession.
  • Queen Elizabeth’s final, 500-mile journey will take her from Balmoral castle in the Scottish highlands to London.
  • The Washington Post’s obituary of the queen calls her “the seemingly eternal monarch who became a bright but inscrutable beacon of continuity in the United Kingdom during more than seven decades of rule.”
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Here's what to know:

Charles, 73, delivered his inaugural speech to the nation Friday, ahead of a prayer service for the queen at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Here’s what to know about royal succession.
Queen Elizabeth’s final, 500-mile journey will take her from Balmoral castle in the Scottish highlands to London.
The Washington Post’s obituary of the queen calls her “the seemingly eternal monarch who became a bright but inscrutable beacon of continuity in the United Kingdom during more than seven decades of rule.”

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The death of Queen Elizabeth II

The final resting place: Queen Elizabeth II has been buried in her final resting place next to Prince Philip, her husband of more than 70 years, capping an elaborate state funeral, which was invested with all the pomp, circumstance and showmanship that the monarchy, military and state could put on display for a global broadcast audience of millions.

The state funeral: The funeral was full of pageantry and pathos, including a new national anthem, funeral ensembles with affectionate touches in honor of the queen, a personal note from King Charles III, appearances by the young heirs, Prince George and Princess Charlotte and the royal corgis. Here are some of the most memorable moments in photos and videos.

A new monarch: Queen Elizabeth II’s son, Charles, became King Charles III the moment his mother died. He may bring a markedly different personal vision of religion and spirituality to the role. Here’s what to know about him.

We’re following changes in the British monarchy post-Elizabeth. Get the Post Elizabeth newsletter for the latest updates.

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