King Charles has paid a moving tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth on the first anniversary of her death.
In a break from tradition, the king released a heartfelt message saying how he has been touched by the nation’s “love and support” for the late monarch and recalling his mother’s “long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.” Buckingham Palace also released a previously unseen photograph of the Queen taken on October 16, 1968, as part of an official sitting granted to royal photographer Cecil Beaton.
“In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us,” read the statement in full. “I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.”
While the King was expected to mark the day privately at Balmoral, where the late Queen died a year ago Friday, Charles attended a church service at 10 a.m. Joined by Queen Camilla and several members of the royal family, along with staff from the Balmoral estate, Charles looked emotional following the private memorial service at Crathie Kirk, a small Church of Scotland parish, where the Queen worshipped regularly while at Balmoral.
After the service Charles and Camilla met with well-wishers and accepted bouquets of flowers and words of condolence. The Queen was well known to the congregation of Crathie Kirk and the locals of the surrounding area.
On the day Her Majesty’s coffin was taken from Balmoral to Edinburgh, hundreds of thousands of Scots lined the route to pay their last respects to the monarch. Palace aides told Vanity Fair that the King and Queen carried out a brief walkabout so that they could “express their gratitude” to those who had gathered.
Charles and Camilla will remain at Balmoral Friday before returning to their Birkhall estate following the same tradition of her late Majesty who would always spend her Ascension Day at Sandringham where her father King George VI died.