Prince William honors King Charles at coronation concert with heartfelt speech: ‘We are all so proud of you’
Prince William is paying tribute to his father in a special way.
On Sunday, the British royal family gathered on the grounds of Windsor Castle for their coronation concert. The festivities took place a day after King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, were crowned at London’s Westminster Abbey.
The show featured an eclectic lineup of performers, including Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Andrea Bocelli, among others. At one point, the 40-year-old prince took to the mic to share a heartfelt speech dedicated to his father, 74.
"I want to say a few words about my father and why I believe this weekend is so important," the father of three told a cheering crowd.
That’s when William pulled out his best dad joke.
"But don’t worry, unlike Lionel, I won’t go on all night long," he said in a nod to the "All Night Long" singer.
"As my grandmother said when she was crowned, ‘Coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future,’" William said, quoting Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation speech from 1953. "And I know she’s up there, fondly keeping an eye on us. She would be a proud mother."
"For all that celebrations are magnificent, at the heart of the pageantry, is a simple message: service,’" said the Prince of Wales. "My father’s first words on entering Westminster Abbey yesterday were a pledge of service. It was a pledge to continue to serve. Because for over 50 years, in every corner of the U.K., across the commonwealth and around the world, he has dedicated himself to serve others, both current and future generations, and those whose memory must not be neglected."
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William then referred to the causes about which the king is passionate, including the environment and helping young people get a fresh start in life.
"Take the natural world – he warned us of the risks to our planet’s health long before it was an everyday issue," said William. "Or the Prince’s Trust [his charity]. It has supported over a million young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to realize their ambitions."
"And, perhaps most importantly of all, my father has always understood that people of all faiths, of all backgrounds and all communities deserve to be celebrated and supported," William continued.
It’s noted that Charles’ coronation highlighted various faiths. It was the first ceremony to include representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, as well as the first in which female clergy took part.
"Pa, we are all so proud of you," William said. "I also want to express my pride and gratitude for the millions of people who serve in the forces, in classrooms, hospital wards and local communities. I wish I could mention you all. Your service inspires us, and tonight we celebrate you, too."
"I commit myself to serve you all, king, country and commonwealth," William concluded. "God save the king."
During the coronation ceremony, William kneeled before the king and vowed to serve him. Known as the "Homage of Royal Blood," it echoes the vow that William’s grandfather, Prince Philip, made to Queen Elizabeth at her 1953 coronation. During that ceremony, the Duke of Edinburgh vowed to be his wife’s "liege man of life and limb."
For his father’s coronation, William said, "I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God."
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Charles became king upon the death of his mother in September 2022. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was 96.