King Charles IIIhas pledged to “seek the welfare” for all Northern Ireland’s people and described how his family have felt their “sorrows” as he praised his mother’s relationship with Northern Ireland.
Speaking at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down,the royal residence in Northern Ireland, the new monarch said the lateQueen Elizabeth IIwas aware of her position in bringing together divided communities “whom history had separated.”
Stormont Assembly speaker Alex Maskey gave the new monarch a message of condolence, on the death of his mother, on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland.
Responding to this the King said: “Through all those years, she never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and for its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family had felt, and for whom she had a great affection and regard.
“My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts."
With his Queen Consort and significant figures from Northern Ireland watching, the King said about the late Queen: “Now, with that shining example before me, and with God’s help, I take up my new duties resolved to seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.”
Speaking of his own family sorrows in regards to the history of Ireland, the King was likely referencing the death of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten, who was killed by the IRA in 1979.
Prior to his death, Mountbatten had been something of a mentor to Charles, who viewed him not just as a great-uncle but as an ‘honorary grandfather,’ who he would write to asking for advice.
In 1974, Mountbatten had even tried to broker a marriage between Charles, then 25, and his granddaughter Lady Amanda Knatchbul, although this was ultimately unsuccessful.
In 2015, Charles, then Prince of Wales, visited Count Silo, Ireland, on a pilgrimage to the site where his great-uncle had been killed.
The night before Mountbatten’s assassination, IRA member Thomas McMahon has placed a remote controlled bomb on Mountbatten’s boat.
This was then detonated on 27 August 1979, with Mountbatten and his family on board.
The IRA claimed responsibility three days after the bombing, describing the attack as "a discriminate act to bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country."
This week, OK! celebrates the life of Her Majesty the Queen with a commemorative special in honour of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Be sure to pick up your copy.
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