King Charles III looked tired and drawn in the moments after filming his touching tribute to his “darling Mama” Queen Elizabeth II, as seen in behind-the-scenes footage released Saturday by the British Royal Family.
The new monarch’s grief was evident as he swallowed hard and steeled himself to pose for pictures after he wrapped up filming his first address as head of state, which was broadcast Friday one day after the queen died at age 96.
“To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you,” he had said a few minutes before. “Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.”
He sat stock still and ramrod straight beside a framed portrait of the late queen as crew members dismantled lights and an official photographer snapped away — then let his shoulders sag as the portraitist finished his work.
“Am I done?” the king asked quietly as he rose. He cracked a brief smile as he thanked the staffers for their work, then walked away alone, his head low.
The poignant clip was released soon after Charles, 73, was formally named Great Britain’s new king in a rare meeting of Great Britain’s Accession Council.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me,” he said Saturday in a personal address to his privy council.