At the time of his historic coronation, insider sources told New Idea that his [Charles] “darling mummy” would be very much been front of his mind as he recited his vows to the Archbishop of Canterbury during the ceremony.
Indeed, even though he was only 4 years old at the time, Charles remembers his mother’s own 1953 investiture like it was yesterday.
“I have vivid memories of the coronation; of my mother coming to say goodnight to my sister and me while wearing the crown so that she could get used to its weight on her head before the coronation ceremony,” Charles has recalled.
In his maiden speech as monarch, the King made the heartfelt pledge to renew his “beloved mother’s” promise of lifelong service, and to replicate the “unswerving devotion” she had for her people.
He knows his own heir, William, Prince of Wales, shares this vision, and hopes it will be passed down, in time, to his grandson Prince George.
“We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding, and example,” he said.
“I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love, as I have throughout my life.”
Charles’ unique apprenticeship as the longest-serving heir to the British throne afforded him decades to shadow and observe his mother in preparation for his own time as monarch.
Although the pair had a distant relationship during Charles’ childhood (with his rearing left to royal nannies), readying her eldest son for his destiny was always a top priority for the Queen.
It’s partly why Charles had such a huge public presence years before he took the throne.
“This is a man who formally began public duties back in 1969,” explained royal commentator Robert Hardman at the time.
“From then on, he was opening hospitals, touring the Commonwealth, and making speeches about the state of the planet.
“He had already absorbed – since before he could walk – that royal life comes both with great privilege but also a duty to others,” Robert added.