King Charles III Can Carry On This Top-Notch Advice From Queen Elizabeth II

Having watched his late mother Queen Elizabeth II keep calm and carry on for seven decades, King Charles III will take a lifetime's worth of wisdom into his reign.

By Sarah Grossbart May 04, 2023 4:00 AMTags
Watch: Why Sarah Ferguson Isn't Attending King Charles' Coronation

Heavy is the head that wears that nearly 5-pound crown. Even if King Charles III will only actually wear the solid gold, ruby- and amethyst-encrusted St. Edward's Crown for a few moments during his May 6 coronation.

Because the metaphorical weight of carrying the monarchy his mother Queen Elizabeth II deftly helmed for more than 70 years until her death last September can feel far more intense. 

Or, as a 21-year-old Charles once put it to a BBC radio program, realizing that he would one day be king was "something that dawns on you with the most ghastly, inexorable sense."  

Because even though the former Prince of Wales has only been on the job for eight months, it's a role he's been preparing for literally his entire life. And Charles, who was only 3 years old when he watched his mother begin her lengthy reign, had quite the formidable tutor.  

All About King Charles III's Reign

In his first address following his mother's death, Charles recalled the speech a then-21-year-old Princess Elizabeth made in 1947 where she pledged "to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples," he detailed. "That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty."

Noting how her dedication to her country never wavered "through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss," he vowed to emulate what he called "the hallmark of her reign." 

Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Insisted the king, "I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government. As The Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation."

And as he calmly carries on, the 74-year-old monarch will also take with him a lifetime's worth of wisdom garnered from his late mother

"It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult."
in her 1957 Christmas broadcast

"Perhaps we make too much of what is wrong and too little of what is right. The trouble with gloom is that it feeds upon itself and depression causes more depression."
in her 1974 Christmas broadcast

"Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom."
in her 1991 Christmas broadcast

"No age group has a monopoly of wisdom, and indeed I think the young can sometimes be wiser than us. But the older I get, the more conscious I become of the difficulties young people have to face as they learn to live in the modern world."
in her 1998 Christmas broadcast

"Over the years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives."
in her 2008 Christmas broadcast

"I know of no single formula for success, but over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal, and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration, to work together."
in a 2010 address to the United Nations General Assembly

"Whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load."
at an Ireland state banquet in 2011

"We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock."
in her 2013 Christmas broadcast

"It's worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change."
in her 2019 Christmas broadcast