King Charles III said that he could “feel the weight of history” as he made his address in Parliament’s Westminster Hall.
The monarch and Camilla, the Queen Consort, attended Parliament on Monday morning, ahead of travelling to Scotland.
In his address, the King described Parliament as the “living and breathing instrument of our democracy”.
“As I stand before you today, I cannot but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all,” he said.
“Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy. Their dual traditions are ancient.”
The King also made reference to the connections within Westminster to his late mother.
“We see in the construction of this great hall and the reminders of medieval predecessors of the office to which I have been called,” he continued.
“And the tangible connections to my darling late mother which we see all around us.
“From the fountain in New Palace Yard which commemorates the late Queen’s Silver Jubilee, to the sun dial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee.
“The magnificent stained glass window before me for the Diamond Jubilee.
“And so poignantly, and yet to be formally unveiled, your most generous gift to Her late Majesty, to mark the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee, which we celebrated only three months ago with such joyful hearts.
“The great bell of Big Ben, one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and housed within the Elizabeth Tower, also named for my mother’s Diamond Jubilee, will mark the passage of the late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.”
The King pledged to follow the example of “selfless duty” that was set by the Queen during her reign.
He said: “My Lords and members of the House of Commons, we gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.
“While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people, and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation.
“This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty, which with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”