10 September 2022

Black backgrounds on front pages as new King mourns passing of his mother

10 September 2022

Many of the papers have taken on black backgrounds to reflect the sombre national mood following the Queen’s death.

The King is shown on every front page as he grieves the passing of his 96-year-old mother and embraces her responsibilities.

The Daily Telegraph is one of a number of papers to feature Charles seated in his address to the nation next to a framed 2010 photograph of his mother, with the paper’s headline quoting him as saying “To my darling Mama, thank you”.

The front-page news article describes the King’s tribute as “deeply personal”, while the paper’s editorial praises the stability afforded by the practice of royal succession.

It writes: “The coming weeks are also a glorious reminder that the country she led is as steadfast as she. Fortified and buttressed by an unrivalled sense of identity, anchored as no other nation by history, geography, time and the monarchy itself, Britons can take confidence in what elsewhere might have proved a moment of self-doubt.

“A country that can bid such an irreplaceable, inspirational and loved figure goodbye with neither tremor nor tantrum, fear nor enfeeblement, is a country that can face the future with confidence and pride. It is days like these, paradoxically, that remind the people of this great nation that we are fortunate indeed.”

The death has been mourned throughout the UK from London to Belfast (Mark Marlow/PA) (PA Wire)

The image of Charles sat at an antique polished desk in Buckingham Palace’s Blue Drawing Room, one of the grand state rooms and where the Queen would sometimes film her Christmas broadcasts, also greets readers of the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and The Times.

The Times opts for five simple words – “I pledge myself to you” – from the King’s speech for its front-page headline, while the Express uses the end of the speech which featured a Hamlet quote: “May ‘flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.”

An explanation piece on page two says there is a deeper meaning to the Hamlet quote, which was included by Sir John Tavener in his Song For Athene which was played at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Further inside the paper, a Scottish reverend shares his insight into the late Queen’s Christian faith and connection to Aberdeenshire.

“Sir, There were few places where the late Queen’s deep Christian faith was more evident than in Crathie Church, Aberdeenshire, where she attended worship every Sunday together with the local congregation while she was resident in Balmoral,” reverend and professor Ian Bradley writes in a letter to The Times‘ editor.

“I vividly recall while preaching there looking across at the royal pew and seeing her enthusiastically singing a Scots metrical psalm, which she clearly knew by heart. Like her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, she had a fondness for the simplicity and dignity of Presbyterian worship in the Church of Scotland.

“It is fitting as well as poignant that she should have died just across the River Dee from her beloved Crathie Kirk and that her coffin will rest for two days in St Giles Cathedral, the mother church of Scots Presbyterianism.”

The paper’s editorial also references Scotland, with the article saying the Queen’s affection for it was matched only by her defence of the Union.

The King will soon be in Edinburgh to be given the keys to the city, and he will also visit Belfast and Cardiff ahead of the funeral.

The Times‘ editorial states: “The Union was hugely important to the late Queen. Her son is right to signal so early in his reign that he recognises its importance too, and intends to honour his predecessor’s legacy and cherish every part of his United Kingdom.”

The Express runs a two-page leading article featuring a photo of Charles and Camilla walking past mourners outside Buckingham Palace, with the headline: “A great King’s rule has begun…”

The article says Charles “should know that when he hears the cries of ‘God Save the King!’ the crowds are doing much more than engaging in ritual – they are cheering him on”.

“Throughout this land, the Commonwealth and far beyond, people have every confidence that a great King’s rule has begun,” it adds.

The Daily Mail casts the public service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral as “exquisite, soaring, poignant and so perfectly pitched” along with a photo that stretches across the page to show the scale of the celebration.

“Will Charles continue to speak up for the environment?” wonders The Guardian‘s environment correspondent Fiona Harvey.

“His work on the Commonwealth will be key. Pakistan, the second most populous country in the Commonwealth, is suffering extreme floods. Many others are also vulnerable as temperatures rise, and the Commonwealth is seen as an important forum to tackle the climate crisis.”

The Sun repeats the King’s “thank you” to his “darling Mama” with a special purple-tinged edition, after what the Financial Times calls the “day that Britain shook off its self-doubt”.

The Mirror, meanwhile, focuses on the Queen’s life of service as it calls on its readers to “strive to keep alive the spirit of togetherness she fostered and act with the decency, humour and understanding she showed throughout her life”.

“She would have taken heart from the warm welcome extended to King Charles III yesterday as he assumed the reins,” the editorial adds.

“The King last night promised to renew the life-long service his mother had dedicated to the nation. He vowed to serve the country with loyalty, respect and love. We wish him well.”

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