The King tells Liz Truss his mother's death is 'moment I've been dreading' in their first audience

The UK had a different monarch and prime minister at the end of the week than what they started with, and the nation's politicians are having to adjust to the change while paying their respects to what has passed, Anuska Asthana reports

The King told Liz Truss that his mother's death was "the moment I'd been dreading", as he held the first of his weekly audiences with his prime minister at Buckingham Palace

As King Charles III prepares to officially take over from his late mother, the Queen, on Saturday, he met Ms Truss on Friday afternoon. The King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10am on Saturday.

The details of their meeting and what was discussed will, as always, remain private between the pair.

The monarch and the prime minister will begin their relationship on a common footing - both are taking on momentous titles within days of one another.

A short clip of their meeting shows Ms Truss being escorted through the halls of the Palace, before she walks towards the King and shakes his hand.

"Your Majesty, very good to see you," said Ms Truss as she walked towards the King and shook his hand.

King Charles replied: "Very kind of you to come in, I know how incredibly busy you are to say the least."

"It has been so touching this afternoon when we arrived, all those people had come to give their condolences, flowers," he continued.

Ms Truss replied: "Your Majesty, my very, very sincere condolences."

"You're very kind, no you're very kind," said the King.

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"The moment I'd been dreading - as I know a lot of people have. But, have to try and keep everything going."

It came after a packed House of Commons Chamber full of sombre MPs dressed in black bowed their heads as they remembered the monarch during a minute's silence earlier on Friday.

Former prime ministers and senior MPs from all parties have put their political differences aside and united to share personal, touching - and often funny - stories of the monarch.

The new PM said the Queen was "one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known" and said the UK is "the great country it is today because of her".

"During the darkest moments of the pandemic, she gave us hope that we would meet again. She knew this generation of Britons would be as strong as any," she added.

"As we meet today, we remember the pledge she made on her 21st birthday to dedicate her life to service.

"The whole House will agree: never has a promise been so completely fulfilled."

Ms Truss described how the nation is now entering a new “Carolean age” and spoke of her conversation with the King on Thursday night, and ended her speech with "God save the King".

“In an instant yesterday our lives changed forever. Today we show the world that we do not fear what lies ahead," she continued.

“His Majesty King Charles III bears an awesome responsibility that he now carries for all of us. I was grateful to speak to His Majesty last night and offer my condolences,” she added.

“Even as he mourns, his sense of duty and service is clear. He has already made a profound contribution through his work on conservation, education and his tireless diplomacy. We owe him our loyalty and devotion.”

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know

On Friday evening the King delivered an address to the nation, paying a poignant and moving tribute to his “darling Mama” the Queen in his first public broadcast as monarch. Charles said of his “beloved mother” the late Elizabeth II: “We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example”. He added: “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. “Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May ‘flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’.” The King pledged his whole life as service as the new sovereign just as the Queen did, saying: “That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today”.

He also announced that he had created his son William the Prince of Wales, with Kate the Princess of Wales, and expressed his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”.