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King Charles marks first Mother’s Day without his mother

By Sarah May on
 March 20, 2023

While families across the United Kingdom enjoyed Mother's Day festivities on Sunday, the occasion was rather more somber for King Charles III, who marked the first such observance since the September, 2022 death of his own mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as the Daily Mail reports.

Poignantly, the monarch also took to Instagram to share words of support and understanding for those similarly situated in terms of missing their own mothers on the special day.

Charles remembers Queen

In a joint post on the social media platform, King Charles, joined by Queen Consort Camilla, paid tribute to their own mothers, both of whom have passed.

The first image shared by the couple depicts the King as young child, standing on his mother's laps while smiling broadly for the photographer.

His proud mother – then still Princess Elizabeth – is neatly attired in a beige dress and pearls, with a finger outstretched for her little boy to grip. The youthfulness of the future Queen is evident in the photo, as she was in her early 20s when she gave birth to Charles.


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A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily)

Camilla adds tribute

A second image was included in the post, showing an adult Camilla standing alongside her own mother, who died in 1994.

Camilla's mother, Rosalind Shand, was of aristocratic stock herself, as the daughter of the third Baron Ashcombe, Roland Cubitt, and in the selected photo, she strikes a dignified pose next to her beaming daughter.

As the Mail notes, Shand died of osteoporosis at the age of 72, and her struggle with the condition prompted Camilla to become an ardent supporter of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and eventually its president.

Jointly marking the bittersweet occasion on Sunday, Charles and Camilla captioned their post with the words, “To all mothers everywhere, and to those who may be missing their mums today, we are thinking of you and wishing you a special Mothers Day.”

Waleses share new photos

In another nod to Mother's Day that delighted royal watchers, the Prince and Princess of Wales – popularly known as William and Kate – also made good use of Instagram to share some new family photos with the world, as ELLE reports.

The images, taken by photographer Matt Porteous, were taken outdoors at the family's estate in Norfolk, and they capture Catherine with all three of her young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

In one shot, the four royals are happily perched in a tree, and in the second image, Kate – now known as the Princess of Wales – is playfully cradling Louis, who, is far from a baby, but is the youngest member of the family of five. The photos are the main focus of the post, which was captioned simply, “Happy Mother's Day from our family to yours.”

Profound days ahead

Charles' heartfelt tribute to his mother comes as he prepares for his May coronation, an event that will undoubtedly prompt profound reflection on the decades of devoted service Queen Elizabeth gave to the realm.

While biographers have suggested that in his earlier years, Charles felt detached from his emotionally undemonstrative mother, in later adulthood, he and the Queen reportedly developed a bond of genuine warmth and appreciation as well as a “strong mutual respect,” according to Sally Bedell Smith, author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life.

At the time of his mother's death, Charles told then-British Prime Minister Liz Truss that the inevitable event was “the moment I've been dreading, as I know a lot of people have,” as the Associated Press noted, and during the long period of ceremonies and processions marking her passing, his somber visage regularly revealed his personal grief.

In his first address to his subjects following the passing of Elizabeth II last fall, Charles described the “profound sorrow” he was feeling and declared his gratitude to the woman so much of the world knew as their queen, but to whom he referred simply and endearingly as his “darling Mama.”