Cannons rang out, bells rang, and mourners paid their respects.
Now King Charles III Faced with the task of preserving the 1,000-year-old monarchy his mother has nurtured for 70 years, it faces an uncertain future. The challenge is immense.
Personal affection for the Queen is the role of the monarchy British Society has rarely been discussed in recent years. But now that she’s gone, the royal family faces the question of whether it’s still relevant in a modern, multicultural nation that looks very different than it did when Elizabeth took the throne in 1952. .
As the history of colonialism and slavery is being revisited globally, and protesters have seen statues smashed and damaged in British cities and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, the once symbol of the British Empire. institution may change course. Face new scrutiny.
Anna Whitelock, a professor of modern monarchical history at City University, said Prince Charles is trying to “maintain continuity” while also showing that the royal family is ready for change. . LondonBut he faces many questions.
“What place does the monarchy occupy in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic society?” asked Whitelock. “And is it a proper rallying point for the country? And should it be the monarch representing Britain abroad? What does that say about us? A bastion of tradition that people should admire? Or is it really a check on progress and people don’t really represent the inclusive and diverse society that Britain wants?”
And in the background lurks another, more personal problem. Is a 73-year-old white man the right person to tackle these issues?
Charles has waited longer to take the throne than any other heir, and in many ways embodies the modernization of the monarchy. He was the first monarch not to be educated at home, the first to have a college degree, and the first to grow up in the ever-increasing media glare as respect for royalty fades. was a monarch.
He has been hailed as an early advocate of the environmental movement and has been praised for his work to improve the lives of young people in disadvantaged communities.
But he also has a arguably undeserved reputation as a somewhat stuffy old man at home on a polo stadium or one of his country estates, rather than in the football-crazed cities of modern England.
Charles also alienated many with his messy divorce from his beloved Princess Diana, strained rules banning royal intervention in official affairs, and embarked on debates on issues such as environmental protection and architectural preservation. rice field.
As Britain mourned his mother, it soon became clear that Charles was poised to become a more personal monarch. , emphasized stepping into a well-meaning crowd, stopping to shake hands and exchange words, like a US presidential candidate appealing for a vote.
One woman even kissed him.
At Monday’s state funeral for the late Queen, Bertram Leon embodied the challenges facing Charles.
A proud Briton who goes back to the Windrush generation of immigrants who came to Britain from the Caribbean after World War II, Leon was at Westminster Abbey to honor the Queen on behalf of the St. Lucian community. Now he expects Charles to lead the monarchy in a new direction.
“The King is really going to change, perhaps modernizing the monarchy in his current image,” Leon said, pinning his Order of the British Empire. You can’t go back to the 1920s, ’30s, ’50s when you held the .Now it’s the 21st century and things are seen a little differently and I think you see things differently.”
In addition to being King of England, Charles is Head of State of 14 “territories” who have retained their monarchs as sovereigns after gaining independence from the former British Empire. It is in these far-flung countries stretching from Australia and New Zealand to the Caribbean that Charles faces his first trials.
The pressure was evident when Prince William and his wife Kate faced calls for a royal apology and reparations for slavery as they traveled to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas earlier this year to celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary on the throne. did.
During that visit, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the royal family that his country was “on track” months after Barbados cut ties with the monarchy.
The royal family has also faced criticism from within after Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle abandoned their royal duties and moved to California. In a given interview, the couple claimed the palace was indifferent to Meghan, who was biracial, and that members of the royal family asked about the skin color of their first child…before he was born.
In his first speech as king, Charles attempted to address domestic and international tensions.
“Wherever you live in England, in territories and territories around the world, whatever your background or beliefs, I will continue to do so with loyalty, respect and love, as I have done all my life. I will try to serve you, he said.
Charles also faced concerns about how he would conduct himself as king.
Although the laws and traditions that govern Britain’s constitutional monarchy dictate that sovereigns must stay clear of partisan politics, Charles spent much of his adult life focusing on matters important to him. has spent a lot of time speaking out, especially about the environment.
His words caused friction with politicians and business leaders who accused the then-Prince of Wales of interfering in issues that should have been kept quiet.
The question is whether Prince Charles will follow his mother’s example and silence his personal opinions now that he’s king, or use new platforms to reach a wider audience.
“Of course, my life will change as I take on new responsibilities,” Charles said. But I know this important task is in the hands of people I trust. ”
The king has made it clear that he intends to streamline the monarchy, limit the number of working royals and cut the costs of supporting them.
For ten days, however, England spared no expense and honored Elizabeth. Elizabeth became a comforting symbol of stability over the tumultuous years of her long reign.
All the spectacle that has become synonymous with the royal family is one in which members in royal uniform solemnly walk behind a carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace, cannons and church bells ringing mournfully, and world guidance. filled Westminster Abbey for the Queen. Funeral.
However, it was a pageantry with the purpose of celebrating the Queen’s life while also reminding the public of the role of the monarchy in public life and connecting people to the royal family in a time of shared grief.
“People often criticize the British monarchy or laugh it off as pomp and circumstance and emptiness,” said historian Robert Lacey. Elizabeth II and the Windsor family. ”
“Well, an opportunity like this shows that it’s not empty. It shows that the pomp and the circumstance stands for something.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/charles-iii-ap-elizabeth-ii-london-british-b2171125.html After the ceremony, King Charles III faces his biggest challenge