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A New Dawn
While we will hang onto the Queen in our hearts, and will do for years to come, the Royal Family is about to embark on an evolution, the like of which it has never before experienced.
We look at the changing elements that will soon play themselves out in a very public way, as the Elizabeth II era assumes its cherished place in history.
It is doubtless that with a bittersweet heart King Charles III embarks on his new role as Head of State. Having waited 73 years to take up the post he was literally born for, His Majesty has long dreamed of this historic moment. And yet, the price of power comes at the loss of his greatest love, mentor, and ally: his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
What’s more, while Charles assimilates to a new life and role, this is not necessarily the only challenge he has to face, for his new post requires an entirely different set of rules and expectations. For the opinionated Prince must now become the impartial King.
Having waited in the wings for the past seven decades, it would have been ludicrous for the Prince of Wales to not only nurture opinions on society and the world-at-large, but to express them also. From environmental issues to a desire to revive grammar schools – and most recently a disdain for the government’s Rwanda deportation plan – the Prince of Wales has not only never shied from letting his thoughts be known, but has also done his best to inspire and instigate change via his various charitable and passion projects.
The issue here is that a prince may have such hobbies and persuasions, whereas a king, in truth, must not.
One of the most abiding and best-known rules of the British constitution is that the monarch stays out of politics. This is the foundation on which the monarchy survives in a democratic society regardless of what personal gains may be made from wielding its enormous power, publicly or otherwise.
Fortunately, 70 years in the shadow of his magnificent mother has gifted our new king the insight to understand such matters. He even pre-empted this evolution in a BBC interview back in 2018: “Clearly I won’t be able to do the same things I’ve done as heir,” adding he would not meddle in political issues as sovereign as he was “not that stupid”.
And King Charles certainly isn’t that stupid. A brave, sincere, grounded member of the royal family, who takes humility as a cornerstone of behaviour having seen such a lack of it in many of his relations, he understands that the next step in the line of Windsor is not solely about questioning what is right and proper, but also prioritising the elements of society that need his authority and guidance most, during what are difficult times for us all.
As king, Charles is responsible for carrying the weight of not just a nation, but the other 53 Commonwealth countries, across 14 realms, which now fall under his rule. He must be a champion of the people, cultivating pride when times are good, and courage when they are bad. He must seek to unify, even if it is against his own personal will.
It is a mighty task, but one he is more than qualified for, Charles is of course very different from his mother and will undoubtedly be a very different monarch also, yet what should reassure us all is the fact he has inherited her values, strength, and sense of duty.
Now, a new dawn has come… God save the King.