Modernizing the Royal Family: Charles III. faces major challenges

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For the coronation
Charles III faces major challenges

The queen is dead, long live the king! And he has a lot of work ahead of him. Modernization of the royal family, positioning in climate and environmental issues, plus gossip in your own family – the organization of the coronation ceremony should be for Charles III. be the smallest problem.

After the state funeral for the Queen with a specially proclaimed holiday, everyday life returns for most Britons on Tuesday. However, the royal family still has a mourning period of seven days. But despite the mourning flags, plans for the future are already being made behind the palace walls – for example, the preparations for the coronation of the new King Charles III. and his queen Camilla.

The “Telegraaf”, always well informed about royal affairs, assumes that the coronation will take place in the spring or summer of next year. The ceremony is expected to take place on a much smaller scale than his mother Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, the paper speculated.

It is considered very likely that Charles wants to streamline the monarchy and reduce the focus on a few members at the head of the royal family. Money can also play a role. With energy prices rising and double-digit inflation, the palace may want to keep costs down. There was already some criticism of the exuberant mourning marches at the death of the Queen. The new king was also personally confronted with this, for example when a man shouted to him in the Welsh capital Cardiff: “Charles, while we have problems heating our houses, we have to pay your parades.” He was pushed away by a guard.

The cost of the police operation during the 11-day commemoration alone must have been enormous. As London police announced Monday evening, 67 arrests have been made during this period, with the sometimes rigid approach of opponents of the monarchy sparking debate over freedom of expression. In the first days after the death of the Queen, many Britons reacted sensitively to criticism of the royal family. It was not the right time for this, it could be heard in many places. Whether this will continue to be the case in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen.

Political interference undesirable

But other challenges await Charles. New British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ course on climate and environmental protection and renewables is likely to present the King with a dilemma. Truss openly railed against solar panels while praising nuclear power and controversial fracking. Charles, who has long campaigned to protect the environment and climate, wouldn’t like that. But as king, he is obliged to remain politically neutral. A virtue that Elizabeth II mastered perfectly. If Charles keeps silent, he will probably antagonize many young people who support him for his efforts. If he openly stands up for the government, he will likely provoke the ire of conservative tabloids and potentially do the royal family a disservice.

Charles has another construction site in his own family. Despite warm words and concerted appearances at the Queen’s funeral ceremonies, the dispute with his son Prince Harry and daughter-in-law Duchess Meghan is by no means resolved. Harry has also announced the publication of his memoir this year, which should provide new explosives. The Queen had always been a bridge between all quarrels, which was respected by both sides. But that also changes with her death: her coffin was buried in a small circle on Monday after the official funeral service in a side chapel of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

(This article was first published on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.)

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