Cannons rang, bells tolled, and mourners paid their respects. Now King Charles III of Great Britain faces the challenge of preserve a thousand-year-old monarchy that his mother fed for seven decades, but that has an uncertain future. The challenge is immense.
Personal affection for the queen made the role of the monarchy in British society was hardly discussed in recent yearsBut now that he’s gone, the royal family has to grapple with questions about whether it’s still relevant in a modern, multicultural nation that looks very different than it did when Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952.
Amid a global reexamination of the history of colonialism and slavery that has seen protesters tear down or deface statues in British cities and has seen universities such as Oxford and Cambridge change their course offerings, an institution that was once it was the symbol of the British empire facing renewed scrutiny.
Charles will try to “maintain continuity” while also trying to signal that the royals are ready to adapt, said Anna Whitelock, professor of the history of the modern monarchy at City University London. However, he faces a series of questions.
“What place does a monarchy have in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society?” Whitelock asked. “And is it the right conglomerate for the nation? And should it be the monarch who represents Britain abroad? What does it say about us? Is it a bastion of tradition that people should applaud? Or is it actually a progress check that doesn’t really represent the inclusive and diverse society that people hope Britain will now become?”
And there is another, more personal question lurking in the background: Is a 73-year-old white man the best person to deal with those problems?
Charles waited longer than any other heir to take the throne and in many ways embodies the modernization of the monarchy.. He was the first monarch who was not educated at homethe first to earn a college degree and the first to grow up under the increasingly intense gaze of the media as deference to royalty faded.
He has been lauded as an early proponent of the environmental movement and won accolades for working to improve the lives of young people in disadvantaged communities, but he also has a reputation, perhaps undeserved, as a somewhat uptight older man who feels more at ease. on the polo field or one of his country estates than in the football-mad cities of modern Britain.
Carlos also annoyed many people with his messy divorce of the much-loved Princess Diana, and by bending the rules that prohibit royals from intervening in public affairs, meddling in debates on issues such as environmental protection and architectural preservation.