LONDON (AP) – Cannons rang, bells rang and mourners paid tribute. King Charles III of Great Britain now faces the challenge of preserving a thousand-year-old monarchy that his mother cherished for seven decades, but whose future is uncertain. The challenge is immense.
The personal affection for the Queen has meant that the monarch’s role in British society has rarely been discussed in recent years, but now that she is gone, the royal family has to grapple with the question of whether she is still relevant in a modern nation. And multicultural that looks very different from when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952.
In the midst of a global re-examination of the history of colonialism and slavery, in which protesters have torn or mutilated statues in British cities, and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge change their curriculum offerings, an institution that was once a symbol of the British Empire Was. Facing fresh scrutiny.
Anna Whitlock, professor of history of the modern monarchy at City University London, said Charles would try to “maintain continuity”, while trying to signal that the royals were ready to adapt. However, there are many questions before them.
“What is the place of monarchy in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society?” Whitlock asked. “And is this the right group for the nation? And should it be the monarch who represents the UK overseas? What does this say about us? Is it the bastion of tradition that people should applaud? Or is this just a progress check that doesn’t represent the truly inclusive and diverse society that people hope Britain will now become?”
And in the background lurks another, more personal, question: Is a 73-year-old white man the best person to tackle those problems?
Charles waited longer than any other heir to take the throne and is in many ways a symbol of the modernization of the monarchy. He was the first monarch not to be educated at home, the first to earn a college degree, and the first to grow up as a form of respect for royalty under the increasingly intense media attention.
He has been lauded as an early proponent of the environmental movement and has received praise for working to improve the lives of youth in disadvantaged communities, but his reputation, perhaps undeserved, as a somewhat brash older man who feel more comfortable. Compared to the football-crazed cities of modern Britain, on a polo field or one of their country estates.
Charles upset many people with his messy divorce from the much-loved Princess Diana, and refrained from interfering in public affairs by bending the rules, interfering in debates on issues such as environmental protection and architectural preservation.