Modernization of the royal family, climate and environmental issues, plus gossip in your own family: the new British king has a lot of work ahead of him. Added to this is the tricky planning of a major event.
London – After the state funeral for the Queen with a specially declared holiday, everyday life returned for most Britons on Tuesday. For the royal family, however, there is still a seven-day mourning period.
King Charles III flew to Aberdeen from a military airport in London on Tuesday afternoon, Sky News reported. Like his mother, who died on September 8, the 73-year-old is known for spending time in the northernmost part of Britain.
Unlike last week, when Charles and his family made several public appearances, the coming days should be used for more private mourning and quieter moments. Public appointments are not planned. But despite the mourning flags, plans for the future are already being made behind the palace walls – for example, preparations for the coronation of the new King Charles III. and his king wife Camilla.
Coronation in spring or summer?
The Telegraph, which is always well-informed on royal matters, assumes that the coronation will take place next spring or summer. The ceremony is expected to be on a much smaller scale than his mother Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, the paper said. 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.
However, British culture minister Michelle Donelan has dampened hopes of another major royal event in the near future. The national mourning after the Queen’s death had only just ended, she told broadcaster LBC. “We want to give the country a break.” Unlike the palaces of the royal family, the flags at British government buildings at home and abroad no longer flew at half-mast from Tuesday.
According to preliminary government estimates, around 250,000 people came to Parliament to bid farewell to the Queen’s coffin. However, that would be less than initially expected. Elizabeth’s father King George VI 300,000 people paid their respects after his death in 1952. A significantly larger influx was expected for the Queen.
Probably no royal pomp for cost reasons
Money should also play a role in the plans for the coronation. With energy prices soaring and inflation in the double digits, the palace is likely to be keen to keep costs down and avoid a blaze of royal pomp as the country grapples with a cost-of-living crisis.
There had already been some criticism of the lavish funeral marches on the death of the Queen. For example, when a man in the Welsh capital of Cardiff yelled at the new king: “Charles, while we’re having trouble heating our homes, we have to pay for your parades.” He was sidetracked by a security guard.
The cost of the police operation alone during the eleven-day memorial service must have been enormous. How much exactly the state funeral cost, Donelan could not say at first. “I think the British public would argue that the money was well spent,” said the minister. She does not believe “that anyone can say that our late monarch did not deserve this farewell, given the duty and selfless service to which she has dedicated more than 70 years.”
What a challenge awaits Charles
In the first few days after the Queen’s death, many Britons had forbidden criticism of the royal family. It was not the right time for this, it was heard in many places. It remains to be seen whether this will remain the case in the coming weeks and months.
But there are other challenges waiting for Charles. The course of the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss in terms of climate and environmental protection as well as renewable energies is likely to present the king with a dilemma. Truss openly railed against solar panels while touting nuclear power and controversial fracking. Charles, who has long campaigned to protect the environment and climate, shouldn’t like that.
But as king he is obliged to remain politically neutral. A virtue Elizabeth II mastered perfectly. If Charles remains silent, he is likely to antagonize many young people who support him because of his commitment. If he openly faces the government, he is likely to draw the wrath of the conservative tabloids and possibly do the royal family a disservice.
Dispute with Harry & Meghan does not seem to be resolved
Charles has another construction site in his own family. Despite warm words and joint appearances during the Queen’s funeral ceremonies, the dispute with his son Prince Harry (38) and daughter-in-law Duchess Meghan by no means seems to have been resolved. Harry has also announced the publication of his memoirs this year, which should provide new explosives.
The Queen had always acted as a bridge through all the quarrels, 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 at Windsor Castle. dpa