On the morning of September 10, local time, Charles III, who automatically ascended the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, held a coronation ceremony at St. James’ Palace in London. From this moment on, the name of the British national anthem has also changed from “God Save the Queen” to “God Save the King”.
In accordance with the laws and traditions of British succession to the throne, the Secretary of the Accession Committee read the proclamation at St. James’s Palace: “Almighty God has called our blessed Queen Elizabeth II of honor to the Lord in accordance with His will. On passing away, the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is fully and legitimately vested in Prince Charles Philip Arthur George. May God and successive kings and queens bless His Majesty the King to rule over us in long and happy years.”
September 10 Later, members of the British Parliament swore allegiance to the new king. The royal castles in the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, and all overseas bases of the British army fired a 21-gun salute to announce the new king. After the enthronement ceremony, the new king and queen greeted the crowd outside Buckingham Palace. On that day, all the kingdoms of the Commonwealth, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Jamaica, also held corresponding monarch enthronement ceremonies.
70 years old crown prince
The new King Charles III, whose full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, was born on November 14, 1948 at Buckingham Palace in London, the eldest son of the then presumptive heir to the throne, Princess Elizabeth, and her husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At just three years old, Charles became first in line to the throne of the United Kingdom and all the kingdoms of the Commonwealth after his grandfather King George VI died in 1952 and passed the throne to his mother Elizabeth. In May of this year, Prince Charles officially surpassed Prince Franz I of Liechtenstein, who reigned at the beginning of the last century, to become the crown prince who has been waiting for the throne for the longest time in world history. With the death of the Queen, the record was finally fixed at 70 years, 7 months and 2 days.
According to his paternal blood, Charles had a very long surname: Schleswig-Holstein Sönderberg Glücksburg, a surname inherited from his fifth ancestor, Glücks of Denmark Duke of Fort Friedrich Wilhelm. His father, Philip, who was originally a prince of Greece and Denmark, changed his mother’s surname to “Mountbatten” after marrying Princess Elizabeth in order to avoid a possible conflict of inheritance. Barton Windsor”. Now that he ascends the throne, the United Kingdom and all Commonwealth kingdoms will also maintain the dynasty name of “Windsor Dynasty” unchanged.
With the enthronement of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the then three-year-old Crown Prince Charles automatically acquired a long list of traditional titles belonging to the British Crown Prince – Duke of Cornwall in England, Duke of Rossathi in Scotland, Earl of Carrick And Baron Renfrew and so on. In 1958, he was awarded the highest title belonging to the British Crown Prince, Prince of Wales, by his mother. When Charles was 7 years old, Buckingham Palace announced that they would break the tradition that the British crown prince was only educated in a private home and sent the crown prince to a private school in west London. In 1967, after graduating from high school, Prince Charles once again broke the tradition of the British Crown Prince joining the army as an adult and chose to go to university for further study. He chose to study Archaeology and Anthropology (later switched to History) at Trinity College, Cambridge’s most prestigious college. During this period, he also went to Wales University College for a semester to study Welsh. Not only did he become the first British Crown Prince to hold a university degree, he also became the first “Prince of Wales” to truly master Welsh.
After graduating from university, Charles followed in his father’s footsteps and served in the Royal Navy for five years. During his service in the army, he acquired skills in flying fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and was also commander of the minesweeper HMS Bronington. Of course, it is understandable that, unlike his younger brother Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Charles, the first heir to the throne, will not be sent to the front lines to perform any dangerous tasks, his main task is still to learn how to be a good Crown Prince, and always ready to be a qualified monarch.
Prince’s love and marriage
Needless to say, Prince Charles is best known for his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, and subsequent marriage. The story also begins in the prince’s youth. His great-uncle, the famous British Chief of Staff and the last Governor of India, Lord Mountbatten, had taught him: “In your case, before finally settling down, you have to sow as many wild oats as you can, Contact women. But when it comes to marriage, because your wife will eventually be on the throne, if she has experience in love, it will be very troublesome.” It has
to be admitted that this sentence is indeed very harsh, even very interesting, in the UK today. damage the image of the royal family. But it must be realized that in the 1960s and 1970s, the moral standards, behavioral norms, gender equality awareness of the nobles at that time, and even the acceptance and tolerance of the entire society for the lace news of the royal family, were quite different from today. Unsurprisingly, Prince Charles has no shortage of girlfriends before marriage. Among them are the daughter of the British ambassador to Spain, the young lady of the eighth generation Duke of Wellington, and Diana’s sister Sarah Spencer, and Later, another protagonist of the marriage, Camilla Shand, is today’s Queen Camilla.
In 1980, 31-year-old Charles began dating the 19-year-old Diana, the youngest daughter of the eighth-generation Earl Spencer, and their scandal quickly occupied the pages of British tabloids. At first, the ignorant Diana was in awe and at a loss to accompany the crown prince in and out. However, the crown prince’s father, Prince Philip, suggested to Charles that he should decide whether to marry Diana as soon as possible, otherwise the gossip media speculation will cause irreparable damage to the countess’ reputation. harm. What’s more, Diana, who is young and has no love history, is also in line with Mountbatten’s “suggestion” for the future princess.
Prince Charles took his father’s advice and proposed to Diana in early 1981. In July of that year, their wedding of the century was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The young and beautiful Diana became the Princess of Wales and became a legend all over the world. The following year, their eldest son, William, was born. Two years later, the second son, Harry, was born. Princess Diana has also become a business card of the British royal family with her beautiful image and elegant demeanor.
But the nearly 13-year-old age difference quickly caused cracks in their marriage. Five years after marrying Diana, Charles and Camilla, who was married at the time, rekindled their old love, and at the same time Diana also had an affair with her bodyguard and riding instructor. In 1992, Charles and Diana officially separated. In 1995, on the BBC’s most famous “Wide Angle” program, Diana uttered the famous phrase “there are three people in this marriage, so it’s a bit crowded”. In the past year, the two, whose relationship has been completely broken, have officially divorced. In 1997, Diana and her new love, Dodi Fayed, were involved in a fatal car accident in Paris, and Xiang Xiaoyu died. After this “tragedy of the times”, the royal family forever retained the title of “Late Princess of Wales” for Diana, while Camilla could only get the lower title of “Duchess of Cornwall”.
However, since Charles and Camilla got married in 2005, the royal couple has indeed managed to stay away from scandals and slowly repair the image of the crown prince that was damaged by the marriage. After more than 20 years, the recognition of Charles and Camilla among the British public has been slowly increasing. In February 2022, Queen Elizabeth made it clear in her royal decree for the 70th anniversary of her reign that she “sincerely hope” that behind her, Camilla will receive the title of “Her Majesty”, thus solving the problem that was originally very disturbing. The troubled “queen” is still the identity problem of the “concubine”.
busiest envoy and philanthropist
The British monarch, as the head of state of the United Kingdom and the head of the British Commonwealth, undoubtedly has a respected position, but as a “constitutional virtual monarch”, he cannot actually undertake political decision-making responsibilities. Moreover, according to British tradition, the Queen herself is responsible for participating in, listening to, and signing many domestic and international affairs in the UK. Her official duties are extremely busy, and it is impossible to take time out for overseas visits often. As a result, Prince Charles, the crown prince of the United Kingdom and the heir to the head of the Commonwealth, has assumed the responsibility of visiting the United Kingdom and the British royal family since the 1970s. One of the most well-known visits to Chinese people is that he represented the Queen at the 1997 handover ceremony in Hong Kong.
Prince Charles has taken on an increasing number of royal ceremonial duties over the past decade due to the aging of the Queen and Duke Philip. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph described Charles as the hardest working member of the royal family. This is true. In 2008, Charles attended 560 official events, 499 in 2010, and 600 in 2011. Moreover, since 2014 alone, Prince Charles has made more than 100 official diplomatic visits, and it is not an exaggeration to say that he is the busiest “envoy” in the UK.
In addition to attending events at home and abroad, Charles is the patron of numerous national and international charities and public welfare organisations, sponsoring over 400 charities and organisations. In 1976, Charles founded the “Prince of Wales Trust”, established 16 new charitable organizations and served as chairman of all organizations. Today, these charities raise more than £100 million a year for education, sustainability, the built environment, business responsibility and more. At the same time, as the crown prince of Canada and Australia, Charles has also replicated the “Prince Fund” model in these two countries, and it has worked well.
Charles has a special focus on the relationship between architecture, urban planning and the environment. He is committed to improving the quality of life of residents by building or renovating more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings. The Prince’s Trust has invested heavily in projects such as rebuilding the earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince in Haiti and renovating historic buildings in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. At the same time, Charles and the public welfare projects sponsored by him are also deeply involved in environmental protection, combating climate change, and helping refugees.
Can the monarchy be preserved?
In May, Prince Charles presided over the routine grand ceremony on behalf of his mother for the first time as the Queen’s health no longer allowed her to wear the flamboyant royal gowns for the opening of Parliament. It is foreseeable that for some years to come, he will still perform this important royal duty in May each year. However, his identity at the ceremony was no longer “Prince of Wales” Charles, but the King of the United Kingdom and the Head of the Commonwealth – His Majesty Charles III.
It is undeniable that due to Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign, not only the British, but also the vast majority of the world will not be used to the British monarch as a “king” rather than a “queen”. The sudden death of the Queen is bound to arouse doubts about the British Commonwealth system and even the British monarchy, especially in countries other than the United Kingdom. And at the age of Charles III now, his reign will certainly be shorter than that of his extraordinary mother. Moreover, with the turbulent world changes, the British royal family has not been short of news and even scandals in the past few years. Whether the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth can maintain the stability of the monarchy is a problem and challenge that King Charles and the entire British royal family must face in the future.
For more than half a century, Queen Elizabeth II has been regarded as the mainstay of maintaining the huge monarchy of Britain and the Commonwealth by virtue of her consistent high character and extraordinary personal charm. But for now, Charles III lacks the same charisma as his mother.
First of all, Charles is a typical crown prince living in the shadow of the queen’s halo, and he has lived in this shadow for 70 years. Queen Elizabeth II’s near-perfect public image has become the most important symbol of Britain and the Commonwealth for more than half a century. Although Charles has undertaken many ceremonial work and visiting tasks of the royal family after the Queen’s old age, the world’s recognition and recognition of him is still far less than that of the Queen. For a long time to come, the public will still be consciously or unconsciously comparing the King Charles III to his mother. Due to the British system of virtual constitutional monarchy, as a monarch, “breaking through tradition” is an unencouraged and even dangerous behavior. But “following the rules” also means that King Charles will be destined to become a short-lived and difficult to impress like the second-longest waiting prince in British history – Queen Victoria’s eldest son Edward VII. Impressive monarch.
Second, despite his efforts to restore his image over the past two decades, King Charles’ early marriage has made it difficult for him to gain full approval from conservatives. The tragedy of Princess Diana’s life is still a topic that the public brings up and sighs from time to time, and this marriage change has also caused the British royal family to fall from the altar of high above and gradually enter a process of “disenchantment”.
After Charles and Diana announced their separation in 1992, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, broke up their marriages. The Duke of York broke out a shocking sexual assault scandal in recent years. Although the royal family used huge resources to put out fires and prevent disasters, and finally reached an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiff, Andrew was still withdrawn from his military rank, public office, and even “His Royal Highness” by the royal family. title. In the past few years, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke of Sussex, have split and run away from their families of origin. All of this has done great harm to the image of the British royal family and even the entire British monarchy. The Queen can barely maintain the surface peace during her lifetime. It is not yet known where the royal family, the high-profile British first family, will go after Charles ascends the throne.
Finally, the Commonwealth kingdoms, as a commonwealth with the British monarch as the head of state, have varying degrees of support for the monarchy within their member states. When Queen Elizabeth II was alive, quite a few member states already had many reflections and even opposition to the monarchy. Last year, the Caribbean island country of Barbados passed the Republic Act, officially abandoning the monarchy and becoming a republic within the Commonwealth. Today, after the death of the Queen, who devoted her life to uniting and maintaining the Commonwealth, in Canada and Australia, the two most influential countries in the Commonwealth, domestic republicans may take the opportunity to once again stir up the topic of the survival and abolition of the monarchy. For the mourning of the Queen’s death, the Canadian people may not even catch up with the United States, which has been a republic for more than two centuries, and the new Australian Prime Minister Albanese is an open republican faction, calling for Australia to abolish the monarchy for many years. Although during the national mourning period, Albanese maintained restraint in the interview and refused to talk about the issue of the survival and abolition of the monarchy at this time, but from the words in his speech when he mentioned the British royal family, it can also be seen that his firm personal View. If any of Canada and Australia wants to abandon the monarchy, the existing Commonwealth of Commonwealth monarchy will encounter unprecedented challenges, and even the collapse and reconstruction of the entire system is not impossible.
However, according to the latest polls, unlike other Commonwealth monarchies, the monarchy still has a fairly high level of support in the British mainland, which is still traditional and conservative in general. So far, there is no sign of a possible threat to the United Kingdom’s own constitutional monarchy.
On September 12, the British Parliament held a memorial ceremony for the Queen of England. In the Westminster Hall of the Houses of Parliament, Charles III, who was present at the ceremony, delivered his first speech to all members of Parliament since his enthronement. Speaking of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Charles said: “From a very young age, she committed to serving her country and its people, and to upholding the precious constitutional principles that lie at the heart of Britain. She kept her promise with unparalleled dedication. In his speech, Charles also vowed to uphold the democratic and constitutional principles of Congress and pledged to lead the country by the example of his mother’s selfless devotion.