September 27, 2022

King Charles III begins his reign with his impartiality in question

5 min read

Indeed, the most controversial political moments of Elizabeth’s reign came from the indiscretions of others.

Although the letters seemed innocuous enough — focusing on things like subsidies for farmers and, amusingly, the merits of publishing private letters like these — the truth is that the first in line to the throne Visitors were more than happy to express political views. The prime minister warned supporters of the convention that the monarchy was apolitical.

Charles has also controversially supported the use of public money. Provide homeopathy. On the UK’s government-funded National Health Service. NHS England said in 2017 that it would. No more funding Because of homeopathy’s “lack of evidence for its effectiveness, the cost is not justified.”

While it may have seemed unimportant to know Charles’s views on these matters at the time, it is worth remembering that throughout his reign we know virtually nothing of Elizabeth’s personal views. Let alone how she felt government funds should be distributed.

“The monarchy has a lot of indirect power to influence public opinion on an issue, which is more important than lobbying ministers,” says Kate Williams, a leading royal historian and professor of history at a UK university. She is also a professor of public engagement. To read

She points to the time when Elizabeth II said Scottish voters should “think carefully about the future” when leaving church services in Scotland ahead of the referendum in 2014. Both sides of the referendum could claim that it was an endorsement of the rejection of independence,” Williams added.

Hateful views on media

The seemingly incoherent messiness of a monarch sharing such matters while remaining apolitical becomes even more perplexing as we move further down the generation from the late Queen.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been very public campaigners for mental health. William, who will succeed Charles, has spoken on record about his struggles with his mental health, particularly after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

William has also used his platform to speak out. Against racism in footballis highly indicative at a time when it was a huge controversy in the game that he supported players kneeling before matches, an issue that has caused a huge backlash for many UK football clubs. caused

And now, at first, there has been a difficult relationship with the British media, particularly after the BBC’s revelations that one of its journalists, Martin Bashir, had used nefarious methods to secure an interview with his mother while she was divorcing. After that she was very weak. From Charles

William, Prince of Wales leads his brother Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, followed by his cousins ​​before standing vigil around the coffin of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II on September 17, 2022.

At the moment, support for the monarchy is high. We see grief for the late Elizabeth and sympathy for the new king, mourning his mother as he plays out his life. But that doesn’t mean support will always be high.

What can the world expect from King Charles III?
Charles, In a BBC documentary On his 70th birthday in 2018, he promised not to interfere in controversial matters after becoming king. Specifically asked if his campaign would continue, They said: “No it won’t be. I’m not that stupid.”

He added: I have tried to ensure that everything I have done has been non-partisan, but I think it is important to remember that there is only room for one sovereign at a time. No, two. So, if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir, you can’t be like a sovereign.”

However, the problem for both the king and his heir is that they cannot re-bottle these comments. And the fact that these opinions exist will inevitably affect his relations with the public in later years, as we move on from the reign of the invincible Elizabeth.

That said, republicanism has never been very popular in Britain. Even last week, during official events, protests were mostly limited to a small group of people, many of whom did little more than hold up pieces of paper. A disproportionate response by the police, in which some protesters were arrested, led to some media coverage and outcry, but did not move the dial against the royal family in any meaningful way.

The ability to remain neutral was undermined.

Elizabeth was a particularly popular monarch. Much of the public research on the matter suggests that his relative silence, compared to that of his successors, was believed by the old monarchs to preserve dignity and the integrity of the crown.

Many of these traditional supporters, however, have historically been skeptical of Charles and would prefer to follow in his mother’s footsteps.

In contrast, the late queen was popular with the young monarchs despite her silence. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but it’s likely just a byproduct of Elizabeth always being on the throne and younger people who don’t know any different.

What is also clear, however, is that young monarchists approve of the royal family discussing issues previously considered too controversial for the Queen.

“It’s entirely possible that the generation that thinks royals should keep a stiff upper lip and not talk about issues like women’s rights and mental health will die out,” political research organization Delta Poll said. says director Joe Twyman.

Prince William, King Charles III, Princess Anne, and Prince Harry follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on September 14, 2022.

“For people of a certain generation, every time you see her, you think of bowing to your grandmother just because she’s a queen,” he said after Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last year. He added, referring to the row that happened. How surreal royal life was to him at times.

This conflict in the precise role of the king is important because the institution lives or dies on whether the public thinks it is worth it.

As King Charles III takes the throne, big changes are coming for the royal family.

It is likely that there will always be traditional monarchists who will defend his every action as long as it is not evolutionary or modern. They are most passionate about support.

However, this group will likely become a minority before William takes the throne. If Charles lives to be 99, as his father did, William will not become king until 2048. No credible social scientist can tell you with confidence what public attitudes will be until then about anything, be it the royal family, climate change, or racial equality.

The fact that the King and his heir have already had a say on all of these issues will dramatically weaken their ability to remain neutral on any future issue, no matter how serious. No, it is expected from the sovereign.

The reality is that their perceived opinion on any of these issues, even if based on past comments, will continue to influence public opinion and therefore policy. If William’s dim view of the BBC leads more Britons to think that public funding should be pulled in the coming years, how will politicians respond to the pressure?

The monarchy did not need to address these issues for some time because, as long as Elizabeth was on the throne, public perception of the family and its role was fairly stable.

That era is truly over. Now, Charles and William must navigate less specific times, balancing old and new ideas against the pressures of being an apolitical head of state. And, unlike Elizabeth, they would do so knowing that the popularity they relied on would be less guaranteed than it had been during the long-lived monarch’s 70-year reign.

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