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Charles of England, eternal heir before a long farewell to Elizabeth II

Latest NewsCharles of England, eternal heir before a long farewell to Elizabeth II

Seventy years of government gives the right to a break and delegation of tasks. And they advise to prepare the transition. But the sequence has become classic. Every time Charles of England replaces his mother in any of the rites, ceremonies or liturgies that the vast majority of Britons have only seen in their lifetime as the star of Elizabeth II, an alarm goes off. Soon after, the monarch reappears at some event, to unqualified relief. It happened again this week. Buckingham Palace just a few hours earlier apologized for the presence of the Queen at the opening ceremony of the British Parliament. A season of extraordinary political symbolism. The pomp and scenery of the event reminds us that Westminster legislates in its name, and the government that occupies Downing Street is “Her Majesty’s Government”. Charles of England took the throne of his wife in the House of Lords. To her right, an empty space – where the throne of Elizabeth II should have been – and the pillow on which the Imperial crown rested, emphasized both the absence and the reality of the head of state.

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The Prince of Wales read out the Queen’s Speech, the Johnson government’s legislative agenda for a new term. She did it in the same neutral, almost flat tone her mother always used. A way to emphasize the necessary impartiality of the monarch in political matters. “Carlos will have to achieve this neutrality if he wants to succeed as a constitutional king,” Ed Owens, historian of the modern British monarchy and specialist on the House of Windsor, explains to EL PAÍS.

British citizens have listened for decades to the Prince of Wales’ varied and sometimes conflicting views on architecture, urban planning, the environment or social justice. It is strange that he, like his mother, accepts the secret of the sphinx. “He may decide to take on a more active role when it comes to demanding that politicians respect and defend constitutional normality. Until now, the British monarch has been considered the defender of national democracy,” suggests Owens.

Charles of England takes the throne on Tuesday, replacing Elizabeth II, during the opening ceremony of the session of the British Parliament.DPA via Europa Press (Europa Press)

All this will have to wait anyway. The Queen gave Carlos one task, and for a very specific occasion in his capacity as royal adviser: to read his speech. Something she, 96, couldn’t do due to “episodic mobility problems,” Buckingham Palace explained. On Friday, 72 hours later, the Queen smiled as she appeared in her Range Rover as co-pilot to witness one of her favorite events of the year, the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Royal Windsor Equestrian Festival), where a dozen of her horses. competed. With her eternal Hermès scarf on her head and with her cane, she walked to the royal box with a smile from ear to ear, to the applause of those present.

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Enough to nip in the bud the abdication purr, even Carlos’ possible regency, that has been buzzing the media and networks for a couple of days. A deep connoisseur of the rite and constitutional mystery that monarchy in the United Kingdom entails – she was anointed with sacred oil during the coronation ceremony – Elizabeth II has repeatedly made it clear that she will be queen to the end. “I declare to you that my whole life, long or short, will be devoted to serving you and serving our great imperial family, to which we all belong,” he promised, barely 21 years old, in a historic radio address from Ciudad del -Cape (South Africa) of the then Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her birthday.

Elizabeth II this Friday at the Royal Box of the Royal Horse Show in Windor.DPA via Europa Press (Europa Press)

Everything that has been unfolding lately is something simpler and less dramatic, as befits the character of a woman respected by the vast majority of citizens. Suffice it to say that the Scottish National Party, which wants to hold a new independence referendum next year, claims in its plans that Scotland will remain a monarchy. And this is largely due to the widespread support that Elizabeth II causes in this country.

In recent years, the Queen has shared tasks and responsibilities with her son Carlos, not giving up a single inch of auctoritas, on a slow and measured transitional journey that introduces the British to who will sooner or later become their new king, without conveying the feeling that Elizabeth II is retreating. The idea of ​​a regency requiring a complex mechanism is not foreseen for a monarch who is simply suffering from age-related ailments and has just gotten ahead of even covid-19.

“The Regency Acts 1937, 1943 and 1953 require the immediate family member of the monarch, along with the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker (Speaker of the House of Commons), the Chief Justice of the United Kingdom and Master Rolls (President of the Court of Appeal and historical custodian of court records) to certify, that the sovereign can no longer perform its functions, ”wrote the greatest expert on British constitutionalism, King’s College professor Vernon Bogdanor. “The Queen cannot simply say, ‘I can no longer fulfill my obligations.’ The only voluntary decision you can make is renunciation,” defines Bogdanor.

2022 is the year of the platinum anniversary. Seventy years on the throne, which will be celebrated with official acts and celebrations in the month of June. If for some time there have been rumors about the presence or absence of the ill-fated Prince Andrew (condemned to public ostracism for links with the American pedophile millionaire Jeffrey Epstein) or the scandalous couple of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at these celebrations, all eyes of the British will finally focus on Elizabeth II . In his mobility, in his state of mind, or in how much or how little he squanders. Although few people say it out loud, the idea has already spread in the United Kingdom that a long farewell to the monarch has begun. And the will of the majority strives for what must happen – and the later, the better – to be like a thaw. Like the morning when the snow suddenly disappears.

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