King Charles – what could be his legacy?

Last Saturday, May 6, 2023, the people of the United King­dom officially outdoored their new king christened King Charles III.

His coronation comes eight months after he ascended to the throne, following the passing away of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September.

King Charles III’s coronation includ­ed the crowing of his wife Camilla as a Queen. This was the first since 1937 when a British monarch has been cor­onated with a wife. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, was the last Queen Consort to be crowned.

The new king automatically ascended to the throne when his mother Elizabeth died. He officially proclaimed Britain’s monarch two days later in an ascension ceremony broadcast for the first time on television.

Just by way of formality, the deeply religious and regalia-heavy event was a more formal confirmation of his role as head of state and titular head of the Church of England and was also in­tended to show the world that the king’s authority is derived from God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is the senior bishop and a principal leader of the Church of England, as well as the ceremonial head of the worldwide Anglican Commu­nion and the bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury officiated the high-profile ceremony at the Westminster Abbey in London, the setting for every coronation since 1066. Since 1601, there has only been one coronation in the month of May, so far.

During the service, King Charles was anointed with oil, received the traditional symbols of the monarch, which includ­ed the orb and sceptre, and also had the Saint Edward’s Crown placed on his head for the first time.

The coronation ceremony saw the 74-year-old being crowned with a solid gold crown made in 1661 in front of 2,200 invited guests from across the political, royal and celebrity worlds including his majesty, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu.

This guest list appears far less than that of his mother and predecessor, Queen Elizabeth II whose coronation quest list in 1953, boasted more than 8,000 people from 129 nations and territories.

The event appeared to be extremely highly profiled with the United King­dom citizens footing the bill. The cere­mony was estimated to cost the taxpayer about 125 million pounds. This is at a time when the relevance of the British monarchy in contemporary times has become questionable.

King Charles III inherits the throne at a time when the monarchy as an institu­tion is still broadly supported in Britain, with a slight majority of 62 per cent in favour, according to a June poll, but the outpouring of support and admiration for the Queen should not be mistaken for unwavering support for the Royal Family as a whole, especially after the re­cent fallout over some occurrences such as the treatment of Prince Harry and Meghan and the alleged sexual assault by Prince Andrew,

The biggest test facing the new King is whether he can emulate his mother’s image of stability and preserve the insti­tution that she spent so much of her life trying to protect.

For his mother the late Queen, throughout her leadership, she showed love, guidance, dignity, understanding and respect. She always listened and gave people a fair hearing. In fact, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair remarked he would share highly problematic issues with her during his weekly Prime Ministerial sittings because she offered a helpful sounding board.

Queen Elizabeth showed the world, how listening to others, connecting with everyone and making them feel seen and accepted, even when their beliefs differ from our own pay dividends. Part of the reverence we have for the Queen was that she ruled genuinely and com­passionately. Always putting the people’s needs above her own, including her own family.

On November 14, 1948 at 9.14 PM Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace and was christened on December 15, 1948 at Buckingham Palace. The former Prince Charles of Wales became heir apparent at three years old in 1952 and became the longest-serving Prince of Wales in 2017.

King Charles III was the first heir to the throne to earn a university degree. The King studied archaeology and an­thropology in his first year at the Univer­sity of Cambridge, switching to history for the remainder of his degree.

In his role as the Prince of Wales, he supported his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the focal point for national pride, unity and allegiance and bringing people together across all sections of society, representing stability and continuity, highlighting achievement, and empha­sising the importance of service and the voluntary sector by encouragement and example.

As a former military officer, he pro­moted the role of the Armed Services within national life, through operational visits, ceremonial duties, and commemo­rative activity across the UK and around the world. He supports the welfare and interests of Service personnel, veterans, and their families.

The royal prerogative includes the powers to appoint and dismiss ministers, regulate the civil service, issue passports, declare war, make peace, direct the ac­tions of the military, and negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and international agreements.

Charles has become head of the Com­monwealth, an association of 56 inde­pendent countries and 2.5 billion people. For 14 of these countries, as well as the UK, the King is head of state.

The monarch retains a symbolic role in government. King Charles 111 will now open Parliament every year, and when the government passes a bill, it cannot become an Act of Parliament until it receives his stamp of approval, a process called Royal Assent.

King Charles, now 74, was 73 when he became king, making him the oldest monarch to ever take the British throne.

Just after the death of Queen Eliza­beth 11, the very future of the British monarchy felt less certain. She was chiefly the monarch who had sustained the relationships and the relevance of the kingdom by virtue of her priceless charisma, reputation, zeal and fortitude to lead the monarchy.

Throughout her leadership, she showed love, guidance, dignity, under­standing and respect. Feminine leader­ship qualities that were definitely not capabilities that were admired in a leader at the start of her reign. She always lis­tened and gave people a fair hearing.

On this occasion, many around the globe remember Queen Elizabeth II who ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much-loved and respected figure across the globe. How then will her son Charles fare? Time will tell.

Congratulations King Charles, God save the king.


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