Death of Queen Elizabeth II: what can Britain expect from King Charles III?


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King Charles III’s ascension to the throne is likely to bring little change to the UK as the former Prince of Wales will have to behave differently to adjust to his new role.

Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her 73-year-old son, Charles, immediately ascended the throne after his mother’s death and that comes with new restrictions he will have to abide by.

“Prince Charles is clearly different from King Charles,” Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, told Fox News Digital. “If there’s one thing the Queen would have passed on to her son and heir repeatedly and by her own example… it’s that she was inscrutable when it came to making decisions.”

As Prince of Wales, Charles was critical of climate change – even writing a book, ‘Climate Change’, with Cambridge University climatologist Emily Shuckburgh and former Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper. He also targeted government subsidies for large-scale agriculture and encouraged organic and environmentally friendly food production.

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But as King Charles III, he will have to remain more modest in his opinions.

“In the past Prince Charles has been very clear about his beliefs, and I think King Charles will no doubt consider that he is now the monarch and therefore does not have the luxury of having opinions” , explained Mendoza.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in full court dress.
(Paul Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“I suspect that having spent a lot of time learning for this role, he will, of course, want to advance certain causes… he will be a more activist monarch, say, than his mother, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that ‘He’s going to give his point of view the way we might have thought he would.

Queen Elizabeth II has displayed few of her personal opinions on the issues, known as an inscrutable monarch who has remained a mystery throughout her life. A minor crisis occurred in 1986 when the Sunday Times published an article headlined ‘Queen appalled at Thatcher’s ‘indifference”, claiming that the Queen disagreed with her Prime Minister and had done know his opinion – which the British constitution does not allow as it could be construed as an attack on the government.

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So Charles will have to walk a line and keep his sights close to his chest as he finally sits on the throne.

This is partly because the king is the de facto approval of everything the government does: any action taken by a prime minister or parliament is an action deemed to have occurred with the approval of the monarch.

Britain's Prince Charles, centre, his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming view a display of Chinese artifacts from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2015.

Britain’s Prince Charles, centre, his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming view a display of Chinese artifacts from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2015.
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool, File)

“Every year there is something called the Queen’s Speech or the King’s Speech given by the Monarch to the Houses of Parliament: it is obviously written by the Government, but it is significant that it is the head of state who says what his government is going to do, basically,” Mendoza said.

But the monarch, although in practice he has the ability to reject certain policies or ideas put forward by the government, it is still a power which has not been exercised for many years and which probably will not be exercised for so long. early.

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Mendoza pointed to Boris Johnson’s efforts to suspend the government and then hold a Brexit election: the Queen could have refused the motion but ultimately did nothing.

“It would be very unorthodox and very unusual and would undoubtedly cause a constitutional crisis if a monarch actually wielded that power,” he noted. “But technically they could do it.”

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, climbs the through wall of the new gymnasium at Grainville Secondary School in Saint Helier, UK July 18, 2012. (Chris Jackson)

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, climbs the through wall of the new gymnasium at Grainville Secondary School in Saint Helier, UK July 18, 2012. (Chris Jackson)
(2012 Getty Images)

King Charles III will always have an outlet for influence through his weekly meetings with his Prime Minister, when they discuss recent government progress and the monarch is free to express opinions on government matters. These conversations will remain private.

But Charles has been the Prince of Wales for decades: world leaders know him and his opinions remain largely in the public domain, so even if he is silent on matters now, the Prime Minister and world leaders will have some sense of his thought.

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Mainly Britain will see the national anthem changed to ‘God Save the King’ and new tickets featuring the face of King Charles III will be issued, but the public shouldn’t expect Charles to get ‘agitated’ , according to Mendoza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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