Elizabeth II 1926-2022 |  King Charles III: His Life's Work

For the rest of his life, he will be the Crown Prince, succeeding his mother to the British throne. Finally, on Thursday, at the age of 73, Prince Charles will assume the role he’s been waiting for all these years: King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Posted at 1:53 p.m.
Updated at 2:27 p.m.

Jean-Christophe Lawrence

Jean-Christophe Lawrence

The new British sovereign will take the name of Charles III, his ministry, Clarence House, announced Thursday.

In his first intervention as sovereign, the new King Charles described the death of his mother Elizabeth II as a “moment of great sadness” that would be felt “throughout the world”.

“The demise of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a very sad moment for me and all my family members. We deeply mourn the loss of a dear sovereign and dear mother. I know his loss will be deeply felt by the nation, the kingdoms and the Commonwealth and by countless people around the world,” King said in a statement.

The new British Prime Minister Liz Truss addressed Charles as “His Majesty Charles III”.

“More than a thousand years ago today the crown passes to our new king, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III,” Queen Elizabeth II greeted the audience on Tuesday. .

How will he be received by the citizens? Unlike his mother, a very single-minded person, Charles Windsor is far from single-minded.

Over the years, the man has polarized public opinion, alternately admired, derided or teased, long a whipping boy in the gossip magazines. Think of his flights of fancy in his environment (compliance, A new way to see the worldPublished in 2010), his controversial lobbying of some ministers (The Black spider tipsHe expresses his opinion on a variety of subjects from agriculture to architecture), his apology for homeopathy, his backward architectural views and, of course, his intimate conversations with Camilla Parker Bowles, exhibited on the big day, with a bold language that reveals a romantic.

“His angle will be different.”

These controversial episodes are far from over now. But doubts about Prince Charles’ status have not completely disappeared. Does this tainted heir, who often appears unfiltered, have the status to replace a sovereign as neutral and unimpeachable as Elizabeth?

For Penny Jr., author of two biographies about Prince Charles, the question didn’t arise.

If the Queen had died in the mid-1990s, after Diana’s death, there would have been a huge question mark. Because Charles was not very popular at that time. But it’s been a long time. Today people’s perception of him has changed.

Benny Junor is the author of two biographies of Prince Charles

According to the British writer, Charles could even be surprised as a sovereign. Charles’s reign could be distinguished by a new way of doing things that was more engaged with modern issues, where Elizabeth had accustomed us to refrain from speaking out on matters of public interest.

“Elizabeth was a conservative queen. She was popular, but not innovative. Charles respects the monarchy, but I think his angle is different. People know what he thinks about urban areas, pollution, environment, organic farming, renewable energies and rural life. These questions interested him before they became popular. My impression is that he will be more willing to listen to common people. »

Confuse the skeptics?

Monarch historian Caroline Harris agrees. Charles will be a king he believes will be like his great-uncle Edward VII, who confounded many skeptics after he ascended the throne.

“When he succeeded Queen Victoria, Edward was known as a fun-loving person. But he became a very popular figure and established himself as a diplomat. He was so beloved when he died, some speak of the Edwardian era. »

Elizabeth has been in office for so long that it is difficult for the public to see anyone else in her place. But who knows, maybe Charles will grow into the role.

Caroline Harris, Historian of the Monarchy

Under royal protocol, Charles automatically succeeds his mother. In the past, some have raised the possibility that the Prince of Wales may pass the torch directly to his son William, but overall celebrity Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, dismissed the speculation.

“Not a chance,” he said. It was the job he had been waiting for all his life. »

With Agence France-Presse

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