Teenager Olivia Burch waited for hours in line with other mourners to pay a final tribute to Queen Elizabeth as her body lay in state. But despite that devotion, she thought Britain should no longer have a monarchy.
“It’s too traditional and old-fashioned, and I don’t think we can spend that much money on a family that has no more right to be here than anyone else,” said the 19-year-old Londoner, one of hundreds of thousands of people who lined up to walk past the coffin Isabel before Monday’s state funeral.
However, the Queen It was different.
His words, echoed by others who publicly mourned the queen, illustrated some of the challenges facing the king charles succeeding his mother after 70 years on the throne.
The funeralwhich has capped off days of pomp and ceremony since Elizabeth died on September 8, has drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the streets of London and millions of viewers. The events evidenced the affection and respect that most British people felt for the queen.
Charles, 73, takes the throne at a time when opinion polls show that support for the monarchy in Britain has fallen to an all-time low and that, despite a jump since becoming kingis much less popular personally than his mother.
He is the oldest person to become a British monarch, and there are still some who resent him and his wife Camillenow queen consort, for the breakdown of her first marriage to the late Princess Diana.
“The big question obviously is, when she (Elizabeth) passed away, was it about her or about the institution of monarchy?”. historian Anthony Seldon said. “And will King Charles III be able to maintain that prominence in this country… but also around the world?”
Seldon pointed out how a decade ago, polls showed that 75% approved of and valued the monarchy. Now, that figure is 62%.
He said that if it ever fell below 50%, then the monarchy would end: “There will be a head of state elect”.
At the moment, there has been an outpouring of goodwill towards Charles. A survey of YouGov found that support for Charles had increased since he became king, with 63% thinking he would be a good kingan increase of 24 percentage points from March.
There was a similar increase in support for Camilla.
When Charles met large crowds of well-wishers during a tour of the four capital cities of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, he was greeted with cheers and cries of “God save the king“.
“I think he is going to be a brilliant king, and with Stretcher by his side, it’s going to be absolutely fantastic,” said Rosie Beddows, 57, who was in Westminster Hall when Charles and his siblings held a vigil for their mother’s lie. in the state
His heartfelt televised address to the nation the day after the queen’s death and the tribute he paid to his late mother have also been well received, including by some who expressed doubts about him.
“He hasn’t missed a step,” he told Reuters one of his former aides, who asked not to be identified.
As the heir who waited longer than any other in British history to become kingCarlos carved out a role for himself campaigning on issues ranging from the environment and climate change to architecture and alternative medicine.
He faced accusations of meddlinga charge that angered him, and to concerns that as king he would abandon his mother’s staunchly neutral and apolitical approach to role within a constitutional monarchy.
For now, Charles has put those concerns aside, stating in his first address to the nation that he would no longer devote as much time and energy to the issues that concerned him.
That doesn’t mean your reign It will be the same as Elizabeth’s. While she was credited with modernizing the monarchy, she was a child of a different era.
The king has already struck a more casual tone, waving to crowds, accepting a kiss from a supporter and publicly professing his love for his wife and children.
Robert Lacey, royal biographer and historical consultant for Netflix’s hit TV drama “The Crown“He said what was once considered a weakness may now be Charles’s strength.
“Charles has always been a more emotional person, he has worn his heart on his sleeve, much more than his mother, and he has been criticized for it. Well, now, heart on his sleeve, emotions of mourning and dedication, he has conveyed them very well”. (rts)