Carlos III: A crowd of citizens receives Carlos III in Buckingham | International
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The arrival early this Friday at Buckingham Palace of the new king of the United Kingdom, Charles III, and the queen consort, Camila, has been the first revealing image of the era that the country opens. Thousands of citizens awaited the monarchs, who have decided to stop the official car at the palace gate, and go out to greet the people. Songs of “God Save the King”, bouquets of flowers, even a kiss on the cheek from an enthusiastic lady who was waiting in the front row, behind the metal fences. Carlos III thanked all of them. And on his face, as in his confusion when he doubted which door he should access his new residence through, made clear the uncertainty —also the hope— with which his reign begins. To begin to clear it, the speech to the nation that he will deliver at six in the afternoon (seven in the afternoon, Spanish peninsular time) will be essential.
When glossing the strengths of Elizabeth II, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, who meets the king for the first time this Friday, made a negative portrait, as an image in reverse of the reality of the country she leaves behind her the deceased and mourned monarch. “It was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign, ”said Truss at the door of 10 Downing Street, which she had barely crossed herself 48 hours earlier. “Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and strength we needed,” concluded the conservative politician.
It was Shakespeare who wrote that “there are people who are born great, others become great, and some greatness comes upon them.” Truss, who with the mere support of 81,000 members of the Conservative Party, managed to take over the fate of 67 million Britons this week, has had the greatness – or the condemnation – of being the prime minister who ends the “second Elizabethan era” and begins a new “Carolina era”, which coincides with the beginning of an economic recession, with a huge energy crisis, galloping inflation and 78% of the British, according to the YouGov company, completely disappointed with the idea that he is going to occupy Downing Street.
Fortunately for her, the real challenge of the coming days will not fall so much on her shoulders as on those of a man who has spent more than seven decades preparing to be king, and even so, he has not finished dispelling the skepticism that many have about his ability. citizens.
Carlos III has finally ascended the throne with a popularity rating of 42%, also according to YouGov’s monitoring for years. Well below the 75% that Isabel II had, but also the 66% that her son Guillermo de Ella enjoys. The dilemma endlessly fueled by many of the British tabloids by pitting the modern and neat image of the second in line of succession against that of his father, and suggesting the possibility of a generational leap that would make the Duke of Cambridge ahead of Carlos.
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Constitutional normality has been imposed, but the new monarch, accustomed to being controversial and provocative for decades, must still conquer the reluctance of many Britons, who look at him suspiciously since those blushing brawls with Lady Di. And that they still do not admit that Camila, the third in discord in that unhappy marriage, has become the queen consort, despite the fact that the express wishes of Elizabeth II with respect to her daughter-in-law are thus fulfilled.
Carlos III, who in recent months had already replaced his mother in the most institutional and symbolic tasks of the Crown ―it was he, for example, who read the Queen’s Speech at the solemn opening of Parliament in May―, plays with an important asset. He knows, and has said so, that as king he will have to exercise a scrupulous neutrality that he did not respect as a prince, but the British also know that he knows and is concerned about the problems of his time, such as the threat of climate change or the deterioration of the centers urban. Carlos III can be an accomplice monarch for a Government that has ahead of it the enormous task of avoiding a winter of poverty and discontent.
“I am sure that the values of Elizabeth II will be upheld by her beloved son Charles, our new king,” said Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer in his official reaction to the death of the monarch. Just one sentence in a long intervention dedicated to praising the figure of the queen. A way of showing her support, but with the condition of placing Carlos III in front of the mirror of his predecessor.
The respected journalist Andrew Marr recalled on the pages of the weekly New Statesman on Elizabeth II: “She was an absolutely central woman in Britain to understand our own meaning, to understand who we are.” It has gone definitively when the United Kingdom has irretrievably broken ties with the European continent, Scotland threatens to stir up the specter of secessionism again, Northern Ireland revives its internal brawls given the near possibility of a reunification of the island, the countries of the Commonwealth that the late queen did so much to care for feel less and less tied to a political idea that has little effectiveness and many unamended colonialist memories.
Liz Truss, like all new prime ministers, has entered Downing Street with an adamist speech in which she promises bold plans to rescue the UK economy and return the country to the greatness that the Conservatives, in that nostalgia that Brexit brought with it. They strive to recover. Paradoxically, it has been an event beyond her control and of incalculable historical dimensions – the death of Elizabeth II – that has led the United Kingdom to enter a new era. And the eyes of millions of Britons will focus, rather than on the prime minister, on the new king and the era he ushers in.
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