As nation remembers Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles has proved he's up to the job – Scotsman comment
Given the huge affection for the late Queen Elizabeth II and the length of her reign, it was unclear how public opinion would react to a new sovereign. Would there continue to be widespread support for the institution of monarchy itself or had Elizabeth effectively created a purely personal mandate, as she served as the UK’s head of state for more than 70 years, that would not necessarily continue after her passing?
As the country marks the first anniversary of her death and the beginning of King Charles’ reign, it is clear that, while many still mourn her loss, there has been no significant upsurge in demands for a republic and that the new monarch has made a good start to the role he waited all his life to fulfil. While the Elizabethan Age has ended, the transition to the new Carolean one has been virtually seamless. According to a recent YouGov poll, 62 per cent of respondents supported the monarchy, a figure only slightly down from 67 per cent shortly after Queen Elizabeth’s death.
As historian Professor Chandrika Kaul told The Scotsman, King Charles has been a “steady and reliable” presence. “He has handled the approach to the legacy of his mother very expeditiously in his first year,” she said. “He has stated time and again that he wishes to follow in her footsteps. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is a good mantra in the present times of crisis at home and abroad.”
The 74-year-old Charles has certainly sought to earn the respect of the public through hard work, carrying out more than 550 engagements in his first year. There are many of much younger years who would baulk at such a diary. Even-handed critics of the monarchy would surely accept that the country has a head of state who is conscientious and dedicated to the job he was born into.
As he remembers his mother “quietly and privately” at Balmoral, he can also look back on a year – that might have been somewhat daunting at the outset – in which he has successfully established himself as sovereign in his own right.
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