Britain, the Monarchy & the Commonwealth September 2022-

Written by  //  October 14, 2022  //  Government & Governance, U.K./Britain  //  No comments

Why Canada could be King Charles’s first trip outside U.K. as monarch
Destination for initial visit will be of ‘strategic importance’ to Britain, royal expert says
(CBC) The Times reported in recent days that U.K. government ministers were considering a proposal to send Charles to Canada.
“One source said Canada was at the ‘top of the list’ for potential visits,” the Times reported, noting the British government “is keen to foster closer ties with Ottawa after Brexit.”
If the first trip is to Canada, [Prof. Pauline Maclaran, a royal expert at the Centre for the Study of Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway, University of London] said, “it would be to reinforce ties with the Commonwealth, as well as consolidate trade with what I understand is the U.K.’s third-largest trading partner and a country pinpointed as a strong growth area for U.K. imports.” … if the idea is to visit a Commonwealth country first, there are several reasons Canada would be an obvious choice, Johnson said. “We are the oldest and most senior member of the Commonwealth, if one traces the Commonwealth’s history back to the very idea of the Commonwealth floated as early as the 1880s-’90s.”

13 October
King Charles greets Liz Truss with: ‘Back again? Dear, oh dear’
Under-fire prime minister has awkward exchange with monarch at first weekly audience
It took just 15 seconds of video from the meeting at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday night for the monarch to make things worse.
As Truss curtseyed, and said: “Your Majesty”, Charles replied: “So you’ve come back again?”
Dr Jennifer Cassidy, a lecturer in diplomacy at Oxford University, described it as “a scene straight from The Office … political awkwardness and unintentional comedy at its finest”.
Prime ministers have talked affectionately of their weekly meetings with the Queen, but after Wednesday night’s exchange, Truss may approach next week’s audience with the monarch with more trepidation.

11-14 October
Coronation on 6 May for King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort
(BBC) King Charles III’s coronation is to be held on Saturday 6 May, at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Camilla, the Queen Consort, will be alongside the King and will also be crowned in the historic ceremony.
King Charles became monarch when his mother the late Queen died, but the coronation will mark a symbolic celebration of his new reign.
With much pageantry and ritual, the King will be anointed as sovereign and a crown placed on his head.
What King Charles III’s coronation might look like
CNN — Mark your calendars, royal-watchers. King Charles III will be crowned in Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023, eight months after he succeeded his mother.
As expected, the date has been the source of heavy speculation in the past few weeks. Many hoped for June 2 – 70 years to the day since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – as a symbol of continuity between the reigns.
But, alas, picking a date isn’t as simple as looking at a calendar. It has to be checked against everything else going on to avoid clashes with other major events (the FA Cup soccer final, for example), as well as ensuring the availability of key players like the abbey itself and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who conducts the ceremony.
With the date locked in, attention now turns to the details of the day. The United Kingdom being the only monarchy in Europe that retains the ritual of a coronation, it will be a typically royal occasion, full of the pageantry loved by so many. But, at its heart, it is also a deeply religious ceremony.
While the specifics of next year’s event have yet to be revealed, coronations have stayed largely the same for more than 1,000 years, so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
King Charles III’s coronation to take place on 6 May 2023
Service will retain elements of past ceremonies but takes place on a weekend and will ‘reflect monarch’s role today’

19 September
Spider cameo and Tindall’s medals – social media reacts to quirky side of funeral coverage
Twitter users were less reverent than those at the Queen’s funeral, and had plenty of jokes and questions as the ceremony unfolded
“I’d love to know what the Rouge Dragon Pursuivant does on a normal day” and the reply “Regular dragon things. Musing about gold coin and damsels. Preening. Claw sharpening. Bit of flapping about. The usual.”

17 September
Forget the private jet and limo. Leaders relegated to buses for queen’s funeral.
The VIP guests have made a constant stream of special requests. Some have asked to bring their doctor, some a personal assistant. Some have requested a private room where they can rest.
“You can’t just issue a blanket ‘no,’ but nine times out of ten it is a ‘no,’” the official said. “But we want everyone to leave with a good impression.”

The Japanese emperor, who lives in luxury in Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, will ride a crowded shuttle bus to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday.
But while Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have been cheerful about the communal transport, some other world leaders have not, especially because President Biden and a few select others will arrive in their own armored vehicles.
Laying to rest the best-known woman in the world has turned into a gigantic diplomatic challenge. Members of the 23 royal families will be seated in the first rows of Westminster Abbey, in front of President Biden and about 90 other presidents and prime ministers, as dictated by protocol.

16 September
Lisa LaFlamme speaks with Royal historian Helen Carr
Every minute of every day since The Queen died has been written in stone to the last detail. Lisa LaFlamme on the rehearsed blue print playing out all around the United Kingdom.
Thoughts from Lisa LaFlamme from London
CityNews’ special correspondent from London, Lisa LaFlamme, reflects on the lasting impact Queen Elizabeth has left on many across the world.
Mourners are waiting for hours in a 5 mile queue to say farewell to Queen Elizabeth
(NPR) A country’s collective grief at the death of Queen Elizabeth II has taken a peculiarly British form over the course of the past couple of days. In a nation known for its orderly lines, or queues, thousands of people have waited for hours at a time to pay their respects to the late monarch in a coffin, lying in state at the heart of the country’s parliamentary democracy. The queue now stretches about 5 miles.
The public outpouring has been so great that by Friday morning the queues had been paused for 6 hours after Southwark Park — the start of the queue — reached capacity.

15 September
King stands vigil; Wait to see queen’s coffin hits 24 hours
(AP) — A surging tide of people — ranging from London retirees to former England soccer captain David Beckham — have lined up to file past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it lies in state at Parliament, so many that authorities had to call a temporary halt Friday to more people joining the miles-long queue.
By late afternoon, a live tracker said the line to get into historic Westminster Hall had reopened, but the British government warned that it would take more than 24 hours of waiting to cover the 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the start of the line in Southwark Park to the coffin at Parliament. The government also warned that “overnight temperatures will be cold.”
The mourners kept silently streaming into Westminster Hall even as King Charles III and his three siblings stood vigil around the flag-draped coffin for 15 minutes on Friday evening. A baby’s cry was the only sound.

14 September
How the U.K. plans to keep world leaders safe as they arrive for the queen’s funeral
(NPR) …the extensive preparations for her funeral are in full swing.
On Monday, leaders from around the world will converge on Westminster Abbey in London for a ceremony to pay their respects to the late queen. Everyone from U.S. President Joe Biden to Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and France’s President Emmanuel Macron are expected to attend, as hundreds of thousands of onlookers gather nearby.
It’s expected to create an unprecedented and challenging security situation for the officials in charge.
As many as 750,000 people are predicted to travel to London for the state funeral and pay their respects as the queen lies in state, according to The Guardian. For comparison, about 200,000 made that journey in 2002 to do the same after the passing of the Queen Mother.
Operation London Bridge has already gained attention for its unusual approach to the guest list, as well as transportation for many of the notable figures that plan on attending.
World leaders, including President Biden, have been instructed to only bring their spouses or partners to the funeral, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. This is in contrast to the other notable funerals, like that of Nelson Mandela in 2013, which saw Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter all in attendance.
The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, which is in charge of coordinating the event, noted in their protocol that Westminster Abbey will be so packed that it is impossible to accommodate any more guests than what they have already allotted for.

12 September
Robert Skidelsky: Requiem for an Empire
Since World War II, Britain’s influence in the world has relied on its “special relationship” with the United States, its position as head of the Commonwealth (the British Empire’s successor), and its position in Europe. By its membership of these overlapping and mutually reinforcing circles, Britain might hope to maximize its hard and soft power and mitigate the effects of its military and economic “dwarfing.”
(Project Syndicate) …the Commonwealth, a grouping of 56 countries, mainly republics, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire, has been crucial in conserving a “British connection” around the world in the post-imperial age. Whether this link is simply a historical reminiscence, whether it stands for something substantial in world affairs, and whether and for how long it can survive the Queen’s passing, have become matters of great interest, especially in light of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
… The British Empire of 1914 became the British Commonwealth in 1931, and finally just The Commonwealth, with the Queen as its titular head. Its influence lay in its global reach. Following the contours of the British Empire, it was the only world organization (apart from the United Nations and its agencies) which spanned every continent.
The Commonwealth conserved the British connection in two main ways. First, it functioned as an economic bloc through the imperial preference system of 1932 and the sterling area that was formalized in 1939, both of which survived into the 1970s. Second, and possibly more durably, its explicitly multiracial character, so ardently supported by the Queen, served to soften both global tensions arising from ethnic nationalism, and ethnic chauvinism in the “mother country.” Multicultural Britain is a logical expression of the old multicultural empire.

11 September
With Queen Gone, Former Colonies Find a Moment to Rethink Lasting Ties
In Commonwealth nations with British colonial histories, Queen Elizabeth’s death is rekindling discussions about a more independent future.
By Damien Cave, bureau chief, Sydney, Australia
(NYT) Reconciling a seemingly benevolent queen with the often-cruel legacy of the British Empire is the conundrum at the heart of Britain’s post-imperial influence. The British royal family reigned over more territories and people than any other monarchy in history, and among the countries that have never quite let go of the crown, Queen Elizabeth’s death creates an opening for those pushing to address the past more fully and rethink the vestiges of colonialism.
Many former British colonies remain bound together in the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 countries. The members are connected by their shared histories, with similar legal and political systems, and the organization promotes exchanges in fields like sports, culture and education. Especially for smaller and newer members, the group can confer prestige, and while the Commonwealth has no formal trade agreement, its members conduct trade with one another at higher-than-usual rates.
Most of the Commonwealth members are independent republics, with no formal ties to the British royal family. But 14 are constitutional monarchies that have retained the British sovereign as their head of state, a mostly symbolic role.
On Saturday, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic within three years. In Australia, the Bahamas, Canada and Jamaica, debates that have simmered for years about their democracies’ ties to a distant kingdom have started to heat up again. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, people are asking: Why do we swear allegiance to a monarch in London?
The queen’s death opens the floodgates on self-rule campaigns
King Charles III will have his hands full stopping former British colonies from declaring independence from the crown.
(Politico) Charles might have more success in leading the Commonwealth than in staving off republican movements, though he faces ongoing pressure to address the dark legacy of the slave trade in many former colonies. The king made a speech in Rwanda earlier this year during the most recent Commonwealth meeting in which he said that the “time has come” to discuss the impact of slavery and expressed “sorrow” over the practice but stopped short of a formal apology.
“He says that this needs to be an open and honest discussion, and the time is now,” Onslow said. “These are very important issues within Commonwealth countries … particularly within Caribbean member countries.”

World leaders scramble for invites to ‘a funeral like no other’
US President Biden, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern will be among the guests for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on September 19.
“It would not be surprising if all the crowned heads of state from Europe come, as well as heads of state and heads of government in other countries,” said a former Cabinet minister who was in government at the time of another major funeral, that of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 2013.
“It will be a huge diplomatic event,” they added. “Her majesty’s last contribution to the wellbeing of our country is to provide an excuse for a huge diplomatic get-together.”

10 September

Charles formally proclaimed King by privy council

King Charles III is proclaimed in his absence at an accession council in the state apartments at St James’s Palace
(The Guardian) King Charles III has been proclaimed in a historic ceremony in which he swore with the help of God to dedicate “what remains to me of my life” to “carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me”.
In a ceremony dating back centuries, and to a fanfare of trumpets, the King was proclaimed at a meeting of the accession council in St James’s Palace by privy counsellors.
On the balcony of the old courtyard, the mass media of the 1500s – men in scarlet jackets and tricorn hats – clambered through a window to trumpet news of their “only lawful and rightful liege lord”.
The principal proclamation was then read aloud by the garter king of arms from the balcony of St James’s Palace to a public crowd gathered below, followed by gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
The crowd sang the national anthem, God Save the King, with its wording reverting to that last sung 70 years ago, and ceremonial troops gave three cheers for the new king.
Following tradition, the King was missing from the first part of the proceedings, attended only by privy counsellors, and did not witness senior figures from national life including the Queen Consort, the Prince of Wales and the prime minister, Liz Truss, as the proclamation was first read. During this part, the lord president of the council, Penny Mordaunt, informed the 200 invited privy counsellors of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. A platform party, including the Queen Consort, William, Truss and the archbishops of Canterbury and York, then “shall wait on the King to inform him the council is assembled”, Mordaunt said.
King Charles’s address in full at proclamation ceremony
Charles praises Queen’s reign as he is formally confirmed as king
By Andre Rhoden-Paul and Claire Heald
the choreography of continuity
(BBC News) It was a mix of ritual, ornate language and constitutional practicality.
Clerk of the Privy Council Richard Tilbrook proclaimed Charles “King, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith”, before declaring “God Save the King”.
The packed room, including all of the six living former British prime ministers, repeated the phrase. The proclamation was then read out on a balcony above Friary Court in St James’s Palace.
It is the first time the historic ceremony, which dates back centuries, has been televised.

King Charles officially proclaimed as Canada’s new monarch
House of Commons will be recalled Thursday to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth

The spy chief who will bid Queen Elizabeth a final farewell
Andrew Parker, the Lord Chamberlain, has moved seamlessly from one pillar of the British establishment to another.
(Politico Eu) …the current Lord Chamberlain is better known — in Westminster circles, at least — as the former head of Britain’s domestic counter-intelligence service, MI5.
… Those who have encountered Parker during his 37 years in the security service point out he has been at the apex of decision-making at other times of national crisis — often more harrowing and shocking than the passing of a monarch.
…while leading the intelligence services he constantly advocated for MI5’s evolution and innovation — modernizing traits which could be crucial for the royal family as it enters its next phase.
Parker’s arrival at Buckingham Palace in April 2021 came at a time of crisis for the royals — still dealing with the fall-out of Prince Harry’s move to the U.S. and the scandal enveloping Prince Andrew. And it followed the departure of two long-serving senior courtiers to Queen Elizabeth.
“He is a safe pair of hands in a crisis,” one former government aide, who saw him operate in the immediate aftermath of an attack, said.
He is not easily flustered, he is good at providing clarity and at sticking to the facts under moments of stress — all vital attributes at a time when the public needs reassurance, the aide added.

9 September
Charles III’s first speech: what the King said and why it was important
King Charles III’s first speech to the nation as sovereign contained telling passages showing how he hopes the public, in the UK and abroad, will see his forthcoming reign and how he wants the royal family to operate.
(The Guardian) … “In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the state have changed in turn.” And he said: “Whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love.”
These two sentences projected a clear recognition of a new era, in which he will reign over an ever more ethnically and religiously diverse nation. Charles has for decades shown a huge interest in faiths such as Islam and their related cultures and appears keen to present himself as a guardian of religious and cultural diversity as well as the established Church of England, of which he is a part.
“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”
Here he alludes to setting aside the causes – such as climate change, classical architecture, alternative medicine, youth work and interfaith dialogue – that have sometimes caused public controversy. But he does so in the knowledge that Prince William, whom he anointed the Prince of Wales, has already taken up the cudgels on the issue that concerns him most: climate change. He also hinted he wants them to take on a brief perhaps relating to inequality when he said the new Prince and Princess of Wales would “bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”

Charles III and the future of the UK monarchy: looking abroad for clues
By Craig Prescott, Lecturer in Law, Bangor University
(The Conversation) King Charles III takes the throne at an uncertain time for the British monarchy. Republicanism is on the rise, both in the UK and across the Commonwealth. Meanwhile the withdrawal of three family members from royal duties – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by personal choice, and Prince Andrew by order of his late mother – has already changed the royal landscape in Britain.
The new king meanwhile, has long made it clear that he envisages a “slimmed down” version of the royal family.
Monarchy is rarely static, and over time the role of any monarchy will adapt to broader constitutional developments. To understand what to expect from the British monarchy in the years ahead, we may want to look to the other 43 countries that currently have a monarch as their head of state (15 of which share the British monarch).

The end of Queen Elizabeth’s moral geopolitics
In contemporary terms, she had a moral perspective on globalism
By Andrew R. Marshall
(New Atlanticist) The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the passing of an era in the United Kingdom. It may also signal the end of an approach to global politics that she personified—an idea of a world brought together as a family or community, one that she deeply cared about.
The monarch was a source of continuity during a dramatic period of change and decline for the United Kingdom. When she was born, her father was emperor of India; in the last year of her life, the small Caribbean island of Barbados decided it no longer wanted the British monarch as head of state.
… The United Kingdom’s global ties will clearly persist in many dimensions: financial, economic, political. The monarch’s passing, though sad, will be just one moment in time. Britain has continuing close connections with many countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East, and those connections have to do with practical British influence and trade. But the sense of moral, familial, and personal connection may now be ebbing. Perhaps that conception was always more romantic than real, but it was certainly a reality to Queen Elizabeth II. The moral sense of the world—what we owe to each other, and what we can gain by seeking goals in common—was to her the highest form of duty. That, at least, seems to be something she passed on to her son, now King Charles III.
The Atlantic Council remembers Queen Elizabeth II
By Atlantic Council experts

8 September

Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
Her eldest son, Charles, becomes King Charles III, and the head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. He said the death of his beloved mother was “a moment of great sadness”.
All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen on Tuesday, said the monarch was the rock on which modern Britain was built and she had “provided us with the stability and strength that we needed”.
Speaking about the new King, she said: “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long.
Obituary: A long life marked by a sense of duty

The BBC’s announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The Economist announcing special edition Britain’s longest-reigning monarch has died. During her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II advised 15 British prime ministers, met 12 American presidents, lent her name to over 600 charitable organisations and owned more than 40 Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgi dogs. Along with her consort, Prince Philip—by her side until his death in 2021—she witnessed the evolution of Britain from a declining imperial power to a multicultural country embracing change. The unique circumstances of the queen’s reign mean that it is unlikely to be repeated. The new monarch, King Charles III, is Britain’s longest-serving heir-apparent and is the oldest new monarch in the country’s history.
In her seven decades on the throne she witnessed the end of the British empire and welcomed radical societal shifts. But her profile extended far beyond Britain–she visited over 100 countries, met 13 American presidents and five popes.

Earlier in the day
Concerns for Queen Elizabeth II’s health
Queen Elizabeth II has been placed under medical supervision because doctors are “concerned for Her Majesty’s health,” Buckingham Palace said Thursday, as members of the royal family rushed to Scotland to the side of the 96-year-old monarch. The announcement by the palace came a day after the queen canceled a virtual meeting of her Privy Council when doctors advised her to rest following a full day of events on Tuesday (6 September), when she formally asked Liz Truss to become Britain’s prime minister.

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