BusinessDay

King Charles the ‘Green Monarch’ and future of the British monarchy

The Queen’s death came at a volatile period in British politics, with a recent scandal-induced change of prime minister and skyrocketing energy, food, and gasoline expenses, according to Kevin McGlone, a history professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, in an interview.

“A 2021 poll conducted in England, Scotland, and Wales found that Queen Elizabeth had 70 percent approval, but only 50 percent approved of her son and heir Charles, now King Charles III. It remains to be seen how her death and Charles’ succession to the throne affect public attitudes of the monarchy,” he added.

With the death and burial of the Queen now over, King Charles is expected to settle in for his real role.

What to know about the King and why he is called the ‘green monarch’

Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor, the first son of Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip, was born on November 14, 1948. As the first modern heir to the British throne, Charles was educated outside of the palace rather than receiving private tutoring, and he later graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts.

When the queen died on September 8, 2022, Charles, formerly known as Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

King Charles III is the oldest person to become a British monarch, at the age of 73.

Britain’s next King is a dedicated environmentalist with a long history of pushing for improved conservation, organic farming, and climate change mitigation, which is likely to appeal to more environmentally aware younger Britons.

How wealthy is he?

According to Forbes.com, an American business magazine, Charles now supervises $42 billion in assets and inherited $500 million from Queen Elizabeth, including her castles, jewels, art collection, and a horse farm—all of which are tax-free.

As Prince of Wales, Charles established a number of initiatives to conserve the environment and promote organic farming. Charles controlled the largest organic food brand in the United Kingdom, as well as a nature retreat and crafts centre in Transylvania, both of which run as bed & breakfasts, through his Charitable Foundation (which William now inherited).

The sour love story

Lady Diana Spencer, later known as Princess Diana, was Charles’ first wife.

They were married for 15 years, from 1981 through 1996.

Diana was 20 years old and Charles was 32 years old when they married.

Their wedding was described as a fairy tale, but their marriage was not. The royal couple divorced in 1996 after splitting in 1992.

Charles had always been in love with Camilla, a woman he met almost a decade before in 1970, as the public eventually discovered.

Eventually, Charles married Camilla in Windsor in 2005, 8 years after the death of Princess Diana in Paris.

Read also: King Charles officially proclaimed as Britain’s new monarch

His experience in the corridors of power

Prince Charles is no stranger to political machinations globally.

He has been to Washington at least 20 times and met every President of the United States since Jimmy Carter.

During a three-day visit to the United States in 2015, Charles met with then President Barack Obama for the second time. Obama said in the Oval Office that the American people were “very fond of the royal family,” and that they “like them much better than their own politicians.”

“I don’t believe that,” the king said.

Also, when former President Donald Trump’s visited the United Kingdom in 2019, Charles was supposed to meet with the American leader for around 15 minutes, but they ended up talking for longer.

After their encounter, Trump described him as “a very good person” who was “very into climate change.”

“What touched me was his concern for future generations,” Trump stated. “He wants to ensure that future generations have a decent climate rather than a calamity, and I agree.”

Similarly, he engaged President Biden at the COP26 climate meeting in Scotland in November 2021 who commended him for his environmental leadership, saying, “We need you badly… and I’m not just saying that.”

The king’s speech and the water it holds

King Charles III gave his first speech to the nation as the British monarch on September 9, 2022 following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In his speech, he paid tribute to his mother, saying: “Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen -my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.”

“Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today,” King Charles continued.

“The role and the duties of monarchy also remain,” King Charles said, highlighting his responsibility towards the Church of England and his own deep-rooted faith.

“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I, too, now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said.

“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the Realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life,” he added.

According to royal.uk, some of the roles of the monarchy that remains in practice include: to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters and by convention, to not vote or stand for election; however, they do have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the government of the UK.

Which countries recognise Charles as king?

Like his mother, Charles is the king of the UK as well as 14 other nations, including Canada and others in the Asia-Pacific and Caribbean referred to as the Commonwealth realms.

They are distinct from the Commonwealth of Nations, a loose association of 54 former British Empire members, the majority of which are now sovereign.

The Commonwealth realms collectively have about 150 million residents, with the UK, Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand having the highest populations.

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