In the end, the grand celebration for the platinum jubilee of Isabel II. In June there were four holidays, which would be a bridge to the Spanish, an incomprehensible concept for the British. And that your sovereign celebrated 70 years on the throne, unique longevity in the kingdom’s history, it certainly was. “An extensive program of public events will be held that will mix traditional pageantry with the most advanced technological exhibitions,” read an official government statement.
It was thought then that many months lay ahead, a time that seemed like an eternity for a 96-year-old woman whose unannounced visits to the hospital, the cancellation of some of her official acts and the recording of messages instead of her presence at others led to to think that health begins to abandon her. Then what? doWhat would happen when the royal family goes out on the balcony of Buckingham and Elizabeth is gone, hiding behind his enormous popularity the miseries of the troops that have embittered his last years? This is what they were wondering then and the time has come to answer, unfortunately, those questions.
“Operation London Bridge”. This is how the protocol is known, designed down to the smallest detail, which began the moment the sovereign died. The BBC gave the official statement, a national holiday was declared and the Police began an operation to control the crowds that gathered around the Palace, where, had it not been at Balmoral, the body of the queen would have been, which would later be transferred to Westminster , where he was to remain for three days, until he was finally buried in the royal crypt at Windsor Castle. Then, the Government, the family and the courtiers, reunited with Carlos III, will have already greeted the dynastic continuation with a “God save the king”, although perhaps marred by the uncertainty with which some voices will chant it.
For the septuagenarian Prince of Wales, the “eternal wait” has ended, as the expert in palace affairs Geoffrey Levy has defined it. Carlos knows well that his reign was born from the well-founded fears that his figure arouses, scandalous in the past, controversial in her opinions, gray image, not at all captivating. “Carlos is going to be the best prepared monarch in history and he will be a very good king,” assured Simon Lewis, who was Secretary of Communications for Queen Elizabeth II, representing the minority that trusts in his ability to continue the legacy of his mother. Most show, at best, their doubts, and at worst, the harshest criticism, like that of Tom Bower, author of one of the harshest biographies on the heir: «It will undermine the monarchy. He is a rebel who wants to impose his ideas and his vision of the world, and divides instead of generating consensus».
It is true that his stormy marriage to Diana and the quagmire that his divorce became is a stigma that will always accompany him. But, in addition, the most traditionalist monarchists are uncomfortable that he does not respect the distance that his mother has always maintained regarding any issue that was the subject of social debate. From silence (he has never given a personal interview or made a public statement that is not dictated by protocol), Elizabeth II managed to maintain a halo of pristine neutrality that bothers no one. His son, however, has stepped into puddles driven by a personal commitment that has led him, for example, to activism against climate change, to the defense of traditional architecture or to criticism of the poor quality of meals in public hospitals. .
Elizabeth’s long reign and her ability to maintain the identification of the throne with the majesty she inherited from her ancestors have provided stability to the institution that, for the same reasons, may now be its greatest burden. For the vast majority of Britons, the monarchy is Elizabeth, the only sovereign they have ever known, so it is certain that the perception of the crown will change decisively when the prince takes her place. Carlos will have to take on the challenge of undertaking an inevitable transformation that will probably swell the ranks of the anti-monarchists. His success will consist in that the loss of support is not dramatic.
Simon Schama, British historian, professor at Columbia University (USA), argued in an article in “New Yorker” that Carlos may also face an identity crisis in his country, convulsed by the consequences of Brexit and threatened in his drive for the possibility of another independence referendum in Scotland. «There is a kind of national neurosis that would normally placate the monarchy. But the monarchy is stuck, trying to do two contradictory things: to defuse a national crisis it must be a timeless institution, but for young British people, in particular, it must be an institution of our times.
In this exercise of bipolarity, Carlos’ ability to read what the institution needs and what his fellow citizens demand will be demonstrated. For now, he has already transcended his claim to continue living in his residence at Clarence House, turning Buckingham into a museum where he can host certain solemn acts. A gesture of budgetary containment that seems the first step to unload the new stage with purple and ermine. According to what has also been leaked to the media from his surroundings, intends to reduce the number of representatives of the monarchy, crowd today, to limit it to a small nucleus in which they would be, in addition to him and Camilla, Guillermo and Kate, his sister, Ana, and his brother Eduardo with his wife, Sofía. To those who would later be added by his descendants.
So, the treasury would save the expenses involved in the official protagonism of figures such as the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra or the Dukes of Gloucester. Prince Andrew is not counted at all, stained for life by his relationship with the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the open case against him for child abuse, which also ends the claims of his daughters, Beatriz and Eugenia de York, to be part of what will be considered the British royal family.
Not only will Carlos’ environment shrink, but also the territories over which his mother still reigns as head of state: there are 15 other countries, former British colonies that decided to remain part of the Crown. One of these, Barbados officially became a republic on November 30. Others have already shown their disaffection for a throne that is not occupied by Elizabeth: the polls in Canada are clear in this regard and in Australia the voices that endorse the opinion of Marcolm Turnbull, former prime minister of that country, increase to a majority. who defends ending the monarchical stage when the queen died. Will you still think the same today?
It is, without a doubt, the end of an era. Everyone hoped that it would be late, and it has been, but the end is always inevitable. Now we should screamGod save the monarchy»at least in the long term.