LONDON (AP) – It’s good to be queen. No one knows this better than Queen Elizabeth II, who does not show …
LONDON (AP) – It’s good to be queen.
No one knows this better than Queen Elizabeth II, who shows no signs of leaving after 70 years on the throne. But the aging sovereign is giving Prince Charles an increasingly prominent role, delegating more responsibilities to his eldest son and heir.
This became apparent last month when 73-year-old Charles, accompanied by his wife Camilla, presided over the opening of parliament, one of the monarch’s most important duties.
The subtle transition illustrates the challenges facing the royal family as the 96-year-old queen remains on the throne, but Charles becomes an increasingly public face of the monarchy. This week Britain is celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, members of the royal family are working to consolidate the position of the heir, who is sometimes misunderstood, and to demonstrate that the House of Windsor will live on.
“Charles and Camilla are a question mark for the future when it comes to the monarchy,” said Robert Lacey, royal historian and advisor to the Netflix series Crown. “But we are not in the state we thought 20 years ago, when the prospect of Charles coming to the throne seemed a serious problem. And I think we can say that the monarchy today is run by a British commitment with more power … than it has been for decades. “
In many ways the credit goes to Elizabeth, who on her 21st birthday promised all her life to serve Britain and the Commonwealth. The Queen shows all intentions to fulfill this promise.
But problems with relocation are forcing her to be more selective in her public speeches and open the door for Charles, who has spent the past three decades overcoming the aftermath of the chaotic breakdown of his marriage to the very popular Princess Diana.
It took many in Britain years to forgive Charles, whose acknowledged infidelity and long-standing relationship with Camilla severed his relationship with Diana, known as the “People’s Princess” for her ability to communicate with the public in a way her husband could never. The glamorous young mother of Prince William and Prince Harry died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, five years after parting ways with Charles.
But public sentiment eased after Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.
Now known as the Duchess of Cornwall, 74-year-old Camilla has worked for more than 100 charities, focusing on literacy, supporting victims of domestic violence, helping the elderly and other issues.
With a down-to-earth style and sense of humor she eventually won over many Brits. Her warmth softened Charles’ suffocating image and made him look more relaxed, if not happier, as he cut ribbons, opened tablets, and performed often mundane acts of royal duty.
Earlier this year, the Queen tried to strengthen the couple’s position by expressing her “sincere wish” that Camilla be known as the “Queen-Wife” when Charles becomes King. Elizabeth’s words rejected arguments that the history of the relationship should lower Camille to some lower status, turning her from a domestic destroyer into a future wife in one fell swoop.
Charles, meanwhile, was ready to intervene whenever necessary, most sharply when he chaired the opening of Parliament and delivered a speech by the Queen outlining the government’s legislative program.
The event is a symbol of the monarch’s constitutional role as head of state of the UK and is accompanied by ceremonies and parades passed down through the centuries to demonstrate the power of UK political institutions.
The choreography of the day emphasized the queen, who was absent but still present. Her throne was removed, but in its place sat the Imperial State Crown, leaning on a pillow. Charles wore a naval admiral’s uniform – not swept by ermine robes.
“Prince Charles is the longest heir we have ever had,” said Robert Hardman, author of The Queen of Our Time: The Life of Elizabeth II. “He’s there. He is on standby to do whatever it takes when the queen can’t be there. But, you know, she swore that she would reign for life. And that’s how she looks at it. “
Because Charles has waited so long in his wings, his hobbies are well known.
For example, he began campaigning for environmental issues long before they became major issues. He was accused of interfering in politics, in which the monarch is forbidden, of speaking about the development of property, which he opposed, and other issues.
During a recent trip to Canada, he raised a very pressing issue, acknowledging the “pain and suffering” suffered by indigenous communities in which children were taken away and abused in state-funded boarding schools.
It could be a form of the future.
Emily Nash, Royal Editor of HELLO! magazine, Charles said deals with people around the world, particularly on the issue of climate change.
“It’s very important for teamwork to try to improve things for future generations,” Nash said. “And that’s what Prince Charles admires.”
Tiva Adebayo, 23, a journalist and blogger, says members of the royal family need to be more active on issues such as inequality and immigration if the monarchy is relevant in the future. She named Dutch royalty as a model for the future.
“I think that’s what kind of monarchy we want,” she said. “And that’s why it’s not about getting involved in politics, it’s like getting involved in politics, not getting too involved in public issues, but to say that when it’s convenient, I don’t think it would actually be better.”
For now, Charles has admitted that he can be a little less stuffy in public – even more accessible. Nowhere is this more evident than in a special jubilee performance at a television soap opera.
Charles and Camilla will surprise residents at a street party held on the occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Anniversary in the long BBC EastEnders show. In a clip shown after a recent episode, the parties say, “You must see this mysterious guest” – before the royal couple drives up near the Queen Vic pub.
Read AP materials about Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii
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