From the Royal family’s sorrows to the commitments of tomorrow: Charles III sowing great expectations

London, 15 Sept. 2022 – Long queues and tributes of thousands to the Queen’s coffin aren’t only a massive show of respect and attachment to the iconic Elizabeth II. The very DNA of today’s British population is made of chromosomes of the 56 Commonwealth members state to which Elizabeth represented the ‘post empire monarchy’.

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” said Elizabeth II, when still Princess, on 21 April 1947 during an official visit South Africa

Only few years before the young princess wore the crown in 1952, India had declared its independence; today Indian and Pakistan origin combined living in Britain are over two million and there’s a deep sense of historic ties, roots, identification, but also a direct political representation given that Commonwealth citizens can vote at British national elections regardless of the number of years they have resided in the country.

Being part of the Commonwealth leads to a deep sense of belonging to the crown as unifying institution and this primarily concerns today’s United Kingdom’s population more than the ones of its former overseas territories; all those who might have suffered over the last twelve years witnessing scandals, such the Windrush generation‘s one where right those from Commonwealth who built up today’s Britain have been mistreated and discriminated, feel today a sense of necessity in paying tribute to the monarch as guarantor of fundamental rights of the constitution.

King Charles III during the official ceremony in Westminster Hall – Parliament – with the House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (right)

That implies the public support for the monarchy in Britain hasn’t necessarily that far-right and ultra-conservative attribute it has in other countries: as the far-right anti-immigration Tories still ‘reign’ in Westminster prompting the harsh policy of forced re-foulement of refugees to Rwanda, Charles, while still Prince of Wales, reportedly said he was ‘appalled’ by the Home Office policy right before going to Rwanda to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth heads of Government summit this year.

A demonstration of how the monarchy can appeal to a progressive and multiethnic audience within the UK as well as across the Commonwealth.

As politically neutral by constitution, King Charles III royal ‘activism’ which led him in the first ever visit of a monarch to Northern Ireland, is in some way de-politicizing that toxic Tory nationalism by making the point of unity at a higher level.

Charles is sowing great expectations even though his initiative can rise concerns over political interference (see the Economist video commentary), but he is actually moving the general public’s attention from the glamour and sorrows of the Royal family to the commitments of the new monarch.

Emy Muzzi