As the world mourns the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom also wonders what kind of ruler its new monarch will be. Following his mother’s demise, (formerly) Prince Charles became King Charles III. His wife, Camilla, now bears the title Queen Consort.
As the Queen was Britain’s longest reigning ruler, Charles spent 70 years preparing for the role. Now 73, he is older at his time of ascension than any other monarch in the nation’s history. He issued his first public statement as King to pay tribute to his “beloved mother” shortly after her death.
King Charles III is not just the head of the UK; he will also be the monarch of the Commonwealth. This is a group of 54 countries and 2.4 billion people. The new king will serve as head of state in 15 of these nations. Among them are Australia and Canada.
The question on everyone’s mind is what kind of ruler King Charles III would be. He has previously mentioned that he will take a different approach as a monarch than a prince. Having a history of being rather outspoken for a royal, the King will have to abstain from discussing specific political and social issues to maintain neutrality.
Yet, he also desires to take the royal family in a more “modern” direction. What this entails remains to be seen, but it could have quite a bit to do with the fact that Prince William, a newer generation of royalty, will be Britain’s next monarch.
King Charles III must also contend with his late mother’s tremendous popularity. According to polls by YouGov, Queen Elizabeth II was liked by 75% of people. Charles, per the same pollster, is favored by 42% of the British public and disliked by 24%. These numbers are mainly attributed to his being unfaithful to the universally loved Princess Diana and his vocal stance on specific socio-political issues.
King Charles III admittedly realizes that heir and ruler are two vastly different roles. Yet, only time will tell if the new King can stop supporting causes not of concern to other Britons and adopt the more conservative stance required of a king.