Before the funeral of Elizabeth II. Charles III. his journey as the new king
Charles III completes his journey as the new Sovereign across the United Kingdom in Wales on Friday, three days before the grandiose funeral of his mother Elizabeth II, a symbol of stability and unity for Britons for more than 70 years.
The hour of the final goodbyes is approaching. On Monday, a page of British history will be opened, first in the stunning setting of Westminster Abbey, then in the family intimacy of St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
It will be the end of 12 days of immense national emotion which will have made it possible, with the pomp and solemnity that the British monarchy has as a secret, to fervently accompany the ultra-popular Elizabeth to her final resting place and to her heir Charles de on the sit throne.
Having endured honors and official engagements since the Queen’s death on 8 September at Balmoral Castle in Scotland aged 96, Charles III retired. returned to his country home in Highgrove on Thursday. But there was no question of calm, his officials said: the king continued to work “resistingly”.
On Friday he is back on his way to Cardiff where he will attend a church service with Queen Consort Camilla followed by a reception with local political figures.
To complete a tour that has taken him to all the parliaments of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales), whoever was Prince of Wales from the age of nine until last week need not necessarily arrive on conquering soil.
A petition protesting the transfer of the title – for some a symbol of English oppression – to the new heir to the throne, William, rather than a Welshman, has garnered more than 25,000 signatures. An anti-monarchy demonstration is planned outside Cardiff Castle.
– National divisions, family crises –
Between these protests, Scotland’s quest for independence, the tensions between communities in Northern Ireland, but also the republican temptations that emerged in some of his 14 other kingdoms, the challenges facing Charles III. considerably when he succeeded his mother.
His first steps as king were considered quite dignified, with the exception of a few public gestures of irritation, which drew much comment on the internet.
It remains to be seen how the monarch, who has not hesitated to make a commitment to the environment or even to voice his opinion discreetly to the government on a whole host of issues, will slip into the costume of his mother, who is undeterred by the crises and upheavals of history, had maintained an impeccable neutrality and an unfailing sense of duty until his last days.
On the other hand, she knew how to touch her subjects by comforting them in difficult times: still a princess during the Second World War, when the death of Diana shook the monarchy or at the end of her life when the British were imprisoned.
Often described at 73 as a transitional king, preceding the popular William, but also a modernizer eager to shorten the sails of a plethoric monarchy, he will have to navigate family crises.
His brother Andrew has been ostracized by royalty over a sex scandal and his son Harry, who turned 38 on Thursday, is being exiled to California with his wife Meghan as they prepare a potentially explosive memoir.
– “Prince’s Guard” –
The hour is on the device for now. After marching through central London behind the coffin of Elizabeth II on Wednesday, her four children will reunite in their mourning on Friday night.
Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward will watch a “prince’s guard” around their mother’s coffin, which has been on public display at the Palace of Westminster since Wednesday night. For the occasion, Andrew, although he no longer had military titles, was authorized to wear the uniform.
More than a week after Elizabeth II’s death, emotion remains high. As in Edinburgh earlier this week, tens of thousands of people have already gathered, after queuing for sometimes more than eight hours across London, before the oak and lead coffin draped with the royal standard, topped with the glittering imperial crown.
The public can screen until Monday morning. Then ends the last journey of Elizabeth II, who will have traveled the planet all her life in her bright outfits and armed with dry humor.
His coffin is taken to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral, the first since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, in front of 2,000 guests, foreign heads of state, world elite, anonymous people who have been recognized for their community service.
After a final procession, she is buried in St George’s Chapel at her beloved Windsor Castle alongside her father George VI and husband Philip.
Millions of people are expected in London for the funeral of the century, meticulously prepared for 20 years, an enormous safety and logistical challenge. The UK will pause on this bank holiday before, after a brace of collective sadness, rediscovering the reality of the severe economic and social crisis that is beating it.
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