Platinum Jubilee |  The Queen ?  And then ?

Platinum Jubilee | The Queen ? And then ?

Elisabeth celebrates until Sunday her 70 years of reign. But the sovereign’s health is failing and this historic jubilee is also an opportunity to wonder about the future. What to expect when the queen disappears?

Elizabeth II, disappear? But it’s impossible. She is immortal!

Everything suggests it, considering that she has always been there. But at 96 years old, Elizabeth II is beginning to show serious signs of fatigue. Hospital visits, mobility problems, reduced responsibilities. That she misses mass in her honor on Friday due to “illness” and delegates the last speech from the throne to her son Carlos says a lot about her state of health.

Let’s admit it. But then when she dies, what happens?

Charles becomes king and a state funeral is held. It’s going to be a great thing. A very big thing. The platinum jubilee next door is the church basement bingo. The Queen is no longer just a British personality, she is part of the world heritage. So get ready.

Carlos is already 73 years old. Some think that he might want to skip his turn and leave the crown to William. Is that possible?

PHOTO HENRY NICHOLLS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Prince Charles as he arrives for Friday Mass

Very unlikely. According to to’Act of liquidation of 1701, which determines the succession, Carlos becomes king at the precise moment at which the reign of the queen ends. He would then have to abdicate for William to take his place. Except that abdication is a taboo word in the Windsor family, still traumatized by Edward VIII’s in 1936…

“There is no indication that Charles wants to deliver. He trained his whole life for this role, ”summarizes Carolyn Harris, historian of the monarchy. “Also, William and Kate still have young children. They won’t particularly want to have these full-time responsibilities. »

What kind of king will Carlos be?

Charles has always been distinguished by his strong opinions and a bit of a “left fringe” on a range of issues, from architecture to vegetarianism to ecology. No doubt he will be more reserved once he ascends the throne. “I think he’s going to want to preserve, extend and protect his mother’s legacy,” suggests Carolyn Harris. He had plenty of time to observe her and model himself on her. She knows her responsibilities and will no doubt take a more neutral approach than she has us used to. “One thing is certain, his reign will last less than his mother’s…

The queen is respected, adored, and revered. The same cannot be said for Prince Charles. It won’t be easy to put on your mom’s shoes.

Yes, he has quite a challenge ahead of him. Also, he will become king at the age of 70. Quite the opposite of his mother, who was only 25 years old when he acceded to the throne, and whom an entire nation had adopted as her daughter. “He will have to do with it,” says Ellie Woodacre, an expert on monarchy at the University of Winchester in England. He will probably have more people to convince! »

Correct. Now let’s talk about William. Many see him as the savior of the British monarchy. What reign to expect from him?

PHOTO BY DYLAN MARTINEZ, REUTERS

Prince William and his wife, Kate, on Friday.

For the monarchy to survive, it must preserve traditions while evolving at the same pace as society. It will be interesting to see how Kate and William manage to maintain this balance. Some already talk about the Cambridge way, that is to say, that they will present a more sober, more “normal” and more accessible image of the royal family. What will not prevent them from traveling and carrying out their duties as before, partly at the expense of British taxpayers (69.4 million pounds in 2020, according to Forbes)? “This is all hard to predict,” says Carolyn Harris. Where will we be in 10 or 20 years? It remains to be seen what events will occur that will shape his reign…”

The royal family is in a period of transition and Prince Charles is already beginning to take over. Can we speak of a hybrid reign or even the beginning of a regency?

Not so fast. To speak of regency, the sovereign must be unable to fulfill his functions. It is not the case of the Queen, who continues to receive ambassadors, to meet with the Prime Minister and consult official documents in her red box.

“It’s a perfect example of what I call corporate monarchy,” explains Ellie Woodacre. The idea is that one person’s name appears on the label, but that person shares the responsibilities with the others. »

That said, “there is a clear message that she is the one who continues to reign”, concludes Carolyn Harris.


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