It was Princess Diana who expressed a desire to be a queen of people’s hearts. It seemed like the manner of her death would grant her wish for about a decade. If public displays of love are the yardstick, Queen Elizabeth may have reclaimed the crown. Beyond the pomp and circumstance, people paid their own spontaneous tributes.
But the pages of history turn quickly when it comes to a new monarch, and from today, King Charles will bear the responsibility for forging a legacy worthy of a king.
Those on trial know that one is aware that one does not strike up a conversation with a king or queen.
You wait to be spoken to.
Even before King Charles was anointed, there was talk of his being able to play either a ceremonial or a governmental role in handling future relations between our islands.
During her momentous state visit to Ireland in 2011, The Queen gave a master class on how irresistible soft power can be in bridge building.
At her funeral in Westminster Abbey, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood reminded us: “The Queen has championed our peace process.
“It’s important that we do the same to show respect to her and everyone for whom she held a special place in their hearts.”
Whether King Charles shares such impulses and tendencies remains to be seen in the coming months.
Jonathan Swift put it beautifully when he wrote:
A prince, once crowned,
inherits every virtue sound,
As emblems of sovereign power,
Like other bullets in the tower:
is generous, brave, just and wise,
And so it goes on until he dies….
These are indeed high requirements.
It is difficult to say exactly what the role of a monarch is in the 21st century.
With the full glory of 24/7 virtual verification to contend with, very little is hidden and nothing is forgiven.
As writer George Will put it, “If your business is to leaven ordinary life with uplifting spectacle, be uplifting or be gone.”
But life as the purveyor of a “sublime spectacle” is nothing but demanding, as the new king has done
Even an encounter with a misfiring fountain pen can ricochet around the world in a matter of seconds.
Charles is tasked with keeping his own family together while reaching out to the increasingly distant and disaffected populace of Scotland and Wales, not to mention the vexed issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the failure to restore devolved government in the north.
Politicians may not welcome a dip in their path, but a complete failure to make any headway on any front suggests that when you are in a position of potential influence and are not working towards being part of a solution, you quickly become part of the Solution is branded problem.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/king-charles-faces-a-tough-task-in-forging-his-own-legacy-42002479.html King Charles faces a difficult task of forging his own legacy