In accordance with British laws of succession, the former Prince Charles will now become the King of England and Head of State. Queen Elizabeth was the longest-reigning British monarch, a feat previously accomplished by her own great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Elizabeth II was a highly respected monarch who saw fifteen Prime Ministers, five Popes, and thirteen U.S. presidents come and go.
Queen Elizabeth II met with all thirteen of those presidents, from Truman to Biden. Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old. The former Prince Charles was the heir apparent for the longest time in recent history.
Charles is expected to stay overnight in Balmoral Castle, where the Queen passed away, with the rest of the Royal family.
The BBC is now reporting that Charles will be given the regal name of King Charles III. Charles could have chosen from any of his legal names – Charles Philip Arthur George, but he decided to keep the name that most around the world know him. The first British King Charles was coronated in 1626; he would later be executed in 1649. His reign was marred by a civil war in England, and he was convicted of treason.
Charles’ coronation has yet to be scheduled.
Queen Elizabeth II was known for her regal demeanor and stoicism; she was overwhelmingly popular. King Charles III will be the oldest monarch to take the British throne; the lineage of this royal family goes back more than a millennium.
For many years, the British quietly objected to the possibility that Charles second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, would ascend to the throne as a rightful queen. However, Queen Elizabeth II made a statement in February of this year that would dismiss any doubt. When Charles is coronated king, Camilla will be named the queen. Camilla and Charles wed in 2005.
Charles’ supporters say that he is “ahead of his time” on the idea of climate change as well as devoted to the people of England, much like his mother. Charles oversees the Prince’s Trust charity, which works to provide employment to more than one million disadvantaged young people. The charity has been in place for almost five decades.
Charles released a statement regarding his mother’s passing:
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
Charles has also been criticized for his attempts to “modernize” the monarchy while still maintaining the traditions of the position that date back centuries.
Charles has been “groomed” for the position of Head of State in England almost since his birth. He married later than some would have liked, and, the country fell in love with his bride, Diana, more so than Charles. When his sons, William and Harry, were born, the country was ecstatic, not only about the monarchy, but because they followed the happenings of the Royal Family so closely.
The Queen’s passing has not only made Charles the new king, but his eldest son, William, is now next in line for the throne, better described as the “heir apparent.” William has also been groomed for leadership since a young age.
Charles attended a boarding school to achieve his education; past heir apparents studied with a private tutor. His boys would also follow suit, attending Eton. Both William and Harry would follow in their grandmother’s steps by serving in the British military (William was in the Navy, while Harry was in the Army).
Charles was crowned the Prince of Wales in 1969. He would later serve in the Royal Air Force and the Navy.
Charles’ supporters say that the new king has a heart for “the young, the disaffected, the unlucky, and even the malign.” As the new Head of State, Charles is likely to work to improve the plight of many British citizens.