After 25,781 days, 15 prime ministers and over 30 corgis, Her Majesty the Queen has passed away at the age of 96.
Today is a historic day – a phrase that has been ruthlessly misused but is now sadly true – and you will read a flood of stories about her incredible reign.
She was a woman born several steps down the line of succession, a princess destined for an aristocratic life with horses and hunting on the weekends, and who, by a twist of fate, turned out to be one of the most iconic and adored figures in modern history and the world. .
But the royal family, which awakens on Friday, is led by an untested king of average popularity, with a queen who was once known as Britain’s most hated woman, a family divided by toxic feuds and allegations of sexual abuse.
Her Majesty could remake the monarchy by overseeing its transformation from a relic of the Victorian era into a thriving institution focused on the public good, ruling it through seven decades of seismic change; however, she leaves her family and the Crown in a really dangerous and precarious position.
For King Charles III, as a father and as a sovereign, the next 90 days will be one of the most dangerous periods in the history of the House of Windsor, not least because as soon as the black crepe comes off, as soon as the flags return to full mast, in the Commonwealth countries such as Australia, the murmuring of the Republican movement is likely to become more noisy.
Most obviously, the new Head of State, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and Head of the British Armed Forces is a man who has been simply not loved for decades.
Even after a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment and setting up his own charity, the Prince’s Trust, the numbers paint an unflattering picture.
According to the latest poll, taken shortly before Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June, Charles received 56% support, as opposed to the Queen’s 81%.
For Camille, that number was below the 50 percent mark. clearly cool 48 percent.
While the couple may have worked incredibly hard for the last 17 years of their marriage, now the Queen is working tirelessly on issues of domestic violence and both of them, like the Queen, are devoted monarchist soldiers, the grudging respect they could have hardly signifies any broad public support.
The number of new Kings and Queens will increase in the coming days, weeks and months, however it remains to be seen if this will lead to longer support for the duo.
There is also the far more important existential question of how hereditary monarchy—a system built on exclusive privileges for a select few individuals who have only one genetic lottery—fits into a world in which existing power structures now face inflexibility and in many relationships. cases absolutely necessary, careful study.
Support for the monarchy is inexorably falling. In May, 62 percent of Britons said they thought the country should continue with the monarchy, up from 73 percent in 2012. Look at the 18-24 demographic and that figure drops to a questionable 33% with almost the same number (31%) reporting what they think Britain must have an elected head of state.
Just over half of Britons surveyed (56%) said they thought the establishment was good for the nation, up from 67% a decade earlier.
This year’s poll also showed that only about half of respondents, 57 percent, are proud of the monarchy.
And for the youngest cohort aged 18-24? An alarming 23 percent were proud.
Now Charles must find a way to not only stem this worrisome waning of support, but also stop the reputational bleeding that has plagued the House of Windsor in recent years.
The monarchy he inherited today has just survived the last few years thanks to their mediocre dental work.
Ever since King Edward VIII decided he would rather spend his life in exile tinkering inconsolably in his garden and trying not to get on Wallis’ nerves, Buckingham Palace hasn’t faced such a string of turbulent crises.
There is no doubt that the biggest of them was the fall of Prince Andrei.
In November 2019, when he sat down with the BBC’s Maitlis email to finally answer questions about his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the royal family reportedly thought the interrogation would draw a line under the questions and allow him to go into business otherwise saying, spending dubious money. amount of time in Bahrain. Instead, he ruined his entire life by showing the world what a pompous, self-absorbed ham in a Saville Row suit he really was.
Within days, he was forced to commit the royal equivalent of a harikari and submit to a life of shame devoid of the greedy bankers and autocrats that previously (reportedly) featured.
However, the blight of this situation was not limited to the boundaries of the Royal Lodge, the palatial home of the Duke of York. The contagion had long since spread to the Palace itself.
There are questions that even today are unanswered, such as why was Andrew allowed to spend so much time with such an unsavory character? Why didn’t anyone stop when he decided to spend a few nights with Epstein in New York, by which time the financier had already been convicted of a sex crime? Why, when this trip became known, Andrew was protected by the Queen’s royal empire, which quickly made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order?
While there have been many scandals involving HRHS over the years, there is no equivalent here. This is not about the garden betrayals that plagued the royal family in the 90s, but about something much more serious.
The shocked public will not forget this most vile of chapters for a very long time.
In 2021, Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew in a New York court alleging that he raped her three times, which he has always strongly denied.
In February 2022, they, Duke, settled with the mother-of-three, who now lives in Perth, for what the Telegraph reported was about $21.5 million to avoid civil litigation.
The filth and vice of this chapter will never be washed away, and funds from the then Prince of Wales and the Queen were reportedly not used to pay a woman who claimed she was raped by the prince.
Then, less than two months after Andrew’s primetime self-immolation, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex retired from royal life in spectacular fashion, before continuing to define their post-palace life by delivering regular savage strikes against the Firm.
Echoes of their decision to step away from royal life entirely are still being felt. What does it say about being a working HRH that it took such a toll on the participants’ mental health that they couldn’t be a part of it?
The monarchy now led by Charles is still marred by allegations of institutional racism, brutality and the use of the throne to protect a man who never showed real remorse for being friends with a convicted sex offender. .
As hard as Charles, the new Queen Consort Camilla, William and Kate, now the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, will be out of work in the coming months, devoting themselves to issues like domestic violence, climate change and mental health. what have they bet on the future of the Crown, will it be enough to put the ship in order and revive support for the monarchy?
So that the Commonwealth does not fall apart?
To wash the bad taste out of the public’s mouth after Andrew’s miserable situation and the many slings and arrows fired by the Sussexes?
Never before has Shakespeare’s phrase “A restless head in a crown” been, unfortunately, more appropriate.
As king, Charles has a daunting task ahead of him, but today, as the son who has just lost “Mommy,” as he touchingly called her during the Jubilee, he is a son in mourning.
For the very last time: Vivat Regina.
Daniela Elzer is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience worthy of some of Australia’s leading media.