King Charles’ reign is off to a better start than expected

  • I was at Buckingham Palace when Charles III returned as King after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Thousands of people cheered for his arrival, and some even chanted “Raja ki Jai Ho”.
  • Given Charles’ lack of popularity among the British public, this was a ray of hope for his reign.

Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, arrive at Buckingham Palace on 9 September, There was applause in the crowd of thousands of spectators,

From where I was placed in the crowd, I could see members of the public, people of all ages, holding phones and cameras outside the palace gates, desperate to capture the new British sovereign, as he had been in the past. was. And when Charles’ convoy finally arrived, just minutes after 2 p.m., chants of “God save the king,” “long live the king” ricocheted through the crowd.

This was the day Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died At the age of 96 peacefully at his residence in Balmoral, Scotland. And although it was a moment when Charles later told British Prime Minister Liz Truss that He was “scared” As reported by Reuters, it marked the beginning of his reign as king – a role he waited seven decades to take.

But those years waiting to become king have not been easy for Charles.

Time has only given the media more opportunities to scrutinize Charles. While the queen managed to stay a very personal data Until his death, the British public had historically viewed Charles as a flawed man – and he might not have wanted to be king.

The Victoria Memorial was surrounded by spectators.

The Victoria Memorial was surrounded by spectators.

Maria Noyen/Insider

There was a time when the very idea of ​​Charles becoming king was questioned.

Whether the public could accept Charles as their king has long been a subject of speculation in Britain.

From his failed marriage to Princess Diana to the controversial beginning of his relationship with Camilla, Queen Consort, The romantic scandals that Charles faced He struggled to recover in the 1990s, leaving a long lasting scar on his reputation.

Diana spoke openly about her tumultuous relationship with Charles, who is now considered a Most Controversial Royal Interviews As noted by Vanity Fair. In speaking with BBC’s Martin Bashir, the princess confirmed that Charles had extramarital affair with camillaFamously saying: “Well, there were three of us at this wedding, so there was a little rush.”

His scandals were so damning that a moribund opinion poll in Britain about will charles make a good king As reported by The New York Times, he fell from 82% in 1991 to a mere 41% after his divorce from Diana in 1991.

Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince William at Trooping the Color 1988.

A young Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Trooping the Colour.

Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images

The British people never forgave Charles for his marital indiscretion, even when He acknowledged her publicly and waited to marry Camilla until 2005. What might be considered an unusually indecent wedding for a royal.

About the 2016 Opinium Research Poll queen’s heirAs The Mirror reports, more than half of the 2,000 people surveyed said they would prefer their son Prince William to be king.

While Charles has experienced positive press since the 1990s – he developed a public personality as a loving grandfather And Champion for Climate Change Awareness – She was again left on the backfoot during her relationship with Prince Harry, who royal life left behind broke in 2020.

Insider’s Samantha Grindel reports her when Harry told Oprah Winfrey that Charles stopped taking her calls at one point in 2021 Popularity took a big hit,

Charles’ reception at Buckingham Palace signals a turn of the tide

As of Friday, research data group YouGov reports that He remains the seventh most popular royalDespite holding the most important position within the monarchy.

At the top of the list is Queen Elizabeth II, whom royal historian and author Hugo Vickers once told Insider would be a “difficult act for Charles to follow”.

People take pictures with their phones outside Buckingham Palace.

People take pictures with their phones outside Buckingham Palace.

Maria Noyen/Insider

That said, I saw a glimmer of hope in the public’s genuine enthusiasm for a new regime at Buckingham Palace that cannot be ignored. A man named Linda, whom I spoke to that day, said that she could see him as a good king because she believed he had the same “sense of duty” for which his mother was famous. Was.

Linda was among the thousands of people who came to pay tribute to the Queen – and they were the only people I had seen and then moved from mourning to cheering for Charles and Camilla’s arrival.

And it’s not just what I saw that day that proved the tide was turning for Charles. YouGov released a new report on Thursday, saying public opinion is already “quite moved” On Charles after the death of the Queen. 63% of the 1,727 people voted across Britain on whether Charles would do as good a job as the king had said, while only 15% said no.

Ultimately, Charles’ reign is getting off to a better start than I – and maybe even that – expected. But how far he can climb, or fall in the eyes of the public, remains to be seen.

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