By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, May 6, 2023
With all the pomp and solemnity of the great royal events, King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned in the grounds of Westminster Abbey.
LONDON – At Westminster Abbey in London, the coronation ceremony of King Charles III of Great Britain has taken place.
Charles III was crowned King of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey. He received the crown of St. Edward. His son, Prince William, paid tribute to the sovereign. The crowd is large in the streets. The sovereign and his wife, wearing ivory ceremonial outfits and red trains, crossed the doors of the abbey with great pomp. The 2300 guests, including French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, attended the event. Harry, the rebellious heir and Duke of Sussex, is also present, but is in the third row and will not go to the balcony of Buckingham.
Officially, the ceremony started at 10:20 local time.
King Charles III arrived at Buckingham Palace around 9:20 London time (11:20 GMT). He and Queen Camilla spent the night before the coronation at Clarence House, writes The Guardian. By 10:17 a.m., a carriage arrived at the palace in which Charles III would go to the abbey.
The coronation procession began at 10:20 a.m. at Buckingham Palace. The carriage with Charles III and Queen Camilla was accompanied by 200 cavalrymen. The procession passed from the Royal palace to Trafalgar Square, from where it moved to Westminster Abbey. The coronation ceremony began at 11:00 local time.
The guests were greeted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In total, the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey is attended by 2.2 thousand people. More than 100 world leaders, members of the British and European royal families, politicians, as well as artists are invited to it. Among the guests are also former British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Theresa May.
As Britain struggles to find its way out of the European Union, the royal family remains an international attraction and a vital diplomatic tool for its supporters.
“No other country could put on such a dazzling spectacle – the processions, the pageantry, the ceremonies and the street parties,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.
“It is a proud expression of our history, culture and traditions. A vivid demonstration of the modern character of our country. And a precious ritual that marks the birth of a new era.”
At an anti-monarchist demonstration in Trafalgar Square, six people were detained, among them the leader of the republican movement, Graham Smith, writes The Guardian. It happened around 7:30 am (10:30 GMT). In turn, the police said that they detained seven people on suspicion of conspiracy to harm society.
Europe has now ten hereditary monarchies : Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Andorra, the Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
The State of the Vatican City, recognized as a sovereign state in 1929, is a monarchy of a theocratic character.
Most of the monarchies in Europe are constitutional monarchies, which means that the monarch does not influence the politics of the state: either the monarch is legally prohibited from doing so, or the monarch does not utilize the political powers vested in the office by convention. The exceptions are Liechtenstein and Monaco, which are usually considered semi-constitutional monarchies due to the large influence the princes still have on politics, and Vatican City, which is an absolute monarchy.
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The British monarchy, well anchored in history and customs for one thousand years now, is a major asset for the United Kingdom. This system provides some political stability and strengthens society by giving a sense of pride to the population.
What view of the monarchy in 2023?
The monarchy seems to have a decisive advantage over democracy: there is no election to appoint the head of state. To get elected, politicians must be ambitious, sneaky, liars, ruthless and associate with their peers. These ties fuel corruption and nepotism. Qualities that cannot make a good head of state, who must be like a father to his fellow citizens. The monarch is educated from childhood to rule wisely and to respect the dignity of his office. The modern constitutional monarchy now offers an attractive model for certain citizens, disappointed with the excesses of modern democracies, where the power of money influences public opinion and supports policies that are often harmful to nations. A parliamentary monarchy, where the king embodies national unity and the historical continuity of the state, offers greater dignity to the political system. The British monarch assumes the role of guarantor of the nation, protector of the peoples of the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister and MPs can be discredited or blamed for their behavior, while the dignity of the head of state, the king, will remain.
If comparison is not right, British citizens consider the British royal family less exposed to corruption problems, while French citizens have a very negative perception of President Emmanuel Macron and his relatives. The prestige of the monarchy, established for several centuries, prevails here over European-style democracy, which since the 20th century has had a strong tendency towards plutocracy and oligarchy.
On the other hand, it is true that a monarchical regime offers less flexibility in the social order than a modern democratic regime can offer. The privileges of the monarch and princes, practices frozen by time, can shock some citizens. But this question then touches on a broader theme, that of the material prosperity of the citizens of the country in question. The Scandinavian monarchies offer an example of sobriety of the royal institution, sobriety which can contrast with the prestige and the opulence of the leaders of the republics in France or in Italy. Lastly, the least corrupt countries in the world, like Denmark or Norway, are constitutional monarchies.
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