The passing of Queen Elizabeth II invoked years of planning for her succession and the immediate transfer of inherited authority to King Charles III. The Monarchy’s one thousand years of institutional history, tradition, and heredity had determined who would be England’s Head of State and Protector of the Faith in the 21st Century. The realms of the British Commonwealth, including Australia, each responded to the Queen’s death with clockwork-like precision to receive King Charles III as their King and Head of State.
What we have seen play out is the brilliance of our Constitutional Monarchy. There has been no interruption of power, no divisive election of a President, and no threat to the integrity of our parliamentary system of Government.
Republicans have long awaited the passing of Queen Elizabeth II as the time for change. I believe they will be baffled by the overwhelming acceptance, by ordinary people, of the King. There is no doubt Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was popular and deeply loved by ordinary people. Her impeccable sense of duty, dignity, grace, and humility, along with her strong Christian faith, enamoured ordinary people’s hearts.
Observers have speculated as to the many gaffes, political and ideological positions, and dubious expressions of faith made by Charles during his lifetime. His popularity, particularly since more private details about his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales became public knowledge, has been abysmal.
Again, the brilliance of our Constitutional Monarchy removes the necessity of a popular Head of State. It does this because the success of the Institution is not determined by a person but by the Institution itself.
I suspect the republican debate will simmer beneath the surface for years to come, but the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of King Charles III will not be the deciding factor for change.
Long live the King.