This is always the struggle. And that is the primary duty, the primary role, in the face of King Charles III. At 73, the older king is not so much a reflection of the future as a reminder of all the work to be done in the here and now. His very existence is a complicating factor for all the history, upheaval, and empire-building he symbolizes. He is the heir of the white male at a time when the privilege of the white male was strong on all levels called to question. It is an example of everything inherited. It is the epitome of our contemporary grievances.
It’s not what the world needs to see. However, if he wanted to fulfill his duty, he had to see him. In the end.
Charles follows a king who has ruled for 70 years, one of the most famous women in the world, close to a long procession of prime ministers and often the only woman with a voice in a room full of male leaders. Perhaps she hasn’t said enough or done enough in her life. But nonetheless, she was there. She was so admired that she did a task for which she was only minimally prepared. have endured. President Biden said she reminded him of his mother at the time when she became a bushy bush. More than a few of her subjects thought she was the grandmother of the country. Perhaps these characterizations tell us more about our relationship with privileged old women—and our need to distill them into a warm, fuzzy stereotype—than about her motherly nature.
Popular culture, from “The Crown” to “The Queen,” has made her a flawed but assertive character. A woman who grew up in her role and symbolism. If princes and princesses are the dust of fairy tales, then queens are the heroines. On social media, the rating is applied to any woman who is at the top of her game or who has overcome obstacles. She was given a series of fire emojis instead of a crown.
But what is the king? What is the this is king? Charles has been a grandfather many times, but a grandfather is rarely seen as a distinctive or memorable trait of a man. He is not the potential hero of a fairy tale or the epitome of someone who has painstakingly achieved a professional victory. He did not defy any stereotypes or go where no one has gone before. He has had a long time to prepare for the role that has been assigned to him, and thus there is little reason to be impressed by his preparation, only to be appalled by any failures.
What we saw on Monday was a man in uniform walking behind the Queen’s coffin. He looked pale and overburdened, whether it was the grief, the life duty he had undertaken, or the simple physical challenge of getting through the day. Perhaps his aching expression was reflecting all of those things.
Television cameras always found him in the crowd, but his eyes did not fall on him naturally. He was easy to lose among the men in their bright red uniforms and golden braid; These soldiers are in the Royal Navy and their meticulous choreography. Charles was a dwarf in front of his towering sons, Prince of Wales in uniform and Prince Harry in his morning suit. Even Princess Anne, who was walking softly with her siblings—back straight, eyes forward, slender frame fitted to her polished outfit—looked even bigger.
The gray-haired Charles, his hollow eyes and his mouth on a narrow and narrow line, did not add to the majesty of the day so much as he seemed exhausted. His millennial children are the stars of the current royal series, one of whom has an obsession with analyzing every sibling’s interaction to see if they’re really talking or just instilling a friendly, fraternal spirit, something that worries them about the Prince. Harry’s seat is in the second row at Westminster Abbey. All King’s fans can finally sigh as Charles and Camilla, the Queen’s Queen, have made peace with their fans. They look like a cute old couple. She supports victims of domestic violence. He is an environmental expert. However, without the klieg spotlight for gossip, the king falls into soft focus.
But this close-knit is perhaps the best, at least for now. For now, Charles represents those who are now being asked to listen more than they talk, and stay out of the spotlight so others can get a little attention. The oppressed does not want to be told that mistakes have been made or that the past is unfortunate. They want accountability, but if that’s not forthcoming, a first-person apology is at least a start. They want to be seen for who they really are and what their ancestors would have been like if they were all seen.
The new king is the embodiment of many of the traditions and grievances that Western culture struggles to come to terms with—stolen land, stolen wealth, stolen work, stolen hope—and among them is the idea of inevitability. Charles stands as a bridge to generations upon generations of the inevitable – right down to 9-year-old Prince George, the one-day king with blonde hair and fickle energy. If the Queen is praised for comforting her subjects with fortitude, then Charles comes to the throne at a time when for some people the greatest gift may be ambivalence, uncertainty and ultimately possibility.
The questions facing culture are vast and impossible for a single man to address. He may be a king, but he is not a god. However, they landed at Charles’ feet. They are him to look at. The Queen was quoted as saying, “We must be seen to be believed.” That may be accurate.
But it is a fact not limited to the monarchy.