Charles III also assumes the British throne Head of 14 countries outside UK – 19 fewer than her mother Elizabeth II led when she was proclaimed Queen in 1952. Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister said this weekend that he would hold a referendum on becoming a republic, another sign of a growing movement in these countries to keep his distance from the royal house.
Barbados, an island nation of 300,000 people in the Caribbean, did the same when it broke ties with the British monarchy last November after four centuries. Prince Charles of Wales attended the ceremony to elevate the Queen’s representative, Sandra Mason, from Governor-General to President of the New Republic. It was the first time in almost 30 years since the island of Mauritius that a kingdom had chosen to remove the British monarchy from its head of state.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Brown insisted his proposed referendum was not a hostile act; So much so that the government was quick to recognize Charles III as head of state. “This is the final step to complete independence and ensure that we are a truly sovereign nation,” he said.
Other countries, such as Jamaica and Belize, are reassessing their ties to the monarchy. Protests erupted during the visit of Princes William and Kate last March. Jamaica seeks financial reparations for colonization. A group of activists carried placards reading “Say You’re Sorry” to demand an apology for slavery in the country, which has been independent but linked to the monarchy since 1962.
Charles must deal with the discontent fueled by these 14 far-flung countries where he is king, and maintain his role as head of the 56-member Commonwealth of Nations. Apart from Mozambique and Rwanda, the others were part of the British Empire.
Charles III during the ceremony in which he was proclaimed King – Photo: Jonathan Brady/Pool/via AP Photo
According to Professor Philip Murphy, director of history and politics at the Institute of Historical Research in London, one of the challenges facing Charles III was helping to guarantee the system’s survival at a time when the monarchy itself seemed a symbol. increasingly timeless.
In an article in the American magazine “Foreign Affairs”, he noted that Queen Elizabeth II had shown a knack for reinventing the monarchy in a post-imperial world. “But in doing so, she also showed the limits of royal influence,” wrote the author of “Monarchy and the End of Empire.”
It is also important to note that the United Kingdom lives in a post-Brexit reality that has rekindled old wounds such as the independence of Scotland and Wales and the status of Northern Ireland.
This is another sign that, in addition to maintaining the Commonwealth and preventing it from deteriorating, Charles needs to strengthen ties to keep the kingdoms of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together internally.
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