People around the world are impressed by the coronation of King Charles III. on London and the UK. The gleaming carriages and uniforms, the splendid costumes. And of course all the glitz and gold of royalty - jeweled crowns and diamond swords. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak begins to rhapsodize, while conservative commentators spread a "we're who again" mood. It sparkles and glitters in every corner - despite the sometimes pouring rain.
"After decades of relentless decline in power and influence, Britain will once again be the envy of the world," controversial TV presenter Piers Morgan told the Sun newspaper. Prime Minister Sunak struck a similar note: "No other country could offer such a dazzling spectacle - the processions, the pomp, the ceremonies and street festivals," he said unctuously. The conservative politician should also be happy that the coronation easily overshadowed the resounding electoral defeat of his conservatives in the local elections on Thursday.
Three days of celebration
The kingdom celebrates the monarch for three days, with a one-off holiday this Monday. But behind the facade and the TV programs it is clear: The pictures show only a part of the British emotional state. More and more subjects appear indifferent. At a dinner in London's financial district, guests rise for a toast to the king. As soon as everyone is seated again, a lawyer says: "I don't give a damn about the coronation. But thanks for the holiday, Charlie." The Royals as Folklore.
In the gray everyday life of many people in the country there is little room for traditions that let the eyes of the world rest on the country, but which do not improve their lives. Millions suffer from rising energy and food prices. It doesn't make sense to many that at a time like this a quarter of a billion pounds is being invested in an anachronistic ceremony. In a survey conducted by the Yougov polling institute, more than half said the government should not pay for the pompous spectacle.
Society: At Yougov, almost a third spoke out in favor of a referendum on the form of government. Doesn't sound like much, but it's almost ten points more than in the days of Charles' mother Queen Elizabeth II. The king should be warned that young people are increasingly critical of the monarchy: 78 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds have it according to survey no interest in the Royals. Hundreds of demonstrators are clearly visible in the crowd at the edge of the procession. The fact that the police arrested several activists, probably purely out of fear of disruptive maneuvers, is unlikely to go down well.
"Charles the Last"?
Will the king become known as "Charles the Last", as the activist group Led by Donkeys suggested in a clip? Many criticized the fact that during the service the population should be called upon to take a public oath of allegiance as evidence of the aloofness of the royal family. The "call" was changed to an "invitation" for a short time.
Charles is well received, as was evident when he bathed in the crowd on the eve of the coronation. The king seems close to the people, laughs a lot, takes his time. He doesn't need to introduce himself anyway, given his mother's 70-year reign, he had plenty of time to prepare. Once derided as a quirky environmental fanatic, Charles has long asserted himself with his favorite topics of nature, sustainability and diversity. Most of them forgave him for his long affair with his current wife Camilla during his marriage to the popular Princess Diana.
In surveys, however, Charles regularly lands in the middle. First up: daughter-in-law Princess Kate and son and heir to the throne Prince William. Some experts believe that the 74-year-old - also because of his age - will only be a transitional king and then make room for son William. But abdications are exceedingly rare, and shortly after taking office, Charles vowed to follow his mother's example in lifelong service.
Many family construction sites
Family: There are still many family construction sites for the king. His younger son Prince Harry traveled to the coronation from the USA. But the circumstances of the lightning visit also show how difficult it will be to resolve the conflict, especially with brother William. Harry has also announced that he still has enough material for more books after his sensational biography "Reserve". If he underlines his allegations against the family, this should also affect the reputation of Charles and Camilla. It is a difficult balancing act for the king. On the one hand, he wants to reconcile and build bridges between Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan. On the other hand, he cannot allow the attacks on Camilla. In response, he threw Harry out of Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle, which the prince used on visits home.
Commonwealth: Representatives of the 56 countries of the Commonwealth also marched in the coronation procession. Charles always emphasizes how much he cares about this confederation of former colonies, especially since he is not only King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but also head of state of 14 other countries. The question is, however: for how much longer? Because the mood is changing in many places. In a recent survey, a majority in six countries voted in favor of abolishing the monarchy. There were also two heavyweights in Canada and Australia. Demands are growing louder, especially in the Caribbean, for the royals to apologize for their involvement in the historic slave trade. Charles found empathetic words, but he refuses a pardon.