12.6 C
Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomePolitics"5 Must-Reads about the Coronation of King Charles III and its Significance"

“5 Must-Reads about the Coronation of King Charles III and its Significance”


The United Kingdom is about to embark on an orgy of flag-waving pomp and circumstance in honor of the coronation of King Charles III.

Charles is already the reigning monarch, having ascended the throne after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. So this is more of a chance for him and everyone else to dress up and be a bit of an old fashioned royal knees up.

Despite events taking place on a relatively small island off the coast of mainland Europe, images of King Charles being anointed with oil and accepting the regalia of state will be broadcast around the world. Here’s The Conversation’s guide to what to expect.

1. 3 days of celebration

Not content with dedicating just one day to the coronation, the British are organizing a three-day extravaganza from May 6, 2023. Pauline Maclaran from the Royal Holloway University of London stated that Saturday will be devoted to the actual formal proceedings. Sunday gives way to street parties all over the UK. The final episode takes place on Monday, a day when the British public is released from work but encouraged to spend the day volunteering.

A memento of the great occasion.
Mike Kemp/In Images via Getty Images

But it won’t be just Brits celebrating the occasion, especially at Saturday’s central event. As Maclaran noted, “As a testament to the ‘soft power’ of the monarchy, foreign dignitaries and world leaders will be among the 2,000 expected guests to take their places at the abbey alongside members of the royal family. …”

Read more: King Charles III coronation: what to expect this coronation weekend

2. A notable no show

There will be one notable absence among the overseas benefactors at the coronation: President Joe Biden.

The US leader’s decision not to attend has led some British newspapers to raise a stench about a “royal stupidity.” Not so, wrote Ariana Chernock, a royal observer at Boston University. In fact, no US president has ever attended the coronation of a British monarch.

But, Chernock notes, what is perhaps more important is who the American leader sends in his place. Scrolling through the experiences of Biden’s predecessors, she noted, “If history is a guide, whoever is sent across the Atlantic will telegraph certain American ideas and aspirations. The delegation will also reflect the president’s personal agenda.”

In the past, that meant expressing America’s disgust at the rise of European fascism and acknowledging the changing role of women in society.

Read more: Biden’s no-show at the coronation is not a censure – more telling is who he’s sending to King Charles’ big day

3. But look who’s going

Some have blamed Biden’s decision not to heed a perceived animosity that “Irish Joe” feels towards the British. That far-fetched theory seems all the more so when you look at those present.

Michelle O’Neill, president of Sinn Féin – a political party whose central aim is to end British rule in Northern Ireland – commented in her response to the invitation that although she is an Irish Republican, she acknowledges that “there are many people on our island for whom the coronation is a hugely important event.”

If Peter John McLoughlin at Queen’s University pointed out by Belfast, O’Neill indicated in framing language in an all-Irish context that she refused to accept the partition of Ireland. But her presence nevertheless indicates a meaningful commitment to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

“Charles’ invitation to Sinn Féin to attend his coronation is part of this process of reconciliation and the normalization of relations between Britain and Ireland. Sinn Féin’s acceptance of the invitation is part of the same effort, but also has a more political intent,” McLoughlin wrote.

Read more: Sinn Féin at the coronation: how to understand Michelle O’Neill’s decision to attend King Charles’s big day

4. Charles’ transatlantic cousins

Most Americans were not invited to the coronation. But that shouldn’t stop residents of Buckingham, Virginia, or Westminster, Colorado, from joining in on the fun along with the people of their place namesakes in the UK. bit of royal blood himself.

Turi King, professor of genetics and public engagement at the University of Leicester in the UK, did the math and found that for those claiming British ancestry, “the odds that one of your 13-fold great-grandparents was not directly descended from Edward III are slim. ” It all comes down to math, you see.

“It’s fair to ask what it really means to say someone is a direct descendant of royalty,” King reflected. “My experience is that it means something different to everyone. As a geneticist I would find it fascinating to know how I am related to royalty, but I would be equally interested in the lives of my many other ancestors. For me, the most thought-provoking aspect is that we are all related.”

Read more: Raise a glass to your cousin, King Charles III

5. What next for Charles?

So what comes after the coronation feast? For Charles, it may be a royal hangover — one hundreds of years in the making.

Tobias Harper of Arizona State University noted that Charles faces significant challenges. Many countries, including those that make up the Commonwealth, are reconsidering their colonial past – leading to uncomfortable questions about the role of the British monarchy and what role, if any, the current king should play.

Meanwhile, he has inherited a United Kingdom at home that seems decidedly ununited amid the fallout from Brexit and the widening divide between the four nations it represents. And then there are Charles’ own perceived faults – his meddling in politics, which contrasts with his mother’s political neutrality.

“If it sounds tricky to be king in 2022, that’s because it is,” Harper wrote. “Charles will struggle to serve all of his constituencies well. There are many ways he can fail. It’s not even clear what “success” means for a British monarch in the 21st century. Is it influence? Harmony? A reflection of society? Set a good example? Survival?”

Read more: Charles III faces challenges at home and abroad – and even in defining what it means to be king

Latest stories