King Charles III: A Modern Monarch

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King Charles III: A Modern Monarch

King Charles III: A Modern Monarch

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The civil ceremony, at the Windsor Guildhall in Berkshire, was attended by the rest of the immediate royal family, including Princes William – who acted as the best man – and Harry, and Camilla’s children Tom (Prince Charles’ godson) – and Laura. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were not in attendance but did, however, join the couple afterwards at the televised service of blessing, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and attended by 800 guests, including all the senior members of the royal family, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Queen and Prince Philip also hosted a reception for the newlyweds at the castle later that day. That marriage, to Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles’s long-term mistress, has proved to be a mellow one. Had it taken place a quarter of a century earlier, many of the prince’s troubles might just have been avoided, but in those days it was still thought necessary for the heir to the throne to marry a princess or at least a member of the aristocracy – an arranged marriage in all but name – and so the gauche and sensitive young man was hawked around Europe, failing to find a bride at every turn until, desperately, he landed with an inexperienced and naive young woman he scarcely knew and with whom he shared no interests. Currently, Investitures are hosted by the King, the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales in line with a long-standing convention that awards and honours should only be presented by a “blood” royal. But with Camilla now Queen, and Kate, the new Princess of Wales, might the King be minded to soup up his slimmed-down monarchy with a bit of girl power? In celebration of King Charles III’s coronation and 75th birthday, St James’s House, a world-renowned publisher, proudly presents King Charles III: The Leadership and Vision of a Modern Monarch. This commemorative book, written by distinguished royal biographer Robert Jobson and featuring the captivating photography of royal photographer Arthur Edwards MBE, was unveiled on 14 November 2023, coinciding with the monarch’s milestone birthday. Following his coronation earlier this year, King Charles III celebrated another historic moment on 14 November 2023 – his 75th birthday. St James’s House seized the occasion to launch a beautifully designed, fully illustrated commemorative book at the prestigious Claridge’s in London. The unveiling was witnessed by an audience of 400 esteemed guests, including Barney Durrant, Head of St Lawrence College, and members of the press.

It is known that Camilla will wear Queen Mary’s 1911 Crown, which has been taken out of the Tower of London to be resized ahead of the ceremony. The modified crown will also include three diamonds — the Cullinan III, IV and V — from the late Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection, but not the controversial Koh-i-Noor; the 105.6-carat diamond whose ownership is disputed. The Church of England had conniptions when Charles announced many years ago that he rather fancied becoming “defender of faiths” rather than defender of the faith, and the coronation oath with its ponderous rubric about maintaining the laws of God, the Protestant reformed religion and the preservation inviolate of the settlement of the Church of England and the doctrine, worship, discipline and government thereof will be updated. The decision typifies the failure of the British state, under Charles as under his mother, to find ways of building consent for reform of the monarchy. The upshot is that this coronation does not mark the start of a new era. It is merely the continuation of the old one. A chance to do things more sensibly has been squandered, not just by the king and the archbishop, but by the rest of us too. Timbertop taught students a curriculum focused on gruelling hikes, cross-country runs, skiing, solo camping trials and woodcutting. “By God, it was good for the character,” Charles said. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, aged 17, Charles became Head Boy in his final year, just as his father had before him. After Diana’s Paris car crash in 1997, Charles broke the news to Harry in his bedroom. He called him his “dear son” and put his hand on his knee but did not hug him, Harry said in his memoir.He once gave Ozzy Osbourne, a recovering alcoholic, a bottle of scotch as a get-well-soon present after Osbourne fractured his collarbone. This is constitutional monarchy at its least modern and its most obdurately feudal. It will be reinforced on Saturday by the proposed homage of the people. Here the archbishop will invite the congregation and those watching at home “to make their homage” to the king. During these years, he spent two terms studying in Australia at Timbertop, Geelong Grammar’s year 9 campus where students board together in a programme that puts emphasis on outdoor education. According to the King, the period was “by far the best part” of his entire schooling. It was at Timbertop that Charles was effectively removed from his royal duties and allowed to roam the High Country’s vast surrounds with his classmates.

Andrew Morton’s book, published in 1992, revealed excruciating details of the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage. They separated formally later that year. In 1993, a recording of a conversation between Charles and Camilla, in which he said he would like to be reincarnated as her tampon, caused a sensation. An Italian newspaper referred to Charles as “Il Tampaccino” when reporting the story. The King founded the Trust in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people in the UK gain access to education, jobs and training. He set up the charity using his Navy severance pay to fund 21 pilot initiatives – including providing a grant to a 19-year-old woman to run a social centre for London’s Haggerston Housing Estate. The Trust’s Enterprise Programme was launched in 1983 and, within three years, had helped 1,000 young people launch their own businesses. The law was subsequently changed to provide an absolute exemption for the monarch and all heirs to the throne from freedom of information requests. King Charles III’s coronation on 6 May 2023 will set the crown on seven decades of steadfast service and preparation, cementing a destiny foretold at birth. And, while it will continue a royal tradition spanning almost an entire millennium, it will also usher in a visibly modern monarchy.As the eldest child of the Queen, Charles was tutored privately until 1956, when he became the first heir apparent to go to school. During his time at Hill House School in West London, he took up football at the advice of the headmaster, who suggested the other boys would never be deferential to the young prince on the football pitch. Charles later attended Cheam Preparatory School in Hampshire from 1958 and Gordonstoun, Scotland, from 1962. Prince Philip had thrived at the institution in his teenage years but Charles, who was described as a more sensitive youth than his father had been, reportedly described the rigorous school as “Colditz in kilts” – though he did later praise it for teaching him “a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities. It taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative”. His charity, the Prince’s Trust, has performed valuable work in helping disadvantaged youngsters to claw themselves out of the ghettos, but it still carries the whiff of noblesse oblige. And the tales leaching out about his keen sense of his own dignity: not the apocryphal toothpaste-squeezing valet, or even the range of soft to hard boiled eggs laid out for his delectation each morning, but the large personal entourage of butlers and flunkeys and the occasionally peevish and self-pitying outbursts tell their own story.

Two years later, in 1999, Charles and Camilla made their first public appearance together at a birthday party at the Ritz London. It was the first stage of a PR push to slowly improve public acceptance of Camilla, known as ‘Operation PB’. In 2000, Camilla attended her first event with the Queen present, and began to steadily develop her future royal role through charity work around osteoporosis, promoting literacy, and supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. It was in 1977 that Charles first met 16-year- old Lady Diana Spencer while visiting her home – Althorp – with her elder sister, Charles’s former flame Lady Sarah. The report, The British Monarchy, explains what the institution does and how it does it, and places the monarchy in its wider historical and comparative context. It should prove an indispensable guide ahead of the coronation, with more than a dozen leading experts delving into a broad range of issues and topics. The then Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Parker-Bowles at Ludlow Races in 1980. Photograph: Express Newspapers/Getty Images Charles has had the joy of seeing both his sons follow him up the aisle. In 2011, his eldest son, William, married his long-time sweetheart Kate Middleton in a lavish service at Westminster Abbey. The proud father took on the music selection for the day, including pieces from his own wedding to Diana in the mix as a touching tribute to their late mother.But actually I think people would be happy to receive honours and awards from any royal with enough seniority. It’s perhaps worth remembering that the King can delegate anybody to act on his behalf which is why you get lord-lieutenants carrying out one-off Investitures – or generals in the field. As the fount of honour, the monarch can decide who can act on his behalf.” As well as his wife and daughter-in-law, he could also call upon the Duchess of Edinburgh to host the ceremonies, when the member of the Royal family places the decoration on the recipient and congratulates them on their honour. (Those who are receiving a knighthood kneel on an Investiture stool to be dubbed – more on that, later.) In 1986, he founded The Prince’s Foundation, an organisation dedicated to championing sustainable approaches to how we live our lives and build our communities. The foundation is inspired by Charles’ philosophy of harmony and balance. A book by Tom Bower said that Charles, a keen watercolourist, tried to swap one of his paintings for a work by Lucian Freud in 1994. “I don’t want one of your rotten paintings,” Freud is said to have replied.



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