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King Charles and Queen Camilla

All hail King Charles III By Dr EDDIE IROH

Many, like Prince Charles himself, must have wondered whether this day would ever come. Because at the age of 74 years he had waited far longer than anyone in the history of the United Kingdom monarchy to be crowned King (or Queen).

Elizabeth II, it seemed had wanted to reign the longest on the throne even longer than Queen Victoria who had held the record of reign. At long last Charles’ day came today. Prince Charles, who had been named King the minute his mother died seven months ago officially and ceremonially became King Charles III of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. And so also was Queen Camilla, hitherto called Queen Consort. One of Charles’ immediate departure from his mother’s decisions was to name his wife as substantive Queen. And so, she was crowned Queen alongside her husband Charles.

As they rode along in the majestic Gold Carriage that is a master class of British craftsmanship, elsewhere protesters against the monarchy were arrested under a law which critics say was rushed through for this purpose.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, presided over the ceremony that was ecumenical, involving the Catholic Bishop of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Nichols and several other different church leaders. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak, himself a practicing Hindu, read the lesson from Apostle Saint Paul. The cast of the different religious representatives reflects what Charles always wanted the monarch to be – the Defender of Faiths rather than of one faith.

It was by and large a multi-cultural event, a mixture of tradition and modernity as well as of a cross continental character that reflects not only the Commonwealth but also the spread of Charles’ Prince’s Trust charity.

One fly in the ointment was the absence from participation in any of the entire ceremony by Prince Harry. He came in from California for the crowning of his father but maintained a low-key presence. His wife Meghan is believed to have stayed back at home in the US because the coronation clashed with her son Archie’s 4th birthday. But that is only half the story. Meghan’s absence meant she was missing from the traditional Buckingham Palace gathering on the balcony of the Palace where she would have added much needed colour to the royal cast.

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