Since the end of the official mourning period for the Windsors, there’s been a noticeable shift – basically, we’ve only seen King Charles and the new Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales. How long do you think KC3 will be able to keep this up, just keeping the “focus” on himself, his heir and his heir’s wife? Not very long, especially since this family spent the entire month, the entire year and the past four years scapegoating Harry and Meghan for everything. Still, the conversation is about the “slimmed down monarchy” and how there are fewer people in all of these royal residences. Omid Scobie’s Yahoo UK column this week is about how William, Kate and Charles must be smart about excess and the appearance of luxury, ostentation and waste, especially as it appears like the UK is entering a pretty brutal recession:
Little fanfare in Wales: When William and Kate arrived in Anglesey for their first official visit to the country as the newly-minted Prince and Princess of Wales, there was little fanfare as they chatted to locals on the small, rural island they once called home. The day of engagements, Kensington Palace told us, was a chance for the couple to focus on “deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales” after taking on their new titles.
The Prince of Wales investiture: Alongside the visit also came word from officials that William has no plans to carry out the same extravagant investiture his father did when he became the Prince of Wales in 1969. The news was enthusiastically welcomed by people in Wales, who remember all too well the over-the-top ceremony at Caernarfon Castle which saw the Queen place a gold coronet on Charles’ head and drape grand robes around his shoulders. During a time of economic struggles in the country, it was so poorly received that there were protests and even a bomb plot.
Middle class monarchy: Images of Royal Family’s ostentatious display of wealth and power is a moment no one is looking to repeat. And with the UK’s ongoing cost of living crisis—which this week saw the Bank of England warn of a “significant” interest rate rise and the British pound hitting a record low against the US dollar—cutting back on unnecessary frills and faff should be part of a concerted effort to ensure that the monarchy does not seem grossly out of touch.
Slimmed down monarchy: We are only days into a new regency and already that slimmed down “modern” monarchy King Charles III dreamed of creating is becoming a reality. A more nimble line-up with a hard focus on connecting rather than alienating people across the UK. Charles and the rest of the family have the opportunity to truly modernise The Firm if they listen to what the public tells them.
KC3’s coronation: Plans for a “mindful” and “pared down” coronation have long been in the works for the new king, I’m told, which is said to be scheduled for late spring next year. Far from the majestic scenes of Queen Elizabeth II arriving at Westminster Abbey in a golden carriage for a three-hour spectacle (costing £1.57 million—the equivalent of £43 million today), those on various iterations of planning committees for King Charles’ coronation have always discussed the importance of keeping his ceremony simple. And not just for the sake of cost. As a less popular monarch than his mother, the public interest in such an occasion will be far from the nationwide excitement felt when the Imperial State Crown was placed on the head of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Charles has requested some stuff be removed from his coronation: With the country currently on the brink of recession, the optics of anything more than a symbolic swearing-in ceremony would only do harm to any legacy King Charles III hopes to create. “There are many elements that [Charles] himself has requested be removed to ensure that it’s kept simple,” a senior royal source told me earlier this year. “He is aware that it needs to be mindful and in touch.”
Scobie also mentions that Kate referenced the “cost of living crisis” while they were in Wales this week. Which, as I said previously, isn’t actually coming across the way they hoped? We know about Kate’s endless new coats, her four homes and the fact that she’s moving into Windsor Castle. Instead of trying to *appear* like they understand the economic realities of modern Britain, perhaps they could actually live less excessive lives? Charles has all of this royal estate now, perhaps it’s time to turn a lot of those palaces and castles into museums? I also wonder if paring down the glamour and excess will leave KC’s coronation looking pretty dull. I mean, he already *owns* the gold carriage. It’s not like he has to buy one. He just has to take it out of storage. Therein lies the rub, though – it’s not as if anyone in this family would actually donate all of the gold carriages and blood diamonds they stole from centuries of pillaging, racism and colonialism. So their solution is “don’t remind people about how much we stole and how much we have.”
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.