Charles III faced the challenge of consolidating the monarchy and containing a rising republicanism.

Archive – King Charles III of the United Kingdom, during a visit to Hamburg – Adrian Dennis/Pa Wire/Dpa

The seven decades of Elizabeth II’s reign symbolized in the United Kingdom and even in Commonwealth countries the stability that the monarchy has always tried to champion in the face of elected regimes. However, with a new king on the throne and a Royal House that accumulates scandals, the intergenerational division and the rise of a certain republican sentiment in a country that had always looked up to Buckingham Palace with admiration are becoming increasingly palpable.

Charles III pledged »loyalty» to the people in his first speech after his mother’s death, in which, like Elizabeth II, he made it clear that he wanted to be king for »all his life». In his case, he will not be able to reach seven decades of reign, since he came to the throne at the age of 72, but the most royalist sectors have been demanding that he should not assume to be a mere transition between the late queen and her eldest son and heir, Prince William, who is now 40 years old.

Fifty-eight percent of Britons believe that the monarchy, as an institution, is good for the United Kingdom, a majority that is far from the 73 percent recorded in 2012. Among young people, only 32 percent think so, just four points above those who see the monarchy as negative, according to a recent poll by the firm YouGov.

Among the population, the perception is growing that the institution will continue, but it is not clear until when: 45 percent believe that the country will still be a kingdom in a century, while 37 percent anticipate that it will not.

This debate, however, only seems to be clearly open today in some Commonwealth countries, heirs of colonialism and which still have their head of state in London – after the breakup of Barbados in 2021, countries such as Antigua and Barbuda or New Zealand have left, to a greater or lesser extent, the door open to republicanism -.

In the specific case of Charles III, only 14 percent of those polled think he is doing a bad job, compared to 59 percent who support him. The king, who will be formally crowned as monarch this Saturday, has worsened the popularity data he inherited from his mother, but has not fallen to levels that could be considered worrying for his own continuity or that of the institution.

In his resume, Charles III accumulates a failed marriage with the mother of his two children, Diana of Wales, who in a controversial interview on the BBC spoke openly of the ‘affair’ of her husband with who will now be queen consort, Camilla Parker Bowles. Precisely an intimate conversation between the two lovers in 1989 will go down in history as an example of the limits that the tabloids are willing to cross.

The image of Queen Camilla is now much more consolidated, after Elizabeth II gave her the public endorsement that for years denied her, and the main threats to the waterline of the new monarch come from the scandals that splash other members of her family.

His brother Andrew was left without honors after being implicated in a scandal of alleged sexual abuse, while his youngest son, Prince Henry, has resigned from his main functions as a member of the royal family and has aired as never before the dirty laundry of his family, with direct allusions to both Charles III and the direct heir, Prince William.

Prince Harry will be at the coronation ceremony — he will be without his wife, Meghan Markle, and his children, who will remain in the United States — and among the most anticipated moments of the coronation day is the ceremonial salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, where the king is expected to appear accompanied by members of his family.

The population also seems to have turned its back on the most controversial ‘royals’ and bet on the current dynastic line. Prince William has a popularity rating of 72 percent, one point above that of his wife, Princess Catherine, and well above that of his father. Seven out of ten Britons bet that, when his time comes, he will also do well.

For the day of the coronation, the British authorities foresee the concentration of anti-monarchist groups, although mass mobilizations are not foreseen. A group has called for a demonstration next to the statue of King Charles I, beheaded in 1649, in Trafalgar Square, although it expects to gather less than 2,000 people, according to the BBC.