The British Crown: New Seasons and Questions

Queen Elizabeth died peacefully at Balmoral on September 8th, 2022, said a royal announcement in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace, and with it left a dynasty. It is impossible to understate the impact that this will have on diplomacy. This article aims to unpack the key changes we are and will be seeing over the coming years now that her son, King Charles III, is now the new monarch. 

While both have many similarities, both diverge on many key aspects in how they see the monarchy. Queen Elizabeth, through her 70-year reign showed a wealth of experience and wisdom, while King Charles is known for being more progressive and innovative in his approach to the monarchy. King Charles is seen as being more independent and outspoken, with a reputation for being more politically engaged than his mother. The first change was quick to see as King Charles III was hoping to attend and give a speech at the COP27. The former prime minister Liz Truss had asked the king not to attend the talks, and her successor, Rishi Sunak, had left that request in place, No 10 confirmed. 

Photo by Henry Nicholls – Getty Images

Beyond the differences in personalities, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II will likely have far-reaching consequences for the Commonwealth. While the Queen was a tireless advocate of the Commonwealth, Charles has always been more reserved on such matters. The late monarch had been a unifying force for the 54 member states, providing a stable and constant presence at the head of the organisation. Her passing will likely lead to a period of adjustment and uncertainty, as the Commonwealth seeks to find its footing in the absence of its former leader. 

In addition, the Queen’s death is likely to lead to a period of reflection and reassessment for the Commonwealth. The organisation has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including declining influence, internal divisions, and a lack of clarity over its purpose. The death of the Queen may provide an opportunity for the Commonwealth to reconsider its role in the world and to work towards a stronger and more united future. In Australian King Charles III will not feature on Australia’s new five dollar note, the country’s central bank has announced. The new design will pay tribute to “the culture and history” of Indigenous Australians, the Reserve Bank of Australia says. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, elected to a three-year term just this past May, began laying the foundations for a nationwide referendum on transitioning Australia into a republic. In June, he appointed the country’s first minister to begin looking into the process. While Charles’ role as Head of State of 14 Commonwealth countries is largely ceremonial, it is increasingly likely that number will fall significantly under the new King’s reign.

To conclude, while the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II will endure, being remembered as one of the most beloved and respected monarchs in history, the legacy of her son will be incredibly different than that of his predecessors. 

by Thomas Loubeyres