Handshake, waving to the cheering crowd, more handshakes, a few warm words here and there: Pictures of King Charles III’s first public visit, taken in Dunfermline, Scotland on Monday, look familiar. Even as heir to the throne, the 73-year-old made hundreds of visits to the kingdom and abroad with his wife Camilla.
King Charles and his Camilla. Photo: cornerstone
After several weeks of mourning for the deceased queen, will ‘business as usual’ return to the royal family? No. Because while the new king finds his way into everyday life, unfamiliar sounds are already penetrating the palace walls.
And he confirmed, Sunday, that the king would not travel to attend the global climate summit in Egypt next month – on the advice of the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Charles – a long-committed and well-connected pioneer in climate protection – is said to have already made plans and appointments for the summit. But as Britain’s head of state, the king traditionally acts in agreement with the government – and under the new head of government, the latter has not had an overly green agenda.
Charles was “personally disappointed,” an unnamed insider said to be close to the King, the Sunday Times, making the controversy public. But he will find his way to make his voice heard in the international meeting despite his absence.
It is no secret that Charles’ views may differ from the ideology of the current Conservative government. A few months ago, for example – at the time still the heir to the throne – he announced that he believed the governors’ plan to move asylum seekers to Rwanda was “appalling”. In his first speech as King, he directly regretted not being able to support some of his heart’s fears as before.
Liz Truss does not want Charles to go to Egypt.Photo: cornerstone
But what is more interesting than the controversies themselves is that even the public has to get to know them. Royal experts on Twitter speculated that this would only be possible if Charles personally agreed to it. In the days of Queen Elizabeth II, people endlessly pondered her personal opinion and supposed political references. But the strict restraint it exercises on these issues has become a hallmark over the decades.
The canceled climate mission is a first sign that Charles likely won’t be accused of this in his new role either. But it remains to be seen whether he will risk an open confrontation with the government.
Charles and the love of Scotland
During his visit to Dunfermline, Charles also made references – albeit more subtle. Wearing the blue and green checkered kilt, so typical of the country, he congratulated the place on its new status as an independent city, and noted that “a deep love for Scotland” was the basis of the life of his mother, who had died a few weeks ago.
King Charles with a skirtPhoto: cornerstone
The fact that Charles is the first to appear in the northern part of Britain is probably not only due to the fact that he spent the long period of mourning there. It is also a strong sign of Scotland’s belonging to the kingdom and its solidarity. Hundreds of spectators happily greeted the royal couple on the cobblestone streets of Dunfermline, about 30 kilometers northwest of Edinburgh. Charles and Camilla also visited a medieval chapel there, where many of the former Scottish kings are buried.
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Later, the royal couple wanted to host people from the Indian, Pakistani and other Asian communities represented in the UK at Holyrood Palace, the royal residence in Scotland. “It is very important to him,” commented historian Anthony Seldon, according to the BBC. He wants to be accepted by all religions and groups and be a unifying figure. The King, especially in turbulent political times, wants to be an institution that opposes divisive forces. (dab/sda/dpa)
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