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British royal family: Queen Elizabeth II died a year ago.

British royal family: Queen Elizabeth II died a year ago.

End of an era, turning point, conclusion of an era: the death of Queen Elizabeth II a year ago was a historic moment. But the transition to the throne went smoother than expected.

Even after a year, many Brits are still rolling off the tongue a little unevenly. Some subjects still sing “God Save the Queen” when the national anthem plays. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, “God Save the King” has applied.

King Charles III has been sitting for a year. on the throne, Elizabeth’s eldest son. The fact that a man can be “Queen” is probably the biggest change after 70 years under a Queen. But by no means the only one.

Money and Co.

The change is most visible on stamps and some coins: they already bear Charles’s profile. According to tradition, the monarch looks to the left – after his predecessor had looked to the right. Billions of coins with the Queen’s face are still in circulation and are still valid. Charles is unlikely to appear on banknotes until mid-2024.

Government institutions, on the other hand, had to change their lettering, because their official designation is “His Majesty’s…” (His Majesty) and no longer “Her Majesty’s…” (Her Majesty). Accordingly, the title of lawyers has also changed: they are now KC (King’s Counsel) and no longer QC (Queen’s Counsel).

Publicity

The monarch himself is also more visible. Until the unofficial summer break, which Charles spends at the royal country estate of Balmoral in Scotland – where the Queen died – the 74-year-old traveled tirelessly through the country. Hardly a week without a public appearance, Charles and Camilla visited all parts of the country. Queen Elizabeth has appeared less and less often in recent years – most recently due to the pandemic and her health.

With the state visit to Germany at the end of March, the Royal Family also returned to the international stage; the visit to France, which was canceled in the spring due to the violent pension protests, will soon be rescheduled. The former colonies of Kenya and Australia should also be on the travel list. “I think we had almost forgotten what it means when you see the British head of state making state visits,” says constitutional lawyer Craig Prescott. Such trips could have symbolic value and also contribute to normal diplomacy.

Place of residence

Charles has rearranged the royal residences. Windsor Castle west of London, where his mother last resided, has lost importance. The center of the monarchy is once again London. However, it is not Buckingham Palace that will be extensively renovated until 2027. But the nearby Clarence House, which Charles learned to appreciate as heir to the throne. The palace emphasizes that this will not last. Charles should move into the city palace at the latest when the work is completed.

Animals

The royals are known for their love of animals, and Charles is no exception. Like his mother, he keeps dogs – but not the famous corgis, whose youngest specimens Muick and Sandy are now cared for by their son Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson after the death of their owner. They are also not Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – the free newspaper “Metro” wrote of a “missed opportunity” – but the Jack Russell Terriers Beth and Bluebell, who are even immortalized on Camilla’s coronation robe.

Horses are also very popular. The royal couple attended the famous spectacle at Ascot several days in a row, where Charles’ horse Desert Hero raced to victory in a race. But Charles shouldn’t be able to match his mother’s proverbial love of animals. Until shortly before her death, she still rode her favorite pony, Emma, ​​said horse groom Terence Pendry to the trade magazine “Horse & Hound”.

The black fur pony became known worldwide because it stood by the wayside at the funeral procession for the Queen in Windsor – the monarch’s saddle protection and her headscarf on her back. Emma spends her retirement in the royal stables Royal Mews in London.

Future

The monarchy should become more modern, the monarch is more modern. Where his mother seemed to hover above things like an icon, Charles is approachable. When visiting a Sikh temple, he sat on the floor. And while the late Queen’s “stiff upper lip” was proverbial, her son is much more emotional

In his first speech to the people he held back tears about his dead mother; in Northern Ireland he was upset about a blotting pen. His decision to open the royal archives to research into the Crown’s links to the slave trade was also praised. So far no apology has crossed his lips.

“Just having a king and queen is something we haven’t had since 1952,” says expert Prescott, who previously taught at Bangor University and is working on a book on modern monarchy. “So you could say we’re slowly moving towards a more normal monarchy.” There is a king and a queen, but no longer a kind of supermother like Elizabeth II, who was more like an international icon. That, Prescott emphasizes, also shows the strength of the monarchy as an institution.

Source: Stern

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