The queen is dead. Long live the king. That about sums up this week in England. I happened to be in London at an Indian restaurant when the news of the Queen’s passing flashed on my phone. But life goes on. It’s been a trying week for the British. New prime minister, their Queen dying and a new King who has been waiting in the wings all his life. Flags are lowered in mourning, then raised in celebration during the proclamation, then lowered again. Churches and Cathedrals only open for mourners which is fine with me. I’m not a big fan of those massive monuments to celestial hubris, although their architecture and sheer size is impressive, considering they were built 800 to a thousand years ago with no machinery but thousands of labourers.
You would have thought that Charles would get some grief-time for his mom but no; there are procedures and protocols to be observed. The theater of royalty, preferably with as much pageantry and absurdity as possible. Brits like their history to come as costume drama.’ as John Crace from the Guardian dryly observed. Does anybody really want to see Charles’ face on a coin or a pound note or even on the Canadian currency? Hard to imagine.
The new king is more than just a pretty face. He actually made a landmark speech on saving the environment in 1970, just 21 years old, in Cardiff. He also founded Duchy Originals, a natural food company in 1990, at the time thought to be a folly but today it’s the most popular organic food brand in England. Together with the fortune of his estimated royal inheritance of over 20 billion, King Charles III is instantly one of the richest men on earth.Continue reading