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King Charles III

By Carlos Mundy

After 70 years of reign, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September. During her reign, the longest in England's millennial history, she fulfilled her promise to be at the service of her people, whether her life was long or short. Curiously, she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria I, by 7 years.

I was born during the reign of Her Majesty the Queen. She was an exceptional human being, with incredible strength and dignity. Her unwavering dedication and work for the country and the Commonwealth were exemplary. Just two days before her death, Liz Truss was sworn in as her 15th Prime Minister. Her courage, her heart and her sense of humour have been a source of inspiration to all her subjects and to many others around the world. Her Majesty was an example of true values, of constancy, of respect, of service, of discretion and duty, of intelligence and of Love. May her soul rest in peace!

And what will the reign of the new King Charles III be like? The first decision he has taken is to reign under the name of Charles III. Charles I and Charles II belonged to the Stuart dynasty and their reigns were turbulent. There was speculation that he might take the name George VII in honour of his grandfather.

No heir has ever spent so long waiting to accede to the throne. King Charles III has been waiting for this moment all his life. At his birth 73 years ago, he became second in line to the throne and for the past six decades, since his mother ascended the throne in 1952 when he was three years old, he has been the heir apparent.

Just as the Queen has been the longest serving monarch in British history, Prince Charles has been the longest serving Prince of Wales in history. His career as Prince of Wales, in its breadth and depth, will be his true legacy. He was the most innovative Prince of Wales of all time: he was an activist like no other heir to the throne.

Part of the drive to do all that he did, including his philanthropy, his entrepreneurial initiatives, the institutions, and traditions he helped preserve, demonstrate "his desire to prove he was worthy to be king".

He was endlessly educated, trained, and prepared for a job that has finally come to him at an age when most men want nothing more than a quiet retirement; a time that, in his case, might have consisted of growing organic vegetables and painting landscapes with his watercolours.

Since the day of the Queen's death, he has been Head of State of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a dozen other countries. He is also the titular head of the Church of England, head of the army and judiciary, and a host of other royal titles and duties.

How he manages his reign will shape the future of the monarchy. Charles's efforts as heir to the throne to relate more intimately to the public reflect the fact that he needs their support and affection. The laws and traditions governing Britain's constitutional monarchy dictate that the sovereign should keep out of party politics, but Charles has spent much of his adult life speaking out on issues close to his heart, particularly the environment, and his words have provoked friction with politicians and businessmen who accused the then Prince of Wales of meddling in matters on which he should have kept silent.

There is little doubt that the new sovereign will follow his mother's example and mute or moderate his views now that he is king. In his first speech as monarch, Charles sought to reassure his critics: "My life will, of course, change as I take on my new responsibilities″, he said: "it will no longer be possible for me to devote so much time and energy to the charities and affairs I care so much about. But I know that this important work will continue in the hands of others I trust".

This initiative underlines the important role of Prince William, now Prince of Wales and heir to the throne. William has already made the environment one of his main issues and is likely to take an even more prominent role in this area now that his father is King.

Speaking of the new King, Mrs Truss said in her speech in the House of Commons: "All of us in this House will support him as he leads our country into a new era of hope and progress. Our new Carolingian era. The crown endures. Our nation endures. And in that spirit, I say God save the King'.

With the support of Queen Camilla and of the Prince of Wales, a new era begins:

the Carolingian era. I have no doubt that Charles III will go down in history as an extraordinary monarch. God save the King!

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