It has been just over a month since Queen Elizabeth II’s son became King Charles III. In this short amount of time King Charles has tried to find his footing as monarch, especially after following the very long and significant reign of his mother.
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With a new monarch comes new opportunities and some people hoped that King Charles would bring instant change to the monarchy. However, since it has only been a year, it is difficult to assess what kind of changes he has put in motion and what will mark his reign.
Now as King Charles is in Kenya for a crucial state visit during which the UK’s colonial past is in the spotlight, many royal experts are taking the opportunity to study the monarch in a way that wasn’t possible during his visit to France.
One expert has an interesting take…
King Charles doesn’t like being King
Tom Bower, a former BBC journalist now working as a royal expert, spoke to GB News and claimed that King Charles isn’t a fan of his role as monarch. He explained:
King Charles is not a natural diplomat or politician. I think he does struggle because he knows very well, of course, that terrible things happened during the Mau Mau period, but more Kenyans were murdered by Kenyans, many, many more than by the British.
According to Bower, this state visit to Africa is a perfect example of King Charles’ true feelings when it comes to his new role. Bower continues:
He never liked going to Africa: he was forced to go to Africa shortly before he became King, because he neglected the Commonwealth.
He liked going to India, but he avoided Africa because he just didn't find it culturally that interesting, whereas he was very interested in the culture of India.
And the real truth is, Camilla doesn’t like travelling long distances. I think he does find it very difficult now; It doesn't look as if he's enjoying the job, having waited so long for it.
However, Tom Bower’s statements about King Charles’ liking of Africa should be taken with a grain of salt.
King Charles is under significant pressure
As we’ve already stated, King Charles was the longest ever Prince of Wales. This title is reserved to the male heir apparent to the British Crown. That is why, when King Charles became King, his first born, Prince William became Prince of Wales.
During his more than 64 years of service as Prince of Wales, King Charles was very vocal about several causes. One key example of this is, of course, his love for the environment. This passion and what could be considered activism led him to speak at the 2021 COP-26 where he gave a speech asking for leaders to act in order to save the planet. He said:
I could only urge you as the world’s decision makers to find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work together to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people.
This kind of speech is clearly no longer possible for a man who is now King as he cannot be seen as partisan. Moreover, even though King Charles is a man of opinion he has always defended the fact that his views weren’t ‘monarchical’. As regent, King Charles needs to adapt and learn to follow the government’s advice on what to say.
Maybe that is why Tom Bower believes that King Charles doesn’t like his new role… But, even if that were proven true, not liking something is seldom reason enough for royals to stop doing something.
Express: 'I'm a royal expert and Charles does not enjoy being King for this key reason'
The Guardian: King Charles III has views and passions, but his first job is to reform the monarchy’s image
rev.com Prince Charles COP26 Climate Summit Glasgow Speech Transcript