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Carlos III, faced with the challenge of consolidating the monarchy and containing a rising republicanism

MADRID, 6 May.

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Carlos III, faced with the challenge of consolidating the monarchy and containing a rising republicanism


The seven decades of Elizabeth II's reign symbolized in the United Kingdom and even in the Commonwealth countries the stability that the monarchy has always tried to champion against elected regimes. However, with a new king on the throne and a Royal House that accumulates scandals, the intergenerational division and the rise of a certain republican sentiment in a country that had always looked at Buckingham Palace with admiration is becoming more and more palpable.

Carlos III promised "loyalty" to the citizenry in his first speech after the death of his mother, in which, like Isabel II, he made it clear that he wanted to be king for "all his life". In his case, he will not be able to reach the seven decades of reign, since he came to the throne at the age of 72, but in the most monarchical sectors they have been demanding that he not assume it to be a mere transition between the late queen and her eldest son and heir, Prince William, who is now 40 years old.

58 percent of the British believe that the monarchy, as an institution, is good for the United Kingdom, a majority that is far from the 73 percent that came to register in 2012. Among young people, only 32 percent think so, just four points above those who see the monarchy as something negative, according to a recent survey by the firm YouGov.

Among the population, the perception that the institution will continue is growing, but it is not clear for how long: 45 percent believe that the country will continue to be a kingdom within a century, while 37 percent anticipate that it will not.

This debate, however, only seems open to this day in a clear way in some Commonwealth countries, heirs to colonialism and which continue to have their head of state in London -- after the breakup of Barbados in 2021, countries like Antigua and Barbuda or New Zealand have left, to a greater or lesser extent, the door open to republicanism--.

In the specific case of Carlos III, only 14 percent of those surveyed think that he is doing a bad job, compared to 59 percent who support him. The king, who will be formally crowned monarch this Saturday, has worsened the popularity data he inherited from his mother, but it has not fallen to levels that could be considered worrying for his own continuity or that of the institution.

In his curriculum, Carlos III accumulates a failed marriage with the mother of his two children, Diana de Gales, who in a controversial interview on the BBC spoke openly about her husband's 'affair' with who will now be queen consort, Camila Parker Bowles . Precisely an intimate conversation between the two lovers in 1989 will go down in history as an example of the limits that the tabloid press is willing to cross.

The image of Queen Camila is now much more consolidated, after Isabel II gave her the public endorsement that she had been denied for years, and the main threats to the waterline of the new monarch come from the scandals that dot other members of his family.

His brother Andrés was left without honors after being implicated in a scandal of alleged sexual abuse, while his youngest son, Prince Harry, has resigned from his main functions as a member of the royal family and has aired the dirty laundry like never before. his family, with direct allusions to both Carlos III and the direct heir, Prince William.

Prince Harry will be at the coronation ceremony - he will go without his wife, Meghan Markle, and their children, who will stay in the United States - and among the most anticipated moments of coronation day is the ceremonial greeting from the balcony Buckingham Palace, where the king is expected to appear accompanied by members of his family.

The population also seems to have turned its back on the most controversial 'royals' and bet on the current dynastic line. Prince William has a popularity rating of 72 percent, one point above his wife, Princess Catherine, and vastly above his father. Seven in ten Britons bet that, when his time comes, he too will do well.

For the day of the coronation, the British authorities foresee the concentration of anti-monarchist groups, although massive mobilizations are not foreseen. A group has called a demonstration next to the statue of King Charles I, beheaded in 1649, in Trafalgar Square, although it plans to gather less than 2,000 people, according to the BBC.