Britain’s 74-year-old King Charles III, who will be crowned on Saturday, was the oldest sovereign to take the throne in a lineage that dates back 1,000 years when he succeeded his popular mother, Queen Elizabeth II, after her death in September. She had reigned for 70 years.
Charles does not enjoy the same support as his widely admired mother, but his public approval ratings are generally positive. An opinion poll last week showed many more people hold favourable views of him than negative although there is also a wide segment expressing indifference.
Republican sentiment – which was almost entirely absent publicly during Elizabeth’s reign – has become visible with eggs thrown at the king and his wife, Camilla, on one trip and small groups of protesters voicing opposition at others.
Buckingham Palace has supported research into the monarchy’s links to slavery as calls grow for apologies and reparations, not least from some of the 14 Commonwealth realms, where Charles is also king.
The Guardian newspaper has run a series of articles raising questions about the opaque nature of the wealth and finances of the institution and the royal family, an issue that resonates at a time when Britons are facing a cost of living crisis.