Have King Charles and Prince William secured the monarchy?

King Charles and Queen Camilla pose with the Prince and Princess of Wales ahead of the Diplomatic Reception in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on December 5.

King Charles and Queen Camilla pose with the Prince and Princess of Wales ahead of the Diplomatic Reception in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on December 5.Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Editor’s Note: This is a version of CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on Britain’s royal family. Sign up here.LondonCNN — 

The role of any monarchy is to represent continuity. Something both King Charles III and Prince William showed they understood this year. But if you look closely, they have also both spent the past 12 months developing their individual roles.

In reflecting on a jam-packed year for the British royal family, there can only be one stand-out occasion: the coronation. A seismic moment in British history, it formalized Charles’ transition from prince to sovereign and saw the new King blend modern elements into ancient rites.

While the focus was firmly fixed on the crowning moment and all the accompanying pageantry, Charles updated some of the more antiquated parts of the ritual to better reflect contemporary society. It was no longer an establishment event and efforts were made to illustrate the diversity of faiths in contemporary Britain.

Some of those tweaks came in the form of a more representative congregation, the acknowledgment of multiple religions, original musical compositions and performances and an attempt to give the public a more active role in proceedings through a pledge of allegiance – a move that proved controversial.

In the months since, the King’s focus has been the day-to-day business of monarchy, with his daily red ministerial box from the government and commonwealth realms in addition to all the walkabouts, audiences and receptions. It’s here that royal-watchers can find one of the first noticeable shifts between Charles and his late mother.

While Queen Elizabeth II went to great lengths to avoid any semblance of partiality, Charles has often gone in the opposite direction. He’s been unafraid to shy away from big moments, taking meetings that could be seen as controversial.

King Charles during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

King Charles during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey.Aaron Chown/Pool/Reuters

His leadership style has seen him put the environment at the forefront of his engagements, while using other gatherings to highlight the refugee crisis, acknowledge overlooked communities like the Windrush generation, and confront dark chapters in British history, as he did while visiting Kenya.

Early on, he promised to be the defender of all faiths and has followed through by regularly incorporating interreligious events into his busy diary.

The late Queen’s position on topical issues remained a mystery to most of us throughout her life. Charles has found a way to make his views known, without exceeding the parameters of his new role. He has leaned on his convening power – an attribute for which he has often been praised – but rather than weigh in on matters publicly, his evolved strategy has been to listen.

By doing so, he has been able to maintain his neutrality while also using what he has learned to inform his conversations in the corridors of power. The shift has allowed him to come across as more approachable, and the openness to confronting the sins of the past has been largely greeted as a positive first step.

King Charles attends an interfaith meeting in Mombasa, Kenya.

King Charles attends an interfaith meeting in Mombasa, Kenya.Luis Tato/Pool/AP

One convention he has carried over from his mother is never to give interviews, which is where Prince William has stepped in. The Prince of Wales has overhauled the Kensington Palace media strategy in a bid to win support for the monarchy from younger, more apathetic generations by offering highly produced, behind-the-scenes videos for social media.

William’s challenge has been to differentiate his tenure as Prince of Wales from that of his father.

He assumed many of the patronages once held by Charles but didn’t take over the numerous charities he founded, which have subsequently been renamed for the King. Instead, he’s pushing his own projects, like his five-year initiative to tackle homelessness or his ambitious Earthshot eco-prize, to which he has already dedicated years of his life.

Providing a glimpse of his vision for the years ahead while visiting Singapore in November for his green award scheme, William said he wanted to move beyond spotlighting issues as his family have done in the past. His goal is to be more intentional rather than take on hundreds of causes, and to “actually bring change and bring people to the table who can do the change if I can’t.”

Prince William meets members of the public in Bournemouth, England.

Prince William meets members of the public in Bournemouth, England.Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

And as those in the direct line of succession reinvent themselves, so too do their spouses. Catherine, Princess of Wales is no longer just standing on the sidelines supporting her husband. In the year since the Queen’s death, she has narrowed her focus and launched her own projects, which she hopes will define her royal service – for instance, her “Shaping Us” campaign, which calls on the public to invest in the pivotal early developmental years of a child’s life.

For Camilla, 2023 has been about her acceptance as Queen. And as we enter 2024, we can expect to see her diary get busier as she reveals her priorities. One small clue to what’s in store came recently with the announcement she’ll be dipping her toe into the world of podcasting when her literary charity, the Queen’s Reading Room, launches its own series in January.

But the year hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Windsor clan.

While Charles has steadied the ship, there have been challenges. The furor around the fractured relationship with the Sussexes has persisted since Prince Harry released his much-discussed memoir, Spare, in January. He returned to the United Kingdom briefly for the coronation and court appearances as he fights several legal battles with the British tabloid press, sparking renewed headlines about familial animosity.

There have since been suggestions of an olive branch, after the prince reportedly phoned Charles for his 75th birthday, but there doesn’t appear to have been any movement between the once joined-at-the-hip brothers.

Camilla and Catherine attend the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in London.

Camilla and Catherine attend the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in London.Richard Pohle/Pool/Reuters

The speculation and headlines are unlikely to subside in the months ahead after the Duke of Sussex recently secured a significant victory against one UK publisher over historical phone hacking. The win will undoubtedly bolster his wider mission to reform the British tabloid press, but it remains to be seen if his calls for authorities to explore bringing fresh criminal charges will be answered.

The Firm also found themselves dragged back into the royal race row with the release of a provocative new book from Omid Scobie. The Dutch version of “Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival” named two family members who allegedly discussed the skin color of the Sussexes’ son, Archie, before he was born. It was briefly pulled from shelves but the damage was done.

As is standard practice, the family maintained a “dignified silence” and opted against official statements; however, a royal source told CNN at the time that the palace was “considering all options,” hinting at conversations about legal action within the palace walls.

They’ve also had to contend with increasingly vocal anti-monarchy protesters. London police faced a fiery backlash over what many felt was unnecessarily heavy-handed policing of activists during the coronation. Some campaigners even staged a protest within Buckingham Palace in September.

Protesters demonstrate ahead of the State Opening of Parliament opposite the Houses of Parliament in London in November.

Protesters demonstrate ahead of the State Opening of Parliament opposite the Houses of Parliament in London in November.Henry Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images

It wasn’t uncommon to see a small contingent of republican demonstrators at the late Queen’s events. However, there has been a noticeable uptick in protesters waving placards and chanting “not my King” since Charles took the throne.

CNN polling conducted on the eve of the coronation found support for the monarchy has been in long-term decline, suggesting the republican issue was something Charles would have to grapple with as his reign got underway.

One glaring omission from the coronation year has been a visit to a Commonwealth realm. With Charles the head of state in 14 other countries as well as the UK, it has not been lost on many royal experts that he has yet to travel abroad to one.

In recent weeks, speculation has grown in British media that the King and Queen are eyeing a visit to Canada. There’s also talk of a swing through Australia and New Zealand later in the year when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is held in Samoa.

Charles and Camilla head home after a trip to Paris and Bordeaux.

Charles and Camilla head home after a trip to Paris and Bordeaux.Chris Jackson/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Trips to realms in recent years have been marred by a growing sense of anger over Britain’s imperialist legacy, while local republican movements, bolstered by the decision of Barbados two years ago to sever its own ties to the crown, have gathered pace.

The royal family has maintained that the destiny of any realm is that country’s alone and publicly acknowledged the darker periods of shared history. However, https://zorozuno.com contrition will only get the King so far and may not be enough to preserve the bonds in the future.

As the coronation year draws to a close, the working royals have managed to provide continuity and maintained the momentum of the monarchy. Charles has proven to be a safe pair of hands, managing the transition between sovereigns and avoiding any major disasters in the infancy of his reign. But now the honeymoon period is over, old challenges are resurfacing and the question remains: Will he be able to keep growing support among his subjects?

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