The Timeless Reign: Exploring the British Monarchy’s Legacy and Adaptation
- May 22, 2023
Monarchy is the oldest form of government around the world, especially in the United Kingdom.
A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication.Generally in a monarchy, a king or queen is Head of State.
History of the British Monarchy
In Britain, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 led to a constitutional monarchy that was restricted by laws such as the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701, although limits on the power of the monarch are much older.Today the monarchy in Britain is politically neutral and by convention the role is largely ceremonial. No person may accept significant public office without swearing an oath of allegiance to the presiding King or Queen.
What is the role of the British Monarchy?
The British Monarchy is a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while The Sovereign is Head of State, he/she has the ability to make and pass legislation with an elected Parliament.
As Head of State, The Monarch has to undertake constitutional and representational duties which have developed over thousands of years of history.
As originally conceived, a constitutional monarch was quite a powerful figure, head of the executive branch even though his or her power was limited by the constitution and the elected parliament.
In addition to these State duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as ‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.
In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.
Significance of Coronation in the United Kingdom
Coronations emerged from a European tradition of increasing church involvement in the state, as well as the need to bring stability to the volatile societies in which several individuals had a claim to the throne. Central to the ceremony is the “unction” which is the act of anointing a monarch with holy oil. This portrays the conferment of God’s grace upon a ruler.
King Charles III
King Charles III, formerly entitled as The Prince of Wales, became King on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022.
His early life
In his early life, the Prince, as Heir to the Throne, took on the traditional titles of The Duke of Cornwall under a charter of King Edward III in 1337; and, in the Scottish peerage, of Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
Later on,his Royal Highness was invested as Prince of Wales by The Queen on 1 July 1969 in a colourful ceremony at the
The Prince was married to Lady Diana Spencer in July, 1981 and had two sons: Prince William, born in June 1982; and Prince Harry, born in September 1984.
The couple got separated in 1996 and the Princess was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. On 9 April 2005, The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony.
The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen took place at Westminster Abbey on 6th May 2023, in the first Coronation Service in almost 70 years. Their Majesties arrived at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘The King’s Procession’.
A significant moment in the coronation was the “anointment” ceremony of the king – a purely religious part of the coronation ceremony of the monarch.
The monarch’s anointment was carried out while he sat on the Coronation Chair, made for King Edward I in 1300. The chair had the Stone of Scone, also known as “the Stone of Destiny”. This Stone is an ancient object associated with the kings of Scotland. A 150kg red sandstone slab having some marks on it, along with two attached metal rings. It is supposed to be a sacred, historic symbol of its monarchy and nationhood.
The monarch was to be anointed using the Coronation Spoon with holy oil contained in the Ampulla. He will be anointed with “holy oil” which will make him the head, or supreme governor, of the Church of England.
After the service at the Abbey there is traditionally a procession through the streets of London. This allows as many people as possible to see the newly crowned monarch.
In conclusion, the monarchy has adapted by modifying some old rules to align with the evolving society. Although the British people hold a strong attachment to the monarchy, it has had to make compromises during times of crisis in order to meet the expectations of the people. Despite this, the fascination with the monarchy persists from the past and it has continued to captivate its admirers and audience.