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  • Writer's picturePhillip Ullmann

Crowning Glory: A New Era begins with the Coronation of King Charles

The British love a landmark occasion. And on Saturday 6th May 2023 they will have one the likes of which they have never seen before.

The British love a landmark occasion. And on Saturday 6th May 2023 they will have one the likes of which they have never seen before.

The Coronation of King Charles III will be broadcast live on television and radio, streamed online, blogged about, photographed and otherwise keenly watched to a level of detail no other monarch – no other head of state most likely – can ever have imagined.

Britain will be in the spotlight, and at a time when there is much to be uncertain about.

It’s no secret that the late Queen Elizabeth II was held in high regard the world over. She earned that respect with over 70 years of dedicated service. Charles is different.

Waiting in the wings for those 70 years, he is now the oldest British sovereign to take the throne. Many have questioned his suitability or temperament. Yet I for one feel there’s every reason to believe he has learned great wisdom during his wait. I see qualities in him I can relate to.

Charles thinks deeply about what is just and fair, and he is not afraid to express opinions that run counter to the prevailing trend. He rises above party politics, fashion trends and passing fads. He is not swayed by the nonsense of celebrity.

Famously he has strong views about the urgent need to care for the environment. Way before it became a mainstream campaign, he was a staunch supporter of many causes related to climate change, sustainable agriculture and healthy food practice. Having been laughed at then, he proved to be ahead of his time.

Charles is equally passionate about nurturing young talent and helping people develop the skills and find the opportunities to succeed in life, no matter their background or the circumstances of their lives. The Prince’s Trust has been around for nearly 50 years, helping over 1 million young people.

This is not all, however. Don’t forget the Commonwealth. As someone whose family sought refuge in Britain from an earlier age of terror, I am acutely aware that the UK has provided a shelter and defended the rights of non-British people throughout its history. My family, on the run in the Second World War, found refuge and a warm welcome in Britain.

Now I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of all aspects of Britain’s role over the years, that’s a matter for debate in another forum. What I will say is that the Commonwealth represents almost 2.5 billion people around the world.

Charles leads this institution and he has the chance to set it on a course to be a force for good, a vehicle for uniting disparate people in the pursuit of mutual obligation in a way that could be a great counterweight to other global forces out there.

Finally, Charles’s attitude to faith is important. He made a huge impression 30 years ago when he said he would prefer not to be the ‘Defender of the Faith’ as head of the Church of England, but instead ‘Defender of Faith’ in recognition of the diversity of faiths followed in this country, and indeed the growing number who ‘follow secular ideals’ in the tactful phrase for those who choose other paths.

We face huge challenges, both in this country, and generally around the world. Not just the obvious ones of geopolitics and finance. There are also deep ethical and moral questions about the kind of society we want to build, as we unleash the incredible power of the technology being developed around us. I believe Charles, like myself, believes in the power of place, communities and the impact proper family life can have.

We need leaders with character and values that will withstand these tests. And when I look at our new King Charles, I have hope that the country may undergo a new Restoration, perhaps akin with Charles II some 400-odd years ago!



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