Royal expert Duncan Larcombe discusses all things royal in his column for Woman magazine, The Royal Insider.
The column features Duncan's expert insight on royal news as well as insider information from his palace sources. This week, Duncan explains why Her Majesty's passing may have forced King Charles back to the drawing board for his coronation plans.
King Charles faces a dilemma
King Charles faces an early dilemma in his new role – how to pitch his Coronation. It would never have been an issue had it not been for the overwhelming global response to the Queen’s death.
Finally, a public event that united families, colleagues, and friends after the isolation of COVID-19 and the divisions of Brexit (or Scottish independence if you’re north of the border). A ceremony watched by four billion people, neighbors sharing memories over the garden fence – not to mention 250,000 people who queued through the night to see her Lying-in-State.
Even for non-royalists, it served as an extra day off and a welcome distraction from the worsening rows of Westminster and fears of a financial Armageddon.
Pomp and ceremony – so it seemed – was the tonic millions of us didn’t even know we were yearning for. No one was more surprised by the scenes we saw when the Queen died than the King himself. I’m told Charles described the international reaction to his mother’s death as ‘remarkable’ and ‘unexpected’. So where’s the issue?
Bizarrely, the King’s headache stems from his promises to ‘scale back’ the monarchy when taking the throne.
For years, he has been carefully planning what the Coronation ceremony will look like compared to his mother’s fanfared event in 1953. It was supposed to be his chance to make a statement, pare back the pageantry, pomp, and ceremony of yesteryear and make it more ‘appropriate for the 21st century’.
It was a way Charles wanted to avoid playing into the hands of those who hoped the monarchy had died with the Queen.
In reality, Charles’ gloomy predictions could barely have been further from the mark. Far from moaning about road closures, policing costs, and shouting ‘Long live the republic!’, the nation went into an unexpected collective mourning.
I covered the event with Piers Morgan for the American news network Fox. I would urge anyone who thinks the royals don’t represent value for money to look at the 30 million Americans (across all the networks) who couldn’t get enough of what they saw. Throughout the Commonwealth, communities felt real grief for a woman who made them all feel part of the family.
The Coronation is now set for the first week of June, a bank holiday when the bunting will go up and people up and down the country will turn out in droves.
So my message to the new King is simple. You have years to scale back the Firm. For now, let’s just stick to what the British do best – let’s put on a party fit for a king!
Duncan Larcombe is an award-winning journalist and former Royal Editor of The Sun. As well as this prestigious role, he also worked as the paper’s Defence Editor, which saw him reporting from the front line with British and American troops in Afghanistan.
Throughout his career, Duncan has become a leading expert on the Royal Family, in particular Prince Harry, having written the best-selling biography Prince Harry: The Inside Story.
On top of his successful career as a writer, Duncan is regarded as a leading royal commentator and is a regular fixture with US TV network, ABC.
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