The Queen: What happens now?

By: Connor Iadevaia ‘26 

When Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, it marked the end to her long reign as a monarch, while the world lost one of the most influential and inspiring political figures of the past century. Grieving the loss of a beloved queen and welcoming a new king, the UK enters a new era in its long history. But to truly understand what happens next in the UK’s monarchy, you have to know who the queen was. 

Ascending to the throne in 1952, still just 25 years old, Queen Elizabeth’s reign lasted for more than 70 years, making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She was also the only female member in the royal family to have entered the armed forces, having served in World War ll. Queen Elizabeth was known to favor a simple life while in court and to take a serious and urgent approach in government business. Although she was many things, she was never a quitter. Whatever problem presented itself, domestically or abroad, she was ready to solve it. Elizabeth was an inspiration to women young and old all across the globe, and she showed that she would never let anyone defy her. Now, after an unprecedented 70 years on the throne, Elizabeth’s death at the age of 96 means her son, Prince Charles becomes the UK’s new king. 

King Charles lll, born on November 14, 1948 was the first-born son of the queen and her husband Prince Philip. Formerly known as Charles, Prince of Wales, he has been waiting to become king since he was 3 years old. Now 73, Charles is the oldest monarch to take the British throne, which also makes him the most prepared to become the new leader for the UK. With Charles now taking charge, many people across the globe, especially Americans, are questioning his role in the family, what he is expected to do, and what kind of king he will actually be. The transition is likely to take some time to unfold. For instance, when Queen Elizabeth took the throne, she was not officially crowned until about one year after becoming queen on June 2, 1953. Many expect that, like the queen, Charles will probably be crowned within a year, following the ancient ritual of the coronation, which will require much planning, thought, and time. 

For now, even though Charles has only just taken the throne, many people are wondering what kind of sovereign he will be. If what he has said and done in the course of his time as Prince of Wales is any indication, Charles is likely to follow in his mother’s footsteps. For example, when Charles has his coronation, he will take the religious aspect of it very seriously, since he has always been a man of philosophical and religious thoughts. Whether it was his eye opening philanthropy, or traditions he had helped to persevere, Charles was never looked upon as greedy or self-centered. As the head of an expansive kingdom, and as the head of the Church of England besides, Charles’s thoughtful disposition and charitable inclinations should serve him and his people well.

Despite the fact that he will try to follow in Elizabeth’s footsteps with the decisions he makes and traditions he keeps alive, there has been much debate about what will happen in the future and whether the monarchy will stay the same. The Commonwealth, a voluntary association of independent former colonies that accounts for roughly a third of the world’s population, was a major concern of Charles’s mother, and it was Elizabeth’s sincere wish that Charles would take place as head of the organization. Although it is unclear right now if the Commonwealth will continue in its current form, or if the desire to break away from the British will win out, the UK’s position is that it is most likely going to remain how it is for decades to come.  Nonetheless, when Charles passes and the younger generations take the throne, the monarchy will likely continue to modernize. The queen may be gone, but her legacy continues through the future of the royal family. The expectations Elizabeth set and exceeded, the mark she made upon her nation and the world, is sure to inspire and inform the choices of future kings and queens, and will hopefully have a positive impact on the UK and the rest of the world.