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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

King Charles should tell us when he will abdicate.

FashionKing Charles should tell us when he will abdicate.

The abdication of Queen Margrethe ofDenmark is a sign of a sensible constitutional monarchy. Margrethe follows in the footsteps of her predecessors in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. Heredity is an indefensible basis for high office. It is impotent in democracies, just as it is in a monarchical head of state. The nation was faced with a repeat of the incapacity of Queen Victoria when there was quiet talk of Elizabeth II being abdicated in favour of Charles. She performed her duties to the end, even appointing Liz Truss standing up, and then died after resolving the issue. The risk of accidents and scandals is reduced, but the institution is vulnerable to unpopularity. The ability to cohere and represent an entire people is what the US and French presidencies show. Sweden has stripped its king of all roles but the most ceremonial, and the obvious answer is dedication. Britain's King Charles, after a long apprenticeship, has proved to be an active and popular figure in his term of office. After waiting so long, Charles is entitled to a substantial reign and a successor, William. The Dutch were grateful for her reign, a welcome for her son and a stronger monarchy. Britain did not have any of the idiocy associated with its succession through death. Charles has indicated that he wants to end damaging princely sagas like Andrew and Harry, but he needs to do more to update the office. The list of archaisms is endless and we need clarity. Britain is on a scale out of reasonable proportion and should be open to the public. The next British government should have a conversation with the king. We are no longer governed by monarchs, so there should be at least 26 mullahs in the House of Parliament. Britain is one of the few countries on Earth where legislative power is still awarded by parentage or religion. It is indefensible that all members of the upper house should be considered for such power until they die. The abuse of the peerage by successive prime ministers demands drastic change. The current corruption of peerages, honours, public appointments and government contracts makes Britain a laughing stock. We would not start from here if we created a new constitution.

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