Corona Británica

El rey Carlos, el cáncer y la inusual franqueza sobre la salud de un monarca

Lo más sorprendente de la revelación de que el rey Carlos III fue diagnosticado con cáncer, tras menos de dos años en el trono, es el hecho de que se haya dado a conocer.

El cáncer es común; la franqueza sobre la salud de la familia real británica, no tanto. Durante siglos, como muchas otras familias reales, la corona británica ha hecho todo lo posible por ocultar el estado del cuerpo del soberano. La sinceridad de Carlos, con sus limitantes, parece ser una señal de su anhelo de ser un tipo de monarca distinto.

Un rey en el poder siempre ha sido la encarnación del Estado, una metáfora viviente de su salud.…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles Has Done What Monarchs Before Him Would Not Dare

The most surprising thing about the disclosure that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer after less than two years on the throne is the fact that it’s been disclosed at all.

Cancer is common; candor about the British royal family’s heath, not so much. Over the centuries, like many royal families, it has gone to great lengths to hide the condition of the sovereign’s body. Charles’s honesty, as far as it goes, seems to be a sign of his desire to be a different kind of monarch.

A ruling monarch has always been the embodiment of the state, a living metaphor of its health.…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave a London clinic last week. (Hannah Mckay/Reuters)

In 1952, Britain’s King George VI waved to his oldest child from a windy London airport tarmac as Princess Elizabeth set off on a multicountry tour initially planned for the king. A few months earlier, the king was treated for lung cancer by having his left lung removed, yet neither his heir nor his subjects knew the gravity of his condition. Less than a week after that goodbye, George died in his sleep.

Contrast that with Buckingham Palace’s announcement on Monday that King Charles III, George’s grandson, has cancer. The king has started unspecified treatment, the palace said in a statement, and the cancer is a “separate issue” from the recent disclosure of an enlarged prostate.…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles III waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Coronation Day, London, May 6, 2023. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Getty Images

Is the third time the charm? Charles’s first coronation was at Gordonstoun school in November 1965, when he played Macbeth. There is a photograph in the Royal Collections of him in a get-up nearly as strange as those he is wearing at Westminster Abbey almost sixty years later, sporting a bad fake beard and what seems like a horse harness around his neck and chest as a breastplate. The recently updated online catalog describes the “people involved” in the image as “Charles III, King of the United Kingdom (b. 1948)” and “Macbeth, King of Scotland (c. 1005-1057)”, as if this seventeen-year-old boy is floating somewhere between the eleventh and twenty-first centuries and between real and theatrical performances of kingship.…  Seguir leyendo »

The UK's new king, Charles III, at Buckingham Palace in London the day after his mother Queen Elizabeth II died. Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.

To see the five-metre flags hanging over London’s Regent Street and Piccadilly in preparation for the coronation is to look at one of the most solid parts of the UK’s constitution. It is a reminder that the existence of the monarchy spares the UK from confronting constitutional questions which it is not well-equipped to answer.

It is already evident that King Charles III intends a careful evolution of the monarchy in his own mould. His own interests are clear; his long commitment to environmental and sustainability issues is evident in the causes he champions and it would be surprising if he did not attend one of the next COP climate change summits, as he had clearly wanted to in November 2022.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pocos países han superado con éxito la dramática contradicción entre el pasado y el futuro como lo ha hecho Inglaterra. La coronación de Carlos III será un ejemplo palmario de cómo en una sola mañana de mayo todo un país evoca su historia, aprovecha para ponerse al día y se proyecta hacia el mañana, que no es poca cosa. Ninguna ceremonia en el mundo condensa tantas centurias de historia, religión y derecho como la coronación de un monarca inglés. La gran paradoja de la coronación, como muchos otros asuntos ingleses, es que no es legalmente necesaria, pues Carlos III es ya rey.…  Seguir leyendo »

El rey Carlos III, durante un acto en Reino Unido. Gtres

La abadía gótica de Westminster acogerá hoy la 40.ª entronización de la realeza británica. Es el momento oficial que pone fin al período de pruebas de Carlos III para otorgarle su 'contrato definitivo' como rey del Reino Unido y la Commonwealth of Nations. En el estilo gótico, la luz es el eje que fundamenta todo el arte. Y luz es lo que necesita la figura de Carlos III, cuyo largo principado, al que se ha añadido un período de ocho meses de reinado 'interino', ha sido confuso. El actual rey vive a medio camino de la sombra de su madre, Isabel II, y la promesa de su hijo Guillermo.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Qué sentido tiene la coronación del rey Carlos ahora?

La mañana del sábado, Carlos Felipe Arturo Jorge Mountbatten-Windsor saldrá del Palacio de Buckingham en un carruaje tirado por seis caballos, hará un recorrido extenso por el centro de Londres y llegará a la Abadía de Westminster un poco antes de las 11 a. m., para una ceremonia que en gran parte se ha celebrado de la misma manera desde hace un milenio.

Dentro de la abadía, se sentará en la silla de la coronación, que tiene más de 700 años de antigüedad y que albergará, de manera temporal, un bloque de piedra arenisca escocesa conocida como la piedra del destino.…  Seguir leyendo »

Larga vida a los reyes

En tiempos en que el rey británico Carlos III recibe oficialmente la corona, «el imperio donde el sol nunca se pone» parece un poco venido a menos: además del Reino Unido, 14 excolonias aún mantienen a Carlos como monarca y jefe de estado, pero muchos de sus súbditos en todo el mundo están reconsiderando ese acuerdo.

Barbados se convirtió en república en 2021 y Jamaica inició un proceso similar de reforma constitucional. Es posible que pronto otros los imiten. ¿Por qué debieran los países, desde Belice a Tuvalu, mantener como jefe de estado nominal a un viejo blanco que vive en una potencia mediana, muy lejos de ellos?…  Seguir leyendo »

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, attend a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday. (Reuters)

If the past decade has an overarching lesson, it is that, in politics, culture and society, emotion is often more powerful than reason. The coronation on May 6 of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, will not resolve the daunting array of problems facing the citizens of the United Kingdom. But — if only for a weekend — it will make a great many of them feel much better.

The ceremony in Westminster Abbey — the site of royal coronations since the 11th century — will be a ritual that, for a modern Group of Seven democracy, is almost unbelievably antiquated and full of flummery.…  Seguir leyendo »

Queen Elizabeth II reviews troops in Brisbane, Australia, during her 1977 Jubilee tour. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

As a teenager, I was in favor of scrapping the monarchy for a republic. That had seemed simple common sense, at first. Why should the highest role in the land only be open to those who were born to it?

My parents came to the UK from Ireland and India – both became republics after securing their independence from Britain.

Maybe I figured that, if I wasn’t going to be a republican, who on earth was?

Fast forward a few decades and I will be one of those watching the coronation. I have changed my mind about the monarchy.

The coronation of King Charles is an important moment in history, part of a tradition that stretches back almost a thousand years – and the first time that most of us, everybody under 70, will get to witness this ceremony.…  Seguir leyendo »

Coronation chicken vol-au-vents are served at a reception for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with representatives from local community groups to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022. Joe Giddens/AFP/Getty Images

King Charles III will be crowned alongside Queen Camilla in Westminster Abbey on May 6, and depending on your point of view, plans regarding the celebrations run the gamut from “radical and daring” to “basically what Grandpa would do”.

As royal commentators have breathlessly remarked for months, it’ll be a “pared down” affair, just over an hour long, with a guest list reportedly half the size of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation. Members of the House of Lords have been asked to ditch their traditional robes and coronets in favor of relatively chill parliamentary ermine, the nobility’s equivalent of smart-casual.

Invitations feature the “Green Man”, a symbol seen by some as a mischievous pagan trickster, and by others as the vague invention of an early 20th-century lady — not un-fitting for our septuagenarian monarch.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prince Harry Is Right, and It’s Not Just a Matter of Royal Gossip

Any close follower of the British media should not have been surprised that after Prince Harry fell in love with Meghan Markle, the biracial American actress, years of vitriolic, even racist coverage followed.

Whipping hatred and spreading lies — including on issues far more consequential than a royal romance — is a specialty of Britain’s atrocious but politically influential tabloids.

People like me, uninterested in celebrities, shouldn’t dismiss the brouhaha around Harry’s memoir as mere celebrity tittle-tattle. He has made credible, even documented claims that his own family refused to stand up against their ugly, sustained attacks against Meghan. In other words, it appears that Britain’s most revered institution, funded by tens of millions in taxpayer funds annually, plays ball with one of its most revolting institutions.…  Seguir leyendo »

The front pages of various UK daily newspapers cover early snippets from Prince Harry's memoir, "Spare," on January 6.

Days before Prince Harry’s memoir, “Spare”, was officially released on January 10, scandalous details from the book made headlines across the world. The Guardian got the first scoop: Harry’s description of a physical fight with his brother Prince William, which resulted in a shattered dog bowl and a broken necklace.

We soon heard more snippets: Harry’s frostbitten penis (or “todger” as he kept calling it) on his brother’s wedding day, his confession that he had taken cocaine and the story of how he lost his virginity in a field to a mystery older woman who spanked his ass.

Unsurprisingly, these headlines don’t capture the whole story.…  Seguir leyendo »

From left, Prince William; Charles, then the Prince of Wales; and Prince Harry on the Queen Mother’s 101st birthday in 2001 in London. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

During the early stages of my father’s Alzheimer’s, when he still had lucid moments, I apologized to him for writing an autobiography many years earlier in which I flung open the gates of our troubled family life. He was already talking less at that point, but his eyes told me he understood.

I thought of that moment when I read that Prince Harry, in his new memoir, wrote about his father, King Charles, getting between his battling sons and saying, “Please, boys, don’t make my final years a misery”.

Time is an unpredictable thing. What will someone’s last memory be? I had the gift of time with my father, which allowed me to apologize, even though a disease hovered between us and clouded our communication.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando Enrique conoció a Meghan

Hasta el siglo XX, las monarquías eran la norma, no la excepción. Los placeres de pertenecer a una familia real son evidentes: sus países están organizados conforme a los caprichos de un único jefe de Estado que, al menos en el caso de la monarquía constitucional británica, cree que su poder emana del mandato divino y de una línea sucesoria ininterrumpida.

Esto, claro está, es un absoluto sinsentido. Es más: las monarquías casi nunca son benévolas, ni siquiera cuando carecen de poder político. A menudo se sostienen sobre una forma u otra de violencia, y son sus súbditos los que subsidian sus vidas bañadas en oro.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reina Isabel II falleció en Balmoral, en el corazón de Escocia, el 8 de septiembre pasado. Allí pasó buena parte de su vida. Y en Edimburgo fue velada primero, en medio del respeto de miles de ciudadanos escoceses, solo superado por el de los londinenses. Las reacciones de los líderes políticos británicos tras su deceso fueron unánimes. Todos destacaron la exquisita neutralidad de la soberana en su longevo reinado, su ponderación y su capacidad para estar presente sin que se notase. Entre esas reacciones, hubo una que desde España puede sorprender: las elegantes notas de condolencia publicadas por la primera ministra de Escocia, Nicola Sturgeon, y su antecesor, Alex Salmond, ambos independentistas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest last week at Windsor Castle, home to monarchs for the past thousand years. What was not laid to rest with the Queen’s internment was an important question: What does the future look like for countries of the Commonwealth, where the British monarch remains the head of state?

Charles III is the King today of 14 “realms” outside of the British Isles. In some of those realms, such as Australia, Canada and Jamaica, there are now calls to jettison the monarchy and instead install a republic, just as Barbados did last year.

A related question is also surfacing now: What is the legacy of the British Empire writ large?…  Seguir leyendo »

Carlos III, rey de Inglaterra

Es posible que el rey Carlos III haya sido durante décadas dramatizado para el consumo mediático como un príncipe excéntrico y descarriado. Un infiel que rompió un matrimonio real de cuento de hadas, o sea, un príncipe poco apto para ser un rey con grandes responsabilidades de jefe de Estado.

Yo me inclino por otro perfil. De Carlos recuerdo la última vez que me encontré con él en el palacio de Buckingham, cuando presidía, como príncipe de Gales, un acto oficial en representación de su madre en diciembre de 2018. A pesar de ser un día de mucho frío, Carlos había ordenado que la calefacción de palacio se mantuviese baja con el fin de no derrochar energía.…  Seguir leyendo »

Anochece en Windsor, Putin apaga la luz

“Tan maravilloso fue el espectáculo de aquella mañana… cuando nueve reyes desfilaron en el funeral, que la multitud, callada y enlutada no pudo contener exclamaciones de admiración. Tras ellos llegaron cinco herederos, otras cuarenta altezas reales, siete reinas y una retahíla de embajadores especiales de países no monárquicos”.

“Representaban en total a setenta naciones, en la mayor asamblea de rango y realeza jamás reunida en ningún lugar del mundo. El sonido mortecino del Big Ben marcó las nueve cuando el cortejo dejó el palacio, pero en el reloj de la historia era ya el atardecer y el sol del viejo mundo se iba desvaneciendo en una moribunda llamarada de esplendor como nunca más volvería a verse”.…  Seguir leyendo »