Scobie: King Charles III will oversee a shrinking royal power on the world stage

Omid Scobie’s new Yahoo UK column this week is about King Charles III, the first weeks of his reign and what the future holds. Scobie says something interesting which I’ve seen repeated by a lot of the right-wing royalist media, which is that Charles is enjoying some kind of bump in popularity because his mum died. Is that true? Like, is there genuinely British polling on it? Or are royal reporters just catching a vibe of “King Charles is super-popular right now!” I also thought Charles’s first two weeks of kinging were kind of shambolic, but that’s because I was mostly paying attention to the fact that he briefed against his son Harry and Meghan the minute QEII died, then he banned Harry (a combat veteran) from wearing a uniform, then he refused to put Lilibet and Archie’s royal titles in the line of succession, plus all of the other petty, passive-aggressive and grossly punitive sh-t he did. That is where we will allow Scobie to take over. Some highlights:

Will Charles make the goodwill last? The public sentiment and goodwill following Her Majesty’s death has seen the new Carolean age off to a strong start, but Charles’ biggest test will be making it last. Unlike the Queen’s near-impeccable reign, her son has stepped into her pristine shoes with mud and all.

Financial impropriety: In the 18 months leading up to this moment, his media coverage was dominated by an ongoing police investigation into allegations of cash for honours scandals linked to his charity, the Prince’s Foundation, that lead to the resignation of the foundation’s CEO. There were also the reports that Charles had accepted significant charitable donations in plastic bags stuffed with cash. While none involved any wrongdoing by the King, the claims raised serious concerns about his personal judgment and put him in an uncomfortable spotlight.

Charles might not have time to carve out a legacy as king: Charles is no doubt hoping for his own successes. Though he is currently enjoying fevered support from monarchists, the question still remains whether he can extend that to the rest of the nation and younger Brits? Recent polls show that Gen-Z and young millennials—many of whom were still moved by the death of the Queen—are less interested in the monarchy than ever. And while it may not appear to be his highest priority, it’s worth pointing out that the elder royalists rushing out to buy commemorative newspapers aren’t going to be around forever.

Charles did try to be progressive: Ultimately, Charles needs to ensure that the monarchy keeps up with the times. In some ways it’s something he has been doing since first taking on royal duties. Whether it’s his focus on environmental activism since the 1960s, his deep interest and presence in Britain’s panoply of faith communities, or the 40 years of charitable contributions the Prince’s Trust has made to disadvantaged youth, even naysayers would be hard pushed to suggest that the King hasn’t tried to be progressive in the best way a sheltered heir can.

Racism & the Sussexes: But there’s room for improvement. The racism that was alleged by the Sussexes still lies in the tall grass it was kicked into and The Firm’s silence during the Black Lives Matter movement is still hard to forget for those it mattered to. And as more of the 14 Commonwealth Realms move towards ditching the monarchy and calling for reparations (an inevitable outcome for countries seeking full de-colonisation), the carefully scripted “personal sorrow” over the slave trade first wheeled out by Charles will continue to not be an acceptable response for the monarchy’s significant role in it. The departure of those realms (Antigua and Barbuda being the most recent to announce plans for a republic referendum) will see the power of the House of Windsor continue to shrink on the world stage.

Charles has to be a friend to multicultural Britain: If anything, the Royal Family will soon need more of the U.K. on its side. For that to work, multicultural Britain has to see an ally in King Charles. A voice unafraid to speak out against the systemic and pervasive racism that impacts so many lives. So far, he’s not done much of that.

An actual downsizing: As the nation falls further into its cost of living crisis, and news of interest rate hikes brings the country closer to a full-blown recession, Charles’ talk of a slimmed down monarchy also won’t be enough. With less royal residences occupied, and royal duties now mostly being carried out by himself, Camilla, three of his siblings and the new Prince and Princess of Wales, the public will need to quickly see how the Royal Family can cost the country less under Charles’ reign.

Sink or swim: It’s a sink or swim moment for the new King, who must quickly adapt to the times we are in and connect with people from all walks of life if he wants success. For if he drowns, it won’t just be him who disappears to the bottom—he’ll be bringing the entire monarchy down with him too.

[From Yahoo UK]

I genuinely believe that Charles has seen the writing on the wall when it comes to Commonwealth nations dumping the British monarch as their head of state. While Charles paid lip service to the importance of the Commonwealth while his mother was alive (the Commonwealth was one of her big issues), I think Charles has always known that those countries would head towards the door as soon as QEII passed. Maybe he still cares about Canada, New Zealand and Australia, but actions speak louder than words, and Charles’s actions show a man who is prepared to merely speak to a limited domestic audience.

Scobie wrote: “Multicultural Britain has to see an ally in King Charles. A voice unafraid to speak out against the systemic and pervasive racism that impacts so many lives. So far, he’s not done much of that.” The thing is, I do think Charles cares about “multicultural Britain” up to a point, and he’s done far more outreach to diverse British communities over the years than, you know, William or anyone else in that family. But yes, Charles is fundamentally unwilling to address racism head on or even acknowledge systemic racism and the white power structures which prop him up.

As for the cost of the monarchy… well, that’s funny because Peggington and Buttons are absolutely going to spread themselves out in about seven different homes and Kate is going to buy all of the buttons in Europe.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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70 Responses to “Scobie: King Charles III will oversee a shrinking royal power on the world stage”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What is this nonsense about the King’s three siblings? Is Omid implying that Charles is ready to let Andrew back into public life because there aren’t enough royals to go around to do public engagements?

  2. Yup, Me says:

    We love to see it.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Charles has finally gotten what he always wanted. I don’t think he cares much about anything else.

  4. Cessily says:

    It is time for them to abolish the monarchy. I think with Truss and the huge cost of living crisis there it may happen sooner rather than later. His popularity is just Royal propaganda.

    • Flower says:

      The UK is about to experience a revolution about 2-3 centuries too late.
      Along with the cost of living crisis, we’re now guinea pigs of the economic policies of a far-right think tank.

  5. DaniLou says:

    The Commonwealth is going to die a death under Chuck, but also keep an eye on the United Kingdom. Scotland are going for another independence referendum, Wales are not happy either and Northern Ireland could be heading for a border poll within the next decade. Fun times for King Chuck and his crumbing empire he waited 70 years for. Peggy will be incandescent all right when there’s no throne left for him!

    • Snuffles says:

      Charles arrived 70 years late to the Commonwealth party just as everyone is going home.

    • L84Tea says:

      Kiss that pretty Union jack flag good-bye!

    • ELX says:

      I don’t think Peggy cares that much about being king—he’ll be just as happy if he can keep the Duchy and all that lovely money and not have to do anything for it.

      The money, of course, is why they only have “personal sorrow” over the slave trade. This family doesn’t want to be on the hook for reparations.

      Money is at the root of 99% of their mess.

      • Surly Gale says:

        It’s been said the love of money is at the root of all evil. The GOP, corporate America, the RF et al are proving this to be all too true.

  6. Noor says:

    Just be humble and down-to-earth like the European royalty. Since the late Queen’s time the British has gone for glamour and celebrity style for their royals. The Dutch royalty can just ride their bikes but the British royalty can’t

    • Concern Fae says:

      Watching the funeral, all I could see was that it’s not just cutting back the monarchy. None of the European countries with “modest” royals have a full blown titles aristocracy or Knights of the Garter or all these local offices held in the name of the monarch. Is Charles going to get rid of all that? That’s a lot of powerful and wealthy people to piss off

    • L84Tea says:

      The difference between the BRF and the other European royals is pretty amazing to see. I’m sure they all have their share of drama behind the scenes that we don’t see, but that’s just it, we don’t see much of it because they somehow manage to keep it in check and not behave like imbeciles. They all seem to play pretty nicely together and look after their families. The Dutch royals look like a solid, very happy close-knit family who happen to also be royal. When you see the royals intermingling–the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians–they all look like they genuinely enjoy each other. CP Victoria of Sweden and Mette-Merit of Norway are very close friends I’ve heard. But then you’ve got the BRF who are determined to live their lives on display like a telenovela on steroids, complete with messy affairs, dirty cash deals, sex scandals, and backstabbing, all the while parading around like grand poodles who think they’re anointed by God to look down at everyone else like peasants.

      • SarahCS says:

        My boyfriend bought the Sunday Times last weekend (I have no idea why) and I’m now using it as I’m decorating and it is truly horrifying to see even the headlines (Charles understands other peoples grief, Charles is better than James Bond, etc. etc.), the bit that really got me was a hit piece on European royalty! Apparently the king of Sweden may have gone to a strip club and they had a pic of Juan Carlos in there. They’re well into the Trumpian world of opposite reality.

      • Fredegunda says:

        In Scandinavia at least the press is way less vicious than in the UK. They respect the idea of a private life, for the most part; there’s also no equivalent of the British tabloid press that seeks to play family members off each other.

        The population here is also less fussed about knowing the minutiae of royal lives. I’ve seen footage of Diana *with Harry and William in the car* being chased by photographers. That would be unthinkable here. Even if they were mad for the crown princess, endangering the lives of children (which is what the paps were doing, honestly) is a line that I doubt most journalists & editors would want to cross.

        Lastly, I think that continental royals have very different ideas about their roles than the Windsors. Especially in countries with resurrected monarchies like Spain and Norway, the kings know that they owe their position to the grace of the people.

      • EllenOlenska says:

        My completely half baked theory about the behavior of the other European royals is that I believe almost all were occupied during WW2 and that taught them what courage looks like when the going gets rough. Britain certainly had bombings, the blitz and many challenges bit they mostly got a pure “win” on the chalkboard. It makes them feel superior.

  7. Sophie says:

    Well, he wanted the crown and for Cowmilla to be his queen, now he can have both! Don’t really care how the whole concept of monarchy will be treated after, say June (I read somewhere this is when King Chuck the Petty will get his coronation), as long as it is abolished. At a time when borrowing has gone through the roof, when food banks are open even in wealthy boroughs and when inflation is over 9%, I’d like to see them try to explain more cash for honours scandals or how KKKhate has bought another of her endless coatdresses!

  8. Mrs. Smith says:

    I’m interested to see what Clll does or says about racism. Scobie mentions it in his column (that it’s been kicked into the high grass) and since it is a vitally important issue for the commonwealth, I wonder how C will handle it. What’s astounding is that the entire BRF are so rich and so white that racism simply baffles them. I think they literally can’t grasp it in any meaningful way. They go on and on with the leaks and hurt feelings, but never stopped to learn why their actions against H&M and the kids is appalling. Being clueless will no longer be tolerated by a multicultural commonwealth.

    ETA: case in point is yesterday’s story about Catherine Oxenberg. 🙄

  9. Becks1 says:

    you know what would be a great way to show he’s not racist? to not remove the titles from Harry and Meghan’s children.

    And yes, the bit about the slimmed down monarchy is crucial. Slimming down doesn’t matter to the public if there is no change in the funding and its the same amount of money spread out among fewer people.

  10. SussexWatcher says:

    But surely “multicultural Britain” can see that when Chuck had the chance to embrace his own literal multicultural family, he chose instead to treat the mixed-race grandchildren differently from the white grandchildren and he briefed against his own Black daughter-in-law to the point of her planning suicide. Actions speak louder than words and Chuck has undone whatever goodwill he might have built up. Add to that, the colonial flop tours, and Wales declaring NotMyKing and booing Chuck and his sidepiece wife. I think this is all going down the drain much faster than anyone would have predicted. And I love that for Chuck.

  11. Boxy Lady says:

    “Carolean.”

    Aha! I’ve been wondering what the age of a monarch named Charles was supposed to be.

    • Bw says:

      Curse of Chucky?

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Charles I’s reign was the Caroline era, Charles II’s reign was the Carolean era, and I vote that Charles III’s reign should be the Carolinian era because I want to complete the set.

      Plus, practically speaking, it’s just weird to have three monarchs of the same name and two share an era name while the other gets their own. I want uniformity either one way or the other, and good luck trying to convince Academia to change how they refer to either of the first two Charleses…es?

    • Chantal says:

      What?!? Oops, I thought it was an ode to mastermind Carole Middleton. I mean the decades long planning, scheming and getting a future king to marry your daughter and conceive heirs/heiress is no small feat. I do think its an excellent double entendre!

    • Dara says:

      omg – my brain refused to shut down the other night and instead decided to roll through the possibilities. Charlesian wasn’t quite right, Charlestonion was too much of a mouthful. My final conscious thought was Chuckian had a certain ring to it, but was too reminiscent of vomitous slang to really catch on.

    • Jaded says:

      “Tamponean”

  12. Tessa says:

    Charles looks smug sitting on that chair but he has bad posture and slumps over

  13. Paulkid says:

    Chawlz’ slimmed down monarchy has never been about being less costly to his subjects, he is merely providing less bang for their buck (or pound), while giving himself a raise.

  14. Eurydice says:

    The monarchy has been crumbling for decades. Scobie talks about what Charles needs to do to succeed, but what does success even mean here?

    • one of the marys says:

      I think success looked like what Meghan was doing with Hubb kitchen, smartworks and the luminary bakery. She met everyday citizens with an identifiable need and facilitated solutions with immediate and measurable benefits. She met a lot of people and did a lot of research and work behind the scenes. She did loads of outreach and networking. She could slay when the occasion called for it. If allowed to continue and also collaborate with other working royals she would have been a power house

      • Eurydice says:

        Those are good points. For all the arrows thrown against her, Meghan did have the advantage of not carrying the baggage of an imperial empire. She could put together a grassroots project with authenticity – not looking like lady bountiful descending for a photo op. She could, and still can, focus, organize, deliver and succeed.

        Charles’ job is different. He has to perpetuate the unsustainable. So what does success mean in this context? Probably dragging the carcass over the finish line and letting William worry about what’s next. But, in the meantime, he can take Meghan’s approach – making sure projects deliver, putting focus on organizations that do good work, highlighting issues as much as he can (although, he has the problem of appearing too political), cleaning house and making the monarchy more efficient.

    • kirk says:

      Success (as far this uninvested American cares) would be to stop being such a hypocrite.
      How about reversing his mother’s policy exempting Scottish holdings from climate change laws that she effected through Queen’s consent?
      How about publicizing his purchase of carbon offsets whenever he flies anywhere? (Chuck always flies private jets.) While he’s at it, he could make all his helicopter travel public knowledge, rather than hiding it under ridiculously high disclosure cap.
      How about more transparency with Treasury in regards to Duchy of Lancaster? We already know his lack of transparency with Duchy of Cornwall while he was in charge, so he might whine that task should devolve to Willy, but he could pull rank if he truly cared about his beloved subjects. 🙄
      How about not bullying his own staff, after starting that lame investigation into Meghan (yes, I do think he played big role).
      How about restoring Harry’s military honors (yes, I do think he played BIG role at Sandringham summit) since Harry has never done anything to discredit his military service.

  15. dominique says:

    what royal power? sure they are well connected and have influence but power? really? Also all this talk abt “modernising” the royal family are futile, the only way to modernise the royal family is to abolish it. Sure its great to see that it includes people of colour , who knows maybe Georges will marry an Indian girl/boy and charlotte someone of Chinese descent , but what difference does that make in the grand scheme of things , does adding POC to the hierarchy make live fairer for those at the bottom of this hierarchy? this is nothing more than trickle down economics, the royalty edition. As someone of Indian descent , whose parents have lived under actual colonisation, no amount of racial inclusivity can lessen the unfairness of the system for both white people living on the poverty line and POC. I’d much rather see more and more people of colour / and working class white people in the British government than diversity in the BRF

    • equality says:

      Agree. Diversity won’t make a monarchy palatable. But when they panic so greatly over diversity in their ranks it makes a statement about them. They do have power to be exempt from laws like the Scottish environmental laws and diversity in employment. And, as rich, well-connected people they can influence the media. They also have the power to exempt themselves from paying taxes, which is no little thing.

      • Dominique says:

        Real power lies in the hands of elected representatives and unfortunately real power also lies in the hands of the rich and the RF are hardly the only rich and well connected people in the world – far from it.
        This focus on diversity in the BRF is only a smokescreen, while it would be great if it did exist and the every member of the RF was married to someone from a representative of a different race, people who look like me will not suddenly stop facing racial discrimination.
        Statements about them have only the relevancy that we wish to give to them. i follow the BRF they way i do a soap opera, and whilst i like and admire Meghan, at no point, do i fool myself into believing that whether or not she is accepted/her kids have titles have any relevance to my life or that of my kids. The racism that she has faced is a reflection of the society that we live in, as she says, as a white passing woman, she had never experienced before, but all of us who are unmistakably dark skinned , were never in doubt. It will take a lot more than POC in the BRF to rectify unfairness and i include poor working class white people too in this list, as they feel overlooked and if they continue to feel unheard, they will inflate more and more the ranks of the right wing nationalists

  16. susan says:

    by the time the coronation ceremonies take place, the Thatcherite policies of Liz Truss will have wreaked their havoc on ordinary Brits and the mood of the populace will be choleric. The media will try to polish this turd of a man into some bright shiny new King, but the irrelevance and waste of the monarchy will be widely apparent. of course, the press will try drumming up sentiment against Harry and Meghan, but I doubt it will go far since they won’t be there.

    King Charles will end his days as King of England and Gibraltar. A fine legacy to bequeath to his unqualified, dilettante son.

  17. ML says:

    The UK press were writing stories along the lines of “We have lost the beloved grandmother who has dutifully done so much for Great Britain.” (As opposed to the rest of the world, which had far more nuanced and critical reporting.) As the grieving son of a beloved monarch, I can imagine that C the t’ird has experienced a bump in popularity. He does not have the same long-term benefit his mother enjoyed, and his popularity will not last.

  18. Chaine says:

    Top photo caption should be “Old Man Shouts at Desk.”

  19. Wilma says:

    The Atlantic has an article that is called Charles III, king of the hobbits, which is about the diminishing allure of the British monarchy.
    Correction, just checked and it’s called The Hobbit King.

  20. sparrow says:

    My first reaction to “oversee” in the title was Charles flattering himself that he, himself, is shrinking the monarchy’s world power, rather than watching what is already happening without any BRF control whatsoever.

  21. Lizzie says:

    The only slimming down Chuck did was to make sure the York sisters are not working royals. Andrew was an embarrassment that had to be removed from public view and Harry left on his own.
    Time is naturally slimming down the family from a monarch who had 4 children with families to one who has 2 children with families but only 1 of his children working. As the queen’s generation and her children, who do the majority of the work, age out there won’t be enough bodies to cover all of the engagements for at least a decade or two when George, Charlotte and Louis step in. Chuck has few choices, massively cut back engagements, bring in the York’s, or make a complete U turn and do whatever is needed to recruit H&M (public flattery, lots of money, decent Windsor home).

    • kirk says:

      First off I have no clue what “work” means for BRF. Dubbing people knights (dames?) with sword touching their shoulders? Ceremonially giving someone a British Empire emblem? Cutting ribbons at hospital opening (how many of those are on the horizon)? Not sure Chuck has the “choice” of bringing back the York sisters who’ve gone on to forge their own separate personal and professional identities. After that dragged-out sh*t show of a funeral, “whatever is needed to recruit H&M” is far, far, far beyond Chuck’s capabilities.

    • Christine says:

      Has the yearly amount for the sovereign grant ever gone down, in history? Or does Chuck mean that he will cut the number of people who can benefit from an ever-increasing amount, because that isn’t slimmed down, it’s just less already really privileged white people receiving welfare.

  22. Dee Kay says:

    I am praying for the reunification of Ireland and the freedom of Scotland from that trash “kingdom.” In addition to all the Commonwealth countries removing Charles as head of state. I don’t care one whit (I originally typed “one white,” which is also fitting) what Charles, William, or any of these a–holes have to say. I just want the long, vicious, painful, harmful chapter of history called The British Empire to finally, finally close.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Somebody on Twitter got roasted for asking if Northern Ireland was going to become independent like Scotland. Seems they had no idea Ireland had once been it’s own entire country. 🤡

  23. Well Wisher says:

    He will be blamed for the actions of the Tories.
    Fittingly, in this world of oppositional debates, fake outrage and assignment of blame.
    His son will inherit the spoils.
    History is repeating itself, to the detriment of the majority.

  24. Kay Hendricks says:

    As an American, I find that now that the queen is gone, I don’t have an interest in the British monarchy any more. Don’t even feel like reading about it. Pretty sure no one here or there is going to pay attention to them unless they do something shocking or one of them dies.

    • Paulkid says:

      I agree Kay, I look at the British monarchy as a relic of the past, sealed by the treatment of the Sussexes during the Queen’s mourning period. I wish the best for the Windsor children and the York sisters, but I am exhausted by the games played by the rest.
      I have found Queen Margarethe of Denmark to be admirable and fascinating and hope she will recover from Covid rapidly. It is refreshing to read of a truly noble royal family!

  25. LooseSeal says:

    Didn’t Charles tell a woman of south Asian decent that she “didn’t look British” and then went on a massive smear campaign against his black daughter-in-law and makes it impossible for his mixed race grandchildren to receive adequate security when they travel to the UK? Yeah, definitely seems like the right guy to fix racism in Britain.

  26. Bumbles says:

    The British monarchy (or any) is unnecessary in a progressive society. It is an archaic symbol of oppression, exploitation, slavery, abuse, theft on a mass scale and genocide. It should have ended a long, long time ago. It absolutely continues to be propped up. None of these spoilt, entitled, racist, myopic, out of touch morons who feed and live off of the wealth of all the treachery and cruelty that the British monarchy has committed in its history will want the party to end, but it will and the more they flail the more you know all that horridness is ending.

  27. jferber says:

    Jaded, you killed my with Tamponean. Thank you.

  28. Deanne from Canada says:

    SERIOUS Question: (Pretend the last two weeks didn’t happen…) Where oh where was the invite for BRF invite to this NYC UN Summit… Maxima, Raina, Mary were at the 77th Annual UN General Assembly. And yes I know Meghan was scheduled to attend etc. But she is a NON working Royal. So where was like Sophie ? Kate? Camilla? Why aren’t they on the world political stage ? Why are they clutching their pearls hidden behind castle walls spewing leaks to wonky tabloids gaslighting & throwing shade like it’s candy corn at Halloween?

    Will tried to score an invite but was rebuffed with his slinky Earth Shot angle …

    These people are beyond redundant. BEYOND. Besides taking suitcases of cash for their big charity… what political power / influence do they wield? Poor Macron.. he’s first up to cowtow to KC3. Thoughts and prayers.

    PS: next up he wants to see Spain cause you know he is crushing on Letitzia !!! Hahahaha

  29. Andrea says:

    He was booed in Glasgow and heckled in Cardiff. Even if he’s seen the writing on the wall w/r/t the commonwealth realms, he’s also going to most probably oversee the breakup of the UK as a political entity, and if he doesn’t play his cards well he could very well ruin the union of the crowns that Nicola Sturgeon has said she’ll preserve when Scotland votes for independence. William could well be the last Prince of Wales if they don’t get a lot more smart about how people feel, and quickly.

  30. tamra says:

    Nobody cares outside of Epstein Isle. They had the “STARS” and were to petty and jealous to let them do their work. Now they are fiddle fking around trying to figure out what to do! LOL

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