That includes matters of religion. Each British monarch bears the title “Defender of the Faith”, meaning of the Anglican variety: the monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In 1994 Charles, who has long shown interest in numerous other religions, including Islam and Greek Orthodoxy, remarked that he “personally would rather see it as ‘Defender of Faith’, not the Faith”, since religious exclusivism is something that causes “a deal of a problem.” As if to prove his point, a protracted kerfuffle promptly occurred. Charles’s first speech as monarch was mollifying, noting his “responsibility towards the Church of England” in which “my own faith is so deeply rooted”.
One area in which he might excel—and win support among younger people—is environmentalism. Charles capitalises the word “Nature”, champions rewilding, was an early advocate of organic farming—even founding a brand of organic food—and is obsessive about waste. Far from indulging in fast fashion, he wears suits until they are patched beneath the pocket. Once, such passions seemed peculiar; today, they seem prescient.
Despite the long run-up, no one really knows what Charles’s reign will mean. For kings, like stocks, past success is no guide to future performance. Edward VIII was at first thought to be thrillingly modern—so modern, it turned out, that he abdicated. The dissolute Edward VII—“Dirty Bertie”, or “fat vulgar Edward” as Henry James called him—was expected to be a failure. Yet today the teatime of the Edwardian era outshines the stodgy Victorian in popular memory. Quite how the Carolean era will be viewed is impossible to say. But so far, the head that wears the crown seems to be wearing it far more easily than many of his subjects expected.
What sort of monarch will the former Prince of Wales turn out to be? These seven books help to explain the British monarchy and what is expected of King Charles III https://t.co/B1FYFiHcBP
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) September 14, 2022