Coronation Carlos III: What is the role of the monarchy in the United Kingdom | The USA Print

El Reino Unido tendrá, el próximo sábado, oficialmente un nuevo monarca.

Saturday May 6 Charles III will become the fortieth British monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth II’s eldest son became king after his mother’s death in September 2022.

Due to the age of the previous queen, who died at the age of 96, Carlos began to fulfill some of the tasks assigned to the Crown while he was still crown prince.

At BBC Mundo we tell you what these tasks are.

What exactly is the role of the king in the British monarchy?

The UK is a parliamentary monarchy with strong institutions that cannot do their job without each other.

The King is the head of state of the United Kingdom. However, his powers are symbolic and ceremonial. The monarch always remains politically neutral.

As head of state, King Carlos III receives government dispatches every day in a red leather box, which includes reports in advance of important meetings or documents that require his signature.

King Charles III and Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister
King Charles greets Rishi Sunak, the second Prime Minister of his reign. (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)

The prime minister normally meets the king on Wednesdays at Buckingham Palace in central London to keep him informed on government business.

These meetings are completely private and there is no official record of what is said in them.

The king also has a number of parliamentary functions:

  • designate the government: Following a general election, the monarch summons the leader of the winning party to Buckingham Palace, where he formally invites him to form a government. The king also formally dissolves the government before a general election.
  • Beginning of the parliamentary year and speech of the king: The King marks the start of the parliamentary year with an opening ceremony where he lays out the government’s plans with a speech from the throne in the House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament.
  • actual consent: when a law is voted in Parliament, the king must formally approve it to give it validity. The last time a monarch refused to pass a law was in 1708.
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In the same way, the monarch usually directs each November the remembrance dayalso known as Armistice Day or Veterans Day, a day in which some countries of the Commonwealth of Nations or Commonwealth (an association of 56 independent countries and 2.5 billion people) remember the sacrifices of members of their armed forces and civilians in times of war.

The king is also head of the commonwealthand head of state of 14 of the countries that comprise it.

The king must also receive heads of state from other countries and meet with ambassadors and foreign high commissioners in the United Kingdom.

And what is the role of the queen consort?

Camilla, the queen consort, help the king in the fulfillment of his work and assumes his own public commitments on behalf of the 90 charities he supports.

The King and Camilla, Queen Consort, with South African President Cyril RamaphosaThe King and Camilla, Queen Consort, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
The King and Camilla, Queen Consort, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)

Many of these nonprofit organizations focus on health and wellness, working with people who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

It also supports charities dedicated to animal welfare, education and the arts.

Where does the monarchy live?

King Carlos III and Camila live in the Buckingham Palace, in the heart of London.

They previously lived between the London residence of Clarence House, near Buckingham Palace, and Highgrove House, in Gloucestershire, in the west of England.

Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace
King Charles III and Camilla live in Buckingham Palace, in the heart of London. (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)

Other royal residences include Windsor Castle, on the outskirts of the British capital; Sandringham, in Norfolk: the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, in Aberdeenshire.

In August 2022, Prince William and his wife, Princess Catherine, moved from Kensington Palace in west London to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live in California, United States.


To gauge the public’s mood ahead of the coronation, the BBC’s Panorama program commissioned a new opinion poll from YouGov.

The results show broad support for maintaining the monarchy: the 58% prefer her over an elected head of state (supported by 26%).

Behind these figures, however, the survey highlights how attitudes differ across different age groups: the monarchy seems to have trouble attracting young people.

While those over 65 are more likely to favor the monarchy (78%), people between the ages of 18 and 24 are less interested. Only 32% of this group defends the Crown.

Indifference is a problem, as much as opposition is: a 78% of the younger group say they are “not interested” in the royal family.

Keep reading:

* “The Stone of Destiny” traveled from Edinburgh Castle to Westminster Abbey for the coronation of Charles III
* This is Poundbury, the “utopian” city that Carlos III designed (and what does it say about his personality)
* Coronation of King Carlos III: How to see it live in the United States

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