Prince Charles not to be The King?

christopheranton By christopheranton, 22nd Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

The debate over whether Prince Charles should ascend the throne, or for it to be passed directly to Prince William reminds me of a similar situation from the past.

The Queen's country was wary of her heir.

With the continuing controversy raging in the country as to whether Prince Charles should relinquish his claim to the throne in favour of, the soon to be married Prince William, I feel the time is right to revisit the history of a previous monarch who succeeded a mother who had occupied the highest place for even longer than our present Queen has. I speak of Edward VII who became King in 1901 as the successor of his mother Queen Victoria, who had reigned for over sixty four years.

When Queen Victoria died she had been Queen for so long that the vast majority of her subjects could remember no other sovereign. Her longevity, and the almost apotheosis that was confered on her at the time of her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, meant that her death came as a great shock to the country. It seemed that no human person would ever be able to fill her shoes.

Her heir, Edward VII, had had a rather chequered career. He was excluded from almost all participation in affairs of state by his mother, with the result that he had to carve out whatever role in life for himself that his own tastes divined. The result was that a large part of his time was spent trying to combat the boredom that comes with waiting interminably for the opportunity to fulfil his hereditary destiny. He got into an almighty amount of scrapes, from being called as a witness in a divorce case, to the scandal of Tranby Croft where an officer was caught cheating at a game of illegal cards. He had so many mistresses that he was nicknamed "Edward the Caressor".

Edward VII was not universally admired on his accession.

So little faith was there in the abilities of the new king that even The Times printed this famous editorial.


"The King has passed through
that tremendous ordeal, prolonged through youth and manhood
to middle age. We shall not pretend that there is nothing in his
long career which those who respect and admire him could wish
otherwise. Which of us can say that with even approximate
temptations to meet he could face the fierce light that beats upon
an heir-apparent no less than upon a throne?
As is pointed out
in an appreciation of the new King which we print to-day, the
Prince of Wales in all his public relations has been as unique
among those who have occupied the same position as was his
mother among sovereigns. He has never failed in his duty to
the throne and the nation...."


King Edward VII had an heir as well. George Duke of York was very much the grandson of Victoria. Hardworking, simple in his tastes, and devoted to his wife, Princess Mary of Teck; he must have appeared to be a much better prospect to succeed his grandmother than his rather racy and somewhat elderly father. I'm sure there were then, as there is now, those who would have preferred the inheritance to be passed directly to the younger prince. But the rules of succession were more clearly understood in those days, and Edward became King unopposed.

Edward as King.

So, you may ask, what was the result? Edward VII reigned for nine years. He is remembered as one of our most popular and capable monarchs. He revitalised an ancient institution. The splendour, that is the admiration of the world today, dates mainly from his reign. His affability, and the charm and genuine friendliness he showed endeared him to all classes of his subjects. The contacts which he had built up internationally, gained many friends in Europe that were invaluable to this country during The Great War. He, entirely on his own initiative, charmed the french people so much that the result was "The Entente Cordiale", which sustained both our countries through the nightmares of the twentieth century; and which still endures today.

A further result of the nine years that Edward VII occupied the throne is that it gave his heir an invaluable period of time to gain experience of public life before his turn came in 1910. Like Prince Charles today, King Edward had a close and loving relationship with his son. Both them, and the country benefited from the experiences gained during the Edwardian era. If Prince George had become sovereign instead of his father this country would have been deprived of the services of a very good king. And the loving relationship that had been built up between a father and his son would have been destroyed.

So. Think about it people. Give Prince Charles his chance. He is a good man. Neither the country, or The Commonwealth will regret it.

For more on this issue read Prince William to be our next King?

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

I think people romanticize about having a Queen differently than a King, a King seems so much like an authority figure, whereas a Queen seems more benign

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author avatar christopheranton
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

That is true. There always seems
to be a certain latitude allowed
to women, that us men never enjoy.
Thanks for your comment Mark.

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author avatar Retired
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

well done, great pointing HM King Edward out, but his son faced teh smae thing (I beleive it was George the V) I suspect it is being heir to the throne for so long...

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author avatar christopheranton
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks Rebecca. George V's problem came after he died
when Edward VIII abdicated to marry
Mrs Simpson.

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author avatar kaylar
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

Well, put it like this; many of us members of the 'commonwealth' who have QEII as Head of State have been whining about Republic status.

I have a very strong impression that when charles become King, we will take it.

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author avatar christopheranton
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

Kaylar
The countries who opt to be republics, might as well let themselves
be annexed to The United States, because they will be
just like that country then.
Hopefully, when decisions are
made they will see the wisdom in
not changing.

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author avatar kaylar
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Trust me, they don't even want the Privy Council. The effort we have to expend to prevent them from abolishing the privy council is herculean

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author avatar christopheranton
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

They are very foolish, these people.
Still kaylar,keep fighting
the good fight.

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Congrats on the star page.
It's well deserved.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar christopheranton
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Thank you Denise.

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author avatar Retired
28th Dec 2010 (#)

Well done!

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author avatar christopheranton
28th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks Lucia.

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author avatar Greenfaol
18th Jan 2011 (#)

Mark/Christopher. Wouldn't call Liz 1 benign :D
Great article, hadn't thought about Edward in reference to Charles. I just cannot imagine a king who once said he wished he was a tampon!!!

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author avatar christopheranton
18th Jan 2011 (#)

We all say things, when we
imagine nobody is listening, that we wouldnt normally do.
It cant be any worse than
Bill Clinton's cigar.

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author avatar Humza
8th Aug 2011 (#)

very true Christopher
Charles should be given a chance

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author avatar christopheranton
20th Aug 2011 (#)

Thanks Humza

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