Today marks the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing and King Charles’s accession to the throne. King Charles and Queen Camilla stepped out this morning in Scotland, making sure that they were photographed going into the small church at Balmoral. The king also released a statement and several portraits of his mother, including “one of his favorite portraits” of QEII, a 1968 Cecil Beaton portrait taken of the queen in all of her Garter regalia. You can hear/read Charles’s statement below.
In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.
I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during… pic.twitter.com/NfM6LDWTA0
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 7, 2023
Meanwhile, Project Embiggening Charles continues unabated. There’s been a flurry of “one year of Charles’s reign” pieces throughout the week, and Valentine Low’s piece in the Times included a hilarious comment about how Charles perked up as soon as his mom kicked the royal bucket.
A source who knows the King well said: “Before he acceded the throne, there was obviously a lot of nervousness around what would happen to the country following the demise of the Queen. And there was certainly nervousness around how people would accept him in those first few days.”
However, within a day of her death, when the King made his first address to the nation, in which he spoke of his “profound sorrow” at the loss of his “darling mama”, that nervousness began to dissipate.
“Immediately, things began to steady themselves,” said the source. Since then, the source argues, the King has shown himself to be sure-footed, and has enabled the public to refocus on the causes he champions, including the environment.
That much would seem to be borne out by opinion polls. A recent survey by YouGov found that 59 per cent of people thought the King was doing a good job. As for Charles, who became monarch a year ago on Friday, he seems to be thriving: “Someone who knows him well said to me, ‘He looks ten years younger and he has got a real sense of purpose about him,’” said the source.
“He looks ten years younger and he has got a real sense of purpose about him” – I actually think it’s true, and it’s funny that it’s true. The man turns 75 years old in two months and he could totally pass for a man of 65. He’s truly never been happier than he has been in the past year. Which is why all of the mourning/grief setpieces kind of fell flat – no one really bought the new king’s fake mourning.
Photos courtesy of Cover Images.