“Not the Same Energy”: On King Charles, Young Brits Are Skeptical

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The popularity ranking of royals placed King Charles at number 12 among millennials. (file)

London:

A fiery chronicler or a legitimate head of state? Charles III faces a generation of young Britons who doubt him as king and further question the future of the monarchy.

The death of Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at a packed pub in the popular Soho district hasn’t deterred young Londoners from enjoying this weekend.

“I’m not looking forward to King Charles,” 28-year-old Joseph Curran told AFP about the music and chatter.

“But what is the alternative?”

Around the table, Lucy, 29, was far more outspoken in her desire to see King Charles as the last monarch.

“I look forward to it,” she said.

At the age of 73, King Charles became the oldest sovereign to ascend the throne in British history, following the end of his mother’s record-breaking seven-decade reign.

Yawning’s age difference hardly expects him to love his younger subjects.

In a survey published in May by YouGov, only 29 percent of 18-24 year olds said they thought Charles would do well as king.

The popularity rankings of royals put Charles in 12th place among millennials – far below Queen Elizabeth in first place and the glamor of Kate and her husband Prince William, Charles’ eldest son, in second and third.

‘Not the same energy’

A recent poll in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death saw King Charles’ approval ratings rise sharply among Britons – but not everyone was too impressed with his first days at work.

“From what I’ve seen from her new speeches, it’s not giving me the energy you would get from the Queen,” said 21-year-old Sam.

Charles’ popularity has been plagued by scandals for decades and was severely affected by his acrimonious separation from ex-wife Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997.

The royal family has recently been knocked down by allegations of racism and insensitivity leveled by King Charles’ younger son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan as they parted ways to start a new life in the United States.

“Of course, as you live into your seventies, you don’t have easy appeal in your thirties and forties,” said royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams.

He acknowledged that King Charles had “up and down” with the public over the years, but insisted that he actually had a “remarkable” record, helping hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth through his charity The Prince’s Trust. used to help

One topic on which the new sovereign may strike a chord with young Britons is ecology and the climate crisis – something that King Charles has been passionate about for decades, before he shot down the agenda.

“I think his voice can be heard, he can have a real impact on our government and politicians,” said 22-year-old Conor Adams.

Adams is too young to know the bitter times of the Diana break-up of the 1990s and insists that in recent years, King Charles has “always been a gentleman”.

#NotMyKing

It remains an open question whether this shared concern for the environment can win over its young subjects.

Yet another survey in June showed that a similar number (31 percent) of 18-24 year olds wanted to see the elected head of state as those who wanted to keep the monarchy (33 percent).

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth at the age of 96 on Thursday, social media saw a surge in the use of hashtags like #NotMyKing, which was tweeted more than 63,000 times.

But some doubt that getting rid of the monarchy will work in a country that clings to its traditions.

“I am a supporter of republicanism, but the British version, I am sure, will be a catastrophe!” Curran said while sipping his drink in the pub.

“Charles hints at a lesser role for the monarchy on the Spanish or Danish model. It feels good.”

Nick, 32, said he was “not optimistic” when Charles took over as head of state.

But her first impressions have been positive and she feels “we need to work to preserve what the Queen has worked for”.

“We need to develop the monarchy. Let’s try to uphold the values,” he said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)