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DAN WOOTTON: I’m happy to say I changed my mind about King Charles III


Admittedly, somewhat irrationally, I had long convinced myself that the late Queen (now Elizabeth the Great for me) would live at least another ten years.

Perhaps I did because, as I have honestly told you in recent months, the prospect of King Charles III filled me with a sense of looming terror and dread for the future of our precious monarchy which I believe is so important to this United Kingdom. and the Commonwealth.

While I won’t shy away from my criticism of the former Prince of Wales – the revelations, which include accepting banknotes from a Middle Eastern dictator in a Fortnum & Masons bag and rioting against the government’s important Rwanda policy, were deeply disturbing – I have never been so happy to admit that I may have been wrong.

King Charles, deep in his own incalculable grief for his ‘mom’, has given himself to the British people in a way that I have found deeply emotional and compelling.

While his mother is second to none, I feel like what Charles has done, with the face time, the hugs, and even the kisses, is reach out to the public in a way that suggests he will be a more hands-on monarch.

His value ethic this week was truly phenomenal – like a force of nature, this 73-year-old knows he’s been waiting all his life for this moment and nothing will stop him now.

And it’s made a difference – on the biggest stage he’ll ever have, Charles has been perfect, from his promise to stay apolitical and stop campaigning for controversial issues in his King’s Speech, to taking over the wayward members. of his family, there has been no misstep yet.

I’m not just undergoing this kind of re-evaluation of Charles in the past five days of national mourning.

New YouGov polls released today reveal an unprecedented surge in support for the new monarch.

The value of the king this week was truly phenomenal to watch – like a force of nature

Within days of the Queen's death, public opinion about Charles has completely turned

Within days of the Queen’s death, public opinion about Charles has completely turned

In March, just 39 percent predicted Charles would be a good king, while 31 percent thought he would be bad in the role.

But within days of his mother’s death, the public’s appreciation has completely turned around.

Now 63 percent think he will be a good king, while only 15 percent say he will do badly.

Despite Republicans desperately hoping that the death of the late Queen would lead to a reappraisal of our political system, support for the monarchy remains stable at 62 percent, with only 21 percent calling for a revolution.

Even Camilla, who had the public (and yes, myself included) having serious doubts about becoming a queen, now has majority support, with 53 percent saying she will do well, and only 18 percent believe she will do poorly. to be.

So while I have no doubt that Charles did a lot in just a few days to put an end to years of concern about how he would fare in the top job, he must now prove that he is faithful to his solemn can keep promises. to the British public.

The tests will be almost daily.

Take Saturday afternoon when the new king met Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats whose longstanding opposition to fracking and nuclear power is at least partly why Britons are facing a devastating energy crisis this winter.

King Charles III waves as he leaves St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, during his visit to Northern Ireland

King Charles III waves as he leaves St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, during his visit to Northern Ireland

The bearer company carries Queen Elizabeth II's coffin to a hearse as they prepare to depart from St. Giles' Cathedral

The bearer company carries Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin to a hearse as they prepare to depart from St. Giles’ Cathedral

In remarks broadcast by TV cameras, from 2012 to 2015, the King told the Minister of Energy and Climate Change: ‘I haven’t seen you in far too long.’

Davey replied, ‘I would like to come and talk to you about similar environmental and climate change issues in due course.’

First, what a bizarre gambit for a politician to make against a man who lost his mother less than 48 hours ago.

Apart from that, I hope Charles replied by saying: ‘Sorry, Mr Davey, as I said in my speech to my subjects on Friday night, my days as an eco-campaigner who would regularly express strong political views and ministers who lobby are over for the good of the Crown.’

The temptation of the new king to meddle in these thorny issues will be even greater as the energy crisis rightly forces a re-evaluation of our march to Net Zero.

But, as Charles himself emphasized in 2018, he is “not that stupid” to keep meddling in politics, no matter how important the issue is.

Until I see evidence to the contrary, I will trust and support that he will unequivocally adhere to this mantra.

Unfortunately, there are intra-family crises that can quickly derail Charles, over which he has much less control.

King Charles III visits Northern Ireland for the first time since he took the throne after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III visits Northern Ireland for the first time since he took the throne after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort arrive today to visit Hillsborough Castle

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort arrive today to visit Hillsborough Castle

Prince Harry’s biographer Tom Bower revealed on my GB News show last night that the Duke of Sussex is insisting that his autobiography – expected to criticize both the new King and Queen – be published in November.

Bower said: ‘I was told tonight that Harry is insisting that his book be published in November – it’s amazing. Apparently the publishers aren’t so sure, but he says if they don’t publish it’s a breach of contract, that’s what I’ve been told.”

This would mean a sort of honeymoon period for Charles, as the new monarch would be short-lived, with the grenades detonated by the book’s release even before his coronation.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, as the YouGov poll shows younger Britons who will be much more influenced by Harry and Meghan, more tired of the idea of ​​Charles as king (46 percent of 18-24 year-olds think he will do well, compared to 78 percent of older Brits).

And more than a third of the population (35 percent) still believe Charles should turn it over to his son William at some point before his death.

Charles was right when he reached out to Harry and Meghan in his king’s speech, emphasizing his love for the couple.

But that’s not enough – now he must make a more satisfying peace deal in which Harry agrees to withdraw the book’s publication out of respect for his grandmother.

If he refuses, isn’t it time for the Sussexes to be stripped of their titles? .

Charles must also exploit the hard work and stoicism of his sister Princess Anne and brother Prince Edward, especially given the increasing popularity of his wife Sophie, deservedly a favorite of the late Queen.

The coming months will be the greatest emotional and political test of his life for Charles.

The grief our new king suffered after his father’s death – largely hidden from the public eye – was immense and at times overwhelming.

Last week at this time, I would have doubted Charles could handle this challenge. But he has done well in his early days as king and has given me the faith to support him in what will be a seismic year where he will have the opportunity to secure the future of the monarchy for a new generation.

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