Lifestyle

Prince Charles was in the longest apprenticeship ever

I HAD a front row seat at a historic moment yesterday as Prince Charles took center stage to deliver the Queen’s speech.

Beside him lay the lone imperial crown, resting on the upholstered table in front of the vacant throne.

Prince Charles took center stage yesterday to deliver the Queen's speech

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Prince Charles took center stage yesterday to deliver the Queen’s speech
For the first time, the Queen passed on this most sacred of royal duties to her eldest son

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For the first time, the Queen passed on this most sacred of royal duties to her eldest son

For the first time, the monarch passed on this most sacred of royal duties to her eldest son, confirming her great faith in the Prince of Wales.

Conducting the opening of Parliament in the House of Lords is a key role for our Head of State.

But it’s not uncommon for the crown worn by Elizabeth on her coronation day 69 years ago to be in a different place than the monarch’s head at this annual ceremony.

The 2.3 pound gold, silver and platinum headdress is too heavy for the 96-year-old.

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And it is becoming increasingly apparent that the weight of 70 years of service to our Sovereign is now too much for the nation to bear alone.

So it’s right that Charles is taking on more and more responsibility.

We are in a transition from queen to future king.

As the Queen watched on television as her eldest son delivered the government’s wishes, she must have felt the monarchy was in safe hands.

She was still in charge, too—her authority, represented by the crown that Charles sat next to.

This gradual shift of responsibility from mother to son has been happening for some time.

Charles took over from Elizabeth II to lay the wreath at the Cenotaph in London on recent Memorial Sunday, represented her at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November and bestowed knighthoods, CBEs and MBEs on the nation’s honored citizens.

The prince has probably had the longest apprenticeship of any profession and yesterday he passed another test with flying colors.

I am told that he had given the speech outlining the intentions of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government a few days earlier should the Queen fail to make it.

He was obviously watching carefully.

After Prince Philip retired from royal duties in 2017, Charles took on the role of supporting his mother at the state opening before his sad death last year.

The Queen’s absence afforded another apprentice an opportunity to see how it is done.

Charles’ eldest son William, seated to his right, looked out over the rows of peers and judges. Those misguided commentators who fear that the crown might pass from the Queen to William, while ignoring Charles entirely, must now accept how wrong they were.

The Queen has already made it clear that Camilla will be our next Queen and it seems she is putting the royal house in order.

As the Queen watched on television as her eldest son delivered the government’s wishes, she must have felt the monarchy was in safe hands.

The last time I photographed Elizabeth II was last October at Windsor Castle when she was up for more than an hour chatting with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and other multi-millionaires. The next day I flew to Northern Ireland where the Queen was to attend a service.

But when I landed, I was told that the doctors had advised her not to travel that day.

The Queen underwent a series of tests and was kept in hospital overnight.

She had since left her royal residence the other time to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey in March.

This was possible because the entrance to Poet’s Corner is a short walk from their pew.

With the Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place in three weeks, I hope the Queen finds a way to attend again.

I wonder why she doesn’t get a wheelchair to arrive like a member of the House of Lords did yesterday.

It would say so much to hundreds of thousands of wheelchair users.

By embracing this means of overcoming these “episodic mobility issues,” she was able to enjoy the anniversary celebrations much more.

There’s no shame, ma’am, at 96 to admit publicly that your legs don’t do what your mind wants anymore.

With the Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place in three weeks, I hope the Queen finds a way to attend again.

As Charles takes on more responsibilities, some people describe this as a de facto regency.

But the heir to the throne can only become regent, like George IV, when his father King George III. Declared unfit to govern in 1811 when the monarch is mentally incompetent.

That is definitely not the case. The Queen is as perceptive as ever, speaking regularly to foreign dignitaries and our Prime Minister.

However, it might be worth asking Princess Anne to take on larger tasks. It would make sense to appoint her as Councilor of State.

William was at his father’s side because two Councilors of State have to step in for the Queen when she is unable to open Parliament.

Unfortunately, one of the other two Councilors of State is Prince Andrew, who is barred from all royal duties. The other, Prince Harry, is absent without a holiday.

The only two other times the Queen missed the State Opening of Parliament was when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Now that she’s 96, more failures are bound to happen.

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But we have to hope the Platinum Jubilee isn’t included.

People will come to see Trooping The Color and the Pageant, but what they want most is to see you, Your Majesty.

Beside Charles lay the lone Imperial Crown, resting on the cushioned table in front of the vacant throne

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Beside Charles lay the lone Imperial Crown, resting on the cushioned table in front of the vacant throne

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5309416/prince-charles-transition-queen-future-king/ Prince Charles was in the longest apprenticeship ever

Jessica MacLeish

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