The Queen was widely considered by her to be the perfect envoy to America. He said he met 13 of the 14 American presidents and understood “the character and peculiarities of the current government.” She took her horse lover Ronald Reagan on a long ride when he visited England, and after Dwight Eisenhower enjoyed himself at Balmoral, she sent him the recipe for “drop scones” (Scotch pancakes). George H.W. Bush, a lifelong sports fan of hers. Barack Obama said she was “really” one of his favorite people.
Not only did the Queen court the President, she charmed the American public despite the fact that Americans fought a war to free themselves from British-ruled tyranny two centuries ago. In her YouGov poll in May 2022, 72% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans reported a somewhat or very favorable view of the monarch. According to former Bloomberg and Newsweek editor Stryker McGuire, Americans loved “all the glitz and glamor” surrounding her queen and viewed her family as “the Kardashians of the royal family.” It is about post-Elizabethan British identity.
One of the key elements of this appeal is the family’s “permanent celebrity” status. “Celebrities come and go, pop stars fade. Entertainers, TV stars, movie stars fade,” says British historian James Vaughan of the University of Chicago.
“But the royal family will live on.”
As well as living in the rarest tier of fame, the Queen has appeal across the Atlantic. Because she managed to get through the political strife firmly. Among Americans, Vaughan says, “there’s a sneaky admiration for the fact that British politics separates the head of state from the head of government.” “In England, the monarch lives in a palace, but the prime minister lives in a townhouse in Downing Street. A president can act like a more arrogant king than any prime minister has ever had.” Anglophilia: Respect, Devotion, and Pre-Civil War America. “The English monarchy exists only for show.”
In fact, Vaughan says the Queen took her head of state role “very, very seriously.” Like Oysters, who refrained from making controversial comments, the Queen was more like a “blank slate,” Maguire added. “What about the celebrity blank slate is that the admirer can write whatever they want on that slate. […] They can identify with the person in any way they like. ”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s eldest son, Charles, has spent decades in the decidedly political sphere, often building a resume of progressive projects centered around climate. He delivered his first major speech on the topic at the Countryside Conference in Cardiff, drawing attention to the threat of pollution, plastic and overpopulation. This was him in 1970, long before environmental issues became a mainstream political topic. (He later recalled that others at the time considered him “totally toilet”.)
Since then he has progressed to bigger stages. In 2008, he addressed the European Parliament, telling MEPs that “the climate doomsday clock is ticking” and calling for “the greatest public, private and NGO partnership ever”. . He addressed COP21, COP26 and his G-20 conference in 2021 in Rome, urging leaders to listen to the “desperate voices of youth.” At his 2020 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, he launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative. The list goes on.
Charles’ legacy can also be seen in the sprawling charities he oversees. Most notably Prince’s Trust, which helps secure educational and career opportunities for at-risk young people aged 11 to his 30s. Idris Elba was one such beneficiary. While he was a young man growing up on an estate (public housing) in Hackney, London, he was given a grant of £1,500 to train as an actor at the National Youth Music Theatre.
This commitment to environmental protection and philanthropy is as striking as it is politically discordant. And there is the proud and proud progress of his public endeavours. There is a mute culture that says don’t do it.
In fact, the prince’s political activism did not shy away from microscopic treatment.2 years. After a decade of legal battles and the government spending his £400,000 to stop the circulation of letters, a cache of so-called ‘black spider’ memos was released to the public, from improving the equipment of the Iraq war troops to ‘Patagonia’s I raised my voice against the illegal fishing of Toothfish.
Despite this scrutiny, Charles’ recent invitations to major world political summits show that the monarch-activist approach is increasingly accepted. It doesn’t indicate acceptance – those who deified the Queen specifically for her charming and mundane approach to diplomacy, and Charles’ favorite issues of climate and consistently against the former Prince. (A February 2022 poll reported that nearly half of Americans did not view Charles favorably.)
Much of this antipathy isn’t due to his political adversity, but a hangover after his highly publicized marriage to the much-loved Diana in the United States, royal watchers say. If he remains outspoken now, that animosity could grow. Especially since her mother “played it perfectly.”
Charles could also be used as a political weapon in the United States “if anti-environmental forces decide to attack him,” he said. Britain, America and a special relationship since 1941. He “could be a useful bludgeon to attack Democratic and even Republican governments, and he wants to do environmental issues. I think it’s very possible.”
Charles’ call to environmental action could sound different in the UK than across the Atlantic. According to his YouGov survey in 2019, Americans are relatively skeptical of climate change. While 51% of British citizens believe the climate is changing and that human activity is the main cause, only 38% of Americans agree. Similarly, 15% of Americans believe the climate has not changed, or is changing, but not due to human activity, compared to just 5% of Britons.
“The United States is one of a series of countries that are fairly highly polarized on this issue. Countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia also have some polarization, albeit to a lesser extent,” says UC. says Matt Mildenberger, an associate professor of political science in Santa Barbara. This is also reflected in the party agenda. Half of the Conservative backbench MPs are part of the Conservative Environment Network, a group that supports ‘net zero, natural restoration and resource security’. Meanwhile, in the United States, Republicans generally oppose legislation to prevent climate change, due to intense congressional polarization.
In light of this context, Charles probably faces a choice between his climate policy and the type of bipartisan popularity his mother enjoyed in America. It has been trying to be powerful and relevant to political concerns, Tamarkin said. “But the monarchy’s obsession, and the social and cultural role it plays, has relied on these historically irrelevant issues. It might help, but it might just cost attention and interest to the monarchy itself.”
After all, it may be a moot point. Despite decades of environmentalism, Charles is hinting at changing his policy as king. In the 2018 documentary, he was asked if he would continue his activist ways. “I’m not that stupid,” he replied. “If you’re the Prince of Wales or his successor, you can’t be the same as a monarch.”
There is a centuries-old precedent for a head of state to remain politically neutral as far as the powers of the British monarch are concerned. There is no law that says a sovereign cannot vote, but the Queen stuck to convention and never marked out her ballot. The signing of Magna his Carta in 1215 and subsequent laws such as his Bill of Rights of 1689 created a constitutional monarchy limited by the democratic will of Parliament. The head of state still had to obtain the consent of the king before the bill could be enacted, but this was considered a rubber stamp exercise and has not been withheld since Queen Anne did so in 1707.
Therefore, King Charles’ real political power is limited and unlikely to cross the line. “I have no concerns. […] King Charles III will rule as nothing more than a constitutional, democratic and law-abiding monarch,” says Vaughan. However, Charles still retains lobbying powers. Heads of state and prime ministers hold weekly closed-door meetings called audiences. As Vaughan sees it, “the question mark is: he used his role in the Unwritten Constitution to influence policy and the ideas of Downing Street and 10th Street perhaps more than his mother would have tried. Would you like to have the influence of
Naturally, Charles’ public works direction, not behind-the-scenes lobbying, will be paramount to how he and the monarchy as a whole will be perceived in the future in Britain and around the world. In the United States, where The Crown was a must-watch TV show and tens of millions were listening to the royal wedding, the 70-something activist carefully and diligently broke the spell cast by his mother. maybe. For some, the faint memory of his relationship with Diana fades and is replaced by a celebration of progressivism on such a visible stage. It was exclusively in that theater. In other words, a mirage of power, drama and luxury that exists away from politics. For these Americans, fairy tales are probably dead.