King Charles marks his first year on the throne, cautious but steady - GulfToday

King Charles marks his first year on the throne, cautious but steady


Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla attend a service at Crathie Church, Balmoral, Scotland, Britain. File/Reuters

King Charles has trodden a cautious but successful path in his first year on the British throne, friends and royal watchers say, but rifts within his family still hang over his reign. Charles, 74, succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth when she died a year ago this Friday aged 96 at her Balmoral Castle home in Scotland, prompting national and global mourning at the end of a 70-year reign.

Critics of Charles, who had waited longer than any other heir in British history to become king, had predicted he might seek a radical overhaul of the monarchy and abandon his mother's staunchly neutral and apolitical approach to the role.

But, in keeping with earlier promises, he has put aside his campaigning on the environment and climate change and remained within the accepted boundaries.

Ingrid Seward, Editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said his reign had started "exceptionally well". He was seeking to stamp his own mark on the job, although the pressure of dealing with state papers had curbed any immediate wider changes, she said.

"I just think he's been really, really busy with everything that's happened this year, Seward said. "He has his own things to do but first and foremost comes the job of being king."

Unnamed friends told the Sunday Times newspaper Charles had found the workload surprising but had settled into his role.

"He seems very content and happy, having mourned the loss of his mother, he is settled. His destiny has arrived and he has embraced it," one close friend told the paper, while aides said the king and his officials were being cautious.

Media reports say he will soon launch an initiative to combat food waste, something in keeping with his long-term advocacy of sustainability. Newspapers have said he was also looking to scale back staffing levels within his household.


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