King Charles III calls for the unity of the Commonwealth
LONDON – Charles III. attended his first Commonwealth Day service as king on Monday, calling for unity to address the world’s most pressing problems.
The 74-year-old monarch heads the 56-nation grouping, which at 2.6 billion people makes up around a third of the world’s population.
He led senior royalty and member state representatives at the institution’s annual celebration at Westminster Abbey in central London.
The Commonwealth, which includes tiny Pacific island nations and large global economies like Canada and Australia, is a “force for good,” Charles said.
“Whether it is climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health or economic cooperation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in addressing the most pressing issues of our time,” he added from the pulpit.
“Ours is a union not only of shared values, but also of a common purpose and common action.”
Charles took over as head of the Commonwealth, whose members are former British colonies, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September.
But he has represented the late monarch at previous meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government as her age had forced her to stop traveling abroad.
He said he was inspired by their example and was inspired by the “nearly limitless potential of the institution as a force for good in the world” and the young demographics of its member countries.
– republicanism –
Since ascending the throne, Charles, who will be officially crowned in May, has sought to place the Commonwealth at the heart of his rule.
Before his mother’s funeral, he hosted the Commonwealth and World Leaders at Buckingham Palace.
There have also been private audiences for the 14 Commonwealth areas outside the UK where Charles is also sovereign, including Australia and New Zealand.
He also received South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for the first state visit of his term.
However, diplomacy comes as he faces the tricky task of keeping the self-proclaimed Commonwealth family together.
There have been long questions about whether he can inspire the same respect and devotion as his mother, and mounting Republican headwinds.
Charles’ eldest son and heir Prince William got a taste of trying to break free from the monarchy during a visit to the Caribbean last year.
Protests in Jamaica and the Bahamas took place after another Commonwealth member, Barbados, deposed the queen as head of state to become a republic in 2021.
Australia, where a significant part of the population wants to become a republic, is expected to go in the same direction.
Charles has indicated he will not stand in the way of countries wanting to do the same.
In London on Monday there were renewed protests by Republicans in Great Britain against the hereditary principle of the monarchy.
A handful of protesters carried placards reading “Not my king,” echoing similar protests at royal engagements in recent months.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch