Max Hastings contemplates the future of King Charles in The Times today. (Don’t worry the old girl is hanging on for now). But the key players in the future of the monarchy are not British. Out of respect for HMQ the governments and people of Australia, Canada and New Zealand (and a few other smaller independent states) have stuck with the absurd anachronism of having a non national of their countries as their Head of State. They won’t want Charles and Camilla – and who can blame them? The Commonwealth will surely also crumble away – Elizabeth II has held it together but in reality it has no purpose in the modern world, if it ever did.
Shorn of the remnants of post Imperial power Britain has to decide whether it wants to elect a President or persevere with the serendipity of having a monarch. If we choose King Charles, manifold faults and all, the firm may have to be slimmed down. The Dutch, and others, seem to manage with a constitutional monarch without the panoply of pomp and patronage that characterises ours.
The days of pompous self-congratulatory Britain may be fading away. Indeed Britain itself may be fading away entirely as Little England contemplates a lonely singular future. To be King of England has a certain historical relevance – cry God for Charlie, England and St George. And our benighted land might still make a few bob marketing the castles and the palaces as tourist attractions. But in reality the game is up.