How King Charles’ Britain will be different to Queen Elizabeth’s: fresh banknotes and a new national anthem, but will he keep Trooping the Colour and the Christmas Day broadcast?
When Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral on September 8, it signalled that life in the UK will never be the same again for the vast majority of residents, who have grown up knowing only one monarch.
British banknotes and coins, the national anthem and the line of succession to the throne are among the most notable major changes in life, but what else will change now that the beloved queen is gone?
King Charles III succeeds to the throne
Now that King Charles has succeeded to the throne, everyone in the line of succession has moved up a place. The royals most affected by this shift are the new monarch himself, of course, and his son Prince William, who is now first in line to the throne.
A new national holiday
The UK began a 10-day period of national mourning on September 9, King Charles announced.
The stock market, stores and banks will close at certain times during this period, with the funeral on September 19 becoming a formal national holiday.
The queen’s portrait will be replaced on British money
British coins and banknotes, which have the queen’s portrait on them, will be replaced by new versions bearing a portrait of the new monarch, King Charles. However, the process of replacing the portrait could take a number of years due to the large number of banknotes currently in circulation, according to The Coin Expert. While the queen succeeded her father King George VI in 1952, she didn’t appear on a Bank of England note until 1960, according to the Bank of England.
The lyrics of the national anthem have changed
For 70 years, Britain’s national anthem has been “God Save the Queen”.
Now that the queen has been succeeded by her son, Charles, the lyrics will revert to the male version of the song, “God Save the King”.
King Charles’ wife Camilla has become queen consort
“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you have given me, and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as queen consort as she continues her own loyal service,” she wrote.
A new host of the annual Christmas broadcast
King George V was the first British monarch to address the public in a Christmas Day speech in 1932, according to the royal family website. The purpose of the annual speech was to reflect on the past year and on the meaning of Christmas.
The broadcast was a tradition upheld by Queen Elizabeth and became an “intrinsic part of Christmas Day festivities for many people across the Commonwealth”, the website adds.
It will be for the new monarch, Charles III, to decide whether to continue this tradition after her death.
Parliamentary duties pass to the new monarch
Charles’ official duties as king will involve hosting a weekly audience with the prime minister, signing bills and giving a speech at the State Opening of Parliament, which marks the formal start of the parliamentary year.
Charles and Camilla accompanied the queen to Parliament in recent years.
Like the queen, the king will celebrate two birthdays
Every June, the Trooping the Colour parade takes place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of the monarch’s official birthday. The parade is comprised of 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians, according to the royal family website.
The UK public and people across the world often flock to London to witness the parade for themselves.
British sovereigns whose real birthdays fall in colder months celebrate a second birthday in the summer with the hope of good weather for their birthday parade. Since Prince Charles’ birthday is November 14, he could also choose to celebrate Trooping the Colour in June as his mother did before him.
A reduced monarchy
Although it’s not yet known whether this will now indeed happen, slimming down the monarchy would have a positive financial impact on British taxpayers. Reducing the number of royals who undertake official duties would mean reducing those who are funded by the sovereign grant, public funds used to support them.
- Prince Philip called the family ‘a firm’ which Charles may decide to shrink to save the taxpayers of Britain some money, though his wife Camilla will become queen consort
- He could change Buckingham Palace traditions such as the Christmas Day broadcast or the Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark the monarch’s second, official birthday