The coronation of King Charles III was a highly significant historical event, the first most of us have experienced in our lifetime. While there will always be critics of such national events, I believe that the organisers got it just about right, with a good balance between the formal pomp and pageantry required for crowning the new monarch and his Queen, some more modern elements and the wider public celebrations.
I hope that the changes in the coronation can be carried through into other aspects of the Royal Family’s work. While polls show support for the monarchy remains relatively strong across the UK, there is no doubt that much of that support was built around the remarkable service of Charles’ mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
She steered the country and her family through so many crises with a dignity and dedication that nurtured and sustained the monarchy as an institution, even when it faced its greatest challenges. She was also conscious of the need for reform and oversaw numerous changes in the way the Royal Family functioned during her time on the throne.
Most royal observers believe King Charles will continue with reforms to shrink and modernise the Royal Family and their supporting staff. I think that even the monarchy’s staunchest supporters will appreciate that this makes sense, especially at a time when so many people are struggling.
One aspect of the coronation celebrations I particularly welcomed was the Big Help Out on Bank Holiday Monday, encouraging people to volunteer in their neighbourhood. This was not only recognition of the King’s long-established support for the voluntary sector, but also a chance for charities and community groups to derive tangible benefits from the coronation weekend.
With more than 1,500 charities involved in the Big Help Out in various community activities and events, I hope that an increase in volunteering will be a lasting and positive legacy of the coronation.