New U.K. King may see the collapse of Greath Britain

Charles III will surely face a further collapse of the British Empire

New U.K. King may see the collapse of Greath Britain
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The death of the British Queen Elizabeth II, as it turned out, began to cause political upheaval. One of the countries of the British Commonwealth (which is now headed by King Charles III) immediately announced its intention to “become a truly sovereign country”, that is, to get out of the power of London. And this seems to be just the beginning.

“The Last King of Scotland”.

That is what the 2006 British film about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was called – and that is what the new British king Charles III is jokingly called in 2022. They call it in such a way because under him Scotland can leave the United Kingdom.

Of course, the main reason for Scottish separatism is not the monarchy as such, but the traditional desire for independence, multiplied by dissatisfaction with the activities of the last London prime ministers and the fact that these prime ministers banally deceived Scotland. In the 2014 independence referendum, 55% of Scots voted no, partly because London swore an oath to keep Scotland in the European Union (along with Britain as a whole, of course).

In 2016, this promise was broken, and since then the Scottish authorities have been demanding that London approve a new referendum. London, however, does not give such permission, knowing full well how this referendum could end now.

However, on the other hand, in this butting between England and Scotland, the late Queen Elizabeth II played a major stabilizing role. Yes, some Scots were unhappy that the all-British Queen Elizabeth had the serial number “II” (Elizabeth the First ruled only in England – there was no monarch with that name in Scotland). But despite this, Elizabeth was immensely respected.

“The relationship between Scotland and the Queen has been widely admired,” said Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party faction in the British House of Commons.

“For many in Scotland, she was Elizabeth, Queen of Scots. Her roots are in Scotland – from the paternal and maternal lines, she is a descendant of the Stuart dynasty” (who ruled in Scotland – Approx).

“The death of the Queen in Scotland at her home in Balmoral underlined her close ties with Scotland, which will become the center of national mourning for two days. But her body’s journey is also one filled with political overtones, as the queen’s death raises new questions about the future of the Scottish independence movement”.

After all, Charles III is not so respected. If Elizabeth did not interfere in political processes, then Charles III (when he was Prince Charles) did. If the queen participated in charity events and always behaved like a king, then Prince Charles, striving to be “closer to the people”, did not possess any royal aura.

That is why a number of experts assure that after the end of mourning for the Queen, the conflict between London and Edinburgh will intensify.

(especially if the new Prime Minister Liz Truss fails to cope with economic problems, and also goes into conflict with the European Union because of the desire to renegotiate the terms of Brexit). Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon will continue to demand an independence referendum (she wants London to schedule it for October 2022), and Britain will no longer have an authoritative leader to reassure everyone. After all, Mrs. Truss cannot be considered such a leader, whose election to the post of prime minister (in which only 0.3% of voters participated – official members of the Conservative Party) was generally satisfied with only 22% of the country’s inhabitants.

However, it is possible that Prince Charles will be the last king not only of Scotland, but also of a number of other countries. The fact is that 14 of the 56 countries of the British Commonwealth (apart from Great Britain itself, of course) are constitutional monarchies, the heads of which are nominally the monarch of Great Britain. That is, in this case, Charles III.

And immediately after the news of his appointment, one of the 14 – Antigua and Barbuda – asked to leave.

“This does not represent any form of disrespect for the monarch. This is not a manifestation of the differences between Antigua and Barbuda and the British crown. This is the last step to become a truly sovereign country,” explained Prime Minister Gaston Brown. He intends to hold a corresponding referendum in 2025. By this year, another country – Jamaica – is already going to become a republic (the local authorities voiced their desire even before the coronation of Charles).

The remaining 12 – Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu – have not yet announced Republican plans. However, the corresponding sentiments in these territories not only exist, but are growing. And they will intensify against the background of the image of Charles III, as well as the exit from the British crown of new territories.

So, according to one of the surveys, almost 51% of Canadians believe that the British king in the future should not be the nominal head of their state. And 67% do not want this figurehead to be specifically Charles III.

Yes, while Republicans are not everywhere in the majority. As of early 2022, 36% of Australians were in favor of their country becoming a republic. But this is not quite a minority – only 27% of the country’s inhabitants were against this idea. Most of all (38%) were undecided – that is, those who hesitated. And it is possible that such a rather big weight, balancing the desire for a republic, was the authority of the then acting British monarch.

Charles III does not have such authority, and the leader of the Australian Green Party (which has a certain number of seats in parliament), Adam Bandt, has already called on his country to “move forward” – that is, become a republic. In particular, supporters of independence want to hold a new referendum (the last such was in 1999, and there 55% of the country’s inhabitants were in favor of maintaining the current status quo). The growth of “separatist” sentiment is also growing in neighboring New Zealand – the local Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expresses confidence that her country will become a republic during her lifetime.

We can say that it is very far from the strengthening of separatism to concrete political decisions. If only because Australia and New Zealand are interested in strengthening the British presence in the Pacific region – to contain China, whose expansion both countries fear. However, this point is by no means a deterrent.

“Indeed, for Australia and New Zealand, the presence of the British is rather a boon, because the British in the region will unequivocally support them in any anti-Chinese actions and at the same time, in a certain sense, they are an alternative to the Americans, allowing them to maneuver in private matters. On the other hand, however, Australia and New Zealand have a long and solid republican tradition that has not interfered with maintaining traditional political ties. And from the fact that the king ceases to be the head of state there, their ties with Britain will not be particularly weakened”, Alexey Kupriyanov, head of the South Asia and Indian Ocean Region Group, explains to the VZGLYAD newspaper.

So the only question will be whether the countries of the Commonwealth want to have a British monarch over them. They wanted someone like Elizabeth II. They also wanted someone like Prince William (it was no coincidence that a few years ago the Caribbean members of the Commonwealth insisted that Elizabeth hand over the crown not to her son, but to her popular grandson). But such as Charles III, most likely, they will not want.

Gevorg Mirzayan, Associate Professor, Financial University, VIEW

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