Charles III Was Crowned King. But Can He Ever Be the Star?

Introducing major cast changes in a long-running series is always a challenge. On Saturday morning, in a special episode with elements of “The Crown” and “Succession”, King Charles III became the centerpiece of the royal ensemble for just one day.

The coronation of a British ruler is, of course, a political and a religious ceremony. But it’s also a television show, as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 established. This is an anachronistic claim to God’s right reframed to recognize that in the electronic age, even genetic rulers must claim its relevance.

The coronation of Prince Charles was a full-color spectacle, showcasing the peacock-like glory of British tradition and the versatility of 21st-century television. England brought the best clothes, the best relics, the best rains. The network has taken in all the splendor a camera can capture. There was even a graphic providing an x-ray of him of Westminster Abbey. The term “fairy tale” was expanded more than once.

But fairy tales have a message. There were many things in this. Styling the monarchy in a modern way, it communicates continuity, reframes the royal narrative, and introduces Charles as a lead rather than just a leader.

This was a difficult order. Charles never became a star in his own life. He’s been king for months now. He has been an international figure for decades. However, many of his stories were those of his mother, wife and children.

For nearly the entire television era, his mother was the visual representation of royalty. It was because of birth and, perhaps, alphabet. Now, in a way, he’s a secondary or tertiary figure in a running soap opera dominated by other characters, including his son and daughter-in-law, who have recently been estranged from his disgraced brother. is.

On Saturday he was at the center. And in the carefully prepared day of celebration, he looked gloomy and overwhelmed. Each piece of royal hardware presented to him during his installation – orbs, bejeweled swords, robes upon robes – seemed to add a mental pound. Queen Camilla looked more happy.

The most special element of the ceremony was when Charles was ceremonially anointed behind a screen of richly embroidered panels. But it also captures the strangeness of the relationship between the king and the celebrity. It is a theatrically intimate act performed privately in front of an audience of millions.

Even his departure in a bumpy, shiny-gold coach felt like a symbol of the displeasure of magnificence. and the dangers. (Don’t mind the creases.)

American TV had something else to look forward to during the Saturday morning black coffee hours. On this side of the Atlantic, his two-and-a-half centuries away from the revolution, it’s easy to embrace it all as a costume party, as royalty passed through the streets like an elaborately plated dessert.

U.S. networks were particularly hyped about Prince Charles’ son, author and influential Harry’s solo appearance, Harry’s absentee wife Meghan, his retirement as a civil servant, and accusations of racism, brawls and bad blood in the royal family. Even while the royal procession was preparing to return to Buckingham Palace, CNN’s cameras were busy spotting Harry, a bystander.

The coronation itself is deliberately staged to present an image of a modern, inclusive monarchy, unburdened by colonialism. The gospel choir sang Alleluia to solemn hymns. In highly Protestant ceremonies, non-Christian religious figures were given roles.

But Harry, in his civilian suit, was also a reminder of the division between royal tradition and modernity. Even as the new king appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in a downpour, much of the press attention was focused on Harry’s absence to see the weather weakened flyby. Prince William was sidelined with his family.)

Beginning with a globally televised coronation where she was featured as a young woman in a major role, Elizabeth has survived the family dramas of her time thanks to the strength of popularity she has built through television. Done. Charles is a famous and serious media image problem man. However, he doesn’t have the love or fame he’s earned for so long, and he may not even have the time to build it.

But he has the title, and the colorful ceremony, even if it’s supposed to be streamlined, shows his emotional attachment to country and history to his subjects, at least to show up and listen. You can’t be a star, and the ceremony seemed to say that the crown is always there.

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