By Nick Lyth
We have all just witnessed a landmark in the history of Britain. The oldest monarch ever to ascend the throne has just been crowned, amid all the splendour and pageantry associated with the event. But there is something else new, quite apart from his great age. Charles III is the first monarch for centuries with a settled and explicit determination to break out of the shackles that deny the monarch action of any kind, and make our world a better place. He is also unusual in having a long enough track record prior to ascending the throne to show just how serious his determination is.
His cause is our cause. Repairing, restoring and conserving the environment on which we depend. It is a cause he has been fighting, with only limited success, for well over forty years. The failure of the cause thus far has been in no small part due to the lack of leadership. He has been one of the isolated few who have tried to remedy this problem. He has provided leadership.
He has been forthright in his commitment, unafraid of criticism, he has refused to submit to the mockery frequently offered by the media and other commentators. He has been in many ways ahead of his time. In the early days, few realised how serious the problems he was addressing were or would become for the world we inhabit.
But now there is no doubt. Nor is there any doubting his commitment to continue the battle, in spite of the constitutional constraints imposed on the British monarch, preventing the occupant of the throne taking independent action of any kind. He will be more aware than most that the first Charles to ascend the throne is also the only British monarch to have been judicially tried and beheaded by the British public.
But our new King knows that the British Government is both ostensibly committed to the fight against climate change; and also failing to do enough to succeed. We hope he not only continues, but uses his new status to be even more of a champion and leader in the fight.
It is highly unlikely that he feels there is anything much to feel happy and glorious about in the state of modern Britain as he ascends the throne. But his reign could be something to make us all feel a lot happier and more glorious than we do at the moment.