I was in Westminster Hall to watch King Charles address Parliament – he could not have been more majestic

My god, we do these things beautifully in the UK.

First came the Yeomen of the Guard, marching stiffly in their Beefeater uniforms, then the Honorable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, proud and feathered, an ancient unit last seen in the English Civil War.

The King and his wife ascended the stairs to address Parliament in Westminster Hall

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The King and his wife ascended the stairs to address Parliament in Westminster HallPhoto credit: Reuters
King Charles III at Westminster Hall, London, smiled the smile of a man comfortable in his own skin and reconciled to the weight he has assumed

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King Charles III at Westminster Hall, London, smiled the smile of a man comfortable in his own skin and reconciled to the weight he has assumedCredit: PA
The House of Commons accused the first King Charles of being

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The House of Commons accused the first King Charles of being “a tyrant, a traitor, a murderer”.Photo credit: Getty

The Band of the Household Cavalry played the kind of music that makes every British heart beat faster.

Then came the Speakers of the Lords and Commons, preceded by their clubs, ceremonially wrapped in cloth for the King’s arrival.

It was a bit sad to see that none of the men wore their official wigs. But I didn’t have time to get angry because at that moment a trumpet sounded.

The King and his consort climbed the steps to the spot where, in 1649, justices representing what was left of the House of Commons accused the first King Charles of being “a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public and implacable enemy of the Commonwealth of.” England”.

It comes as…

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Charles leads the Queen's children as they follow the coffin in front of crowds

There, under the oak beams of a thousand-year-old hall, bathed in light by a stained-glass window installed by MPs and colleagues as a gift for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the third King Charles received the addresses from the Lords and Commons.

It is a ceremony that has so far been performed privately in one of the royal residences. It used to be the fashion to say that the monarchy would fight after the death of the queen.

In fact, the king could not have been more majestic. He was confident without being cocky, polite without being obsequious, humble without being the least bit insecure.

In a word, he was royal

He smiled the smile of a man who is comfortable in his own skin and reconciled himself to the weight he had assumed. In a word, he was royal.

We often have trouble imagining people in a new role until they take it. It applies to prime ministers and it applies to monarchs. Rituals like the ones we are experiencing this week are an important part of this process.

But it would be a mistake to see the ceremony at Westminster Hall as just an example of the pomp and pomp that tourists enjoy.

Properly understood, the ceremony elevates our constitution and reminds us who – and how lucky – we are.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives to attend the presentation of speeches from both Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall

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British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives to attend the presentation of speeches from both Houses of Parliament at Westminster HallPhoto credit: AFP
King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort leave Westminster Hall

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King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort leave Westminster HallPhoto credit: Getty

Mr Speaker delivered a considered speech recalling highlights of the Queen’s reign, including her celebrations of the anniversary of the Glorious Revolution of 1689.

“It is perhaps very British to celebrate revolutions by delivering an address to Her Majesty,” he joked, drawing a smile from our new king.

He added: “But these revolutions brought about our constitutional liberties and laid the foundation for a stable monarchy that protects liberty.”

It is perhaps very British to celebrate revolutions by delivering an address to Her Majesty.

Mr Speaker

As a matter of fact. Despite all the palaces and golden carriages, despite all the oaths and military scrutiny, monarchs have served at our will since 1689. If we had chosen a different system of government, they would step aside without a cry of protest. But that’s not exactly why we choose a different system.

It is a paradox – the sovereign is the source of all authority, but at the same time the servant of the country. And that arrangement gives us something republics don’t have: an arbiter of politics, a commander-in-chief who isn’t a general, a last resort against coups d’etat or civil war.

It surprised some commentators when the king decided when Charles III. to rule. One of Fleet Street’s worst kept secrets was that he intended to use one of his middle names and ascend the throne as George VII.

You could see why he felt that way. George V and George VI – his great-grandfather and grandfather – were exactly the kind of kings that the British like: somber, dull and dutiful. The two Charleses, on the other hand, were smart, stubborn, and slippery.

God save the king!

Charles I, who wanted to rule without a parliament, was so unwilling to keep his word that he was eventually executed.

His son Charles II was more charming – he had 14 children by seven mistresses – but was surprisingly unpatriotic, and once sold British territory to the French so he wouldn’t have to convene parliament to collect taxes.

Like his father, he would have ruled as a dictator if he could have.

But the ceremony, which took place at Westminster Hall yesterday, reminded us of something that is often overlooked.

When the monarchy was restored 11 years after the execution of Charles I, it was Parliament that made the decision. There was a free election, then the new deputies asked Charles II to become king.

Parliament’s supremacy was enshrined in 1689, and MPs have since set the terms of succession – most recently in 2013, when they changed the rules to allow older daughters to succeed younger sons to the throne.

Embedded in 900 years of history

By PROFESSOR MARK ALMOND, Oxford historian

WESTMINSTER Hall is the theater where so many historical events over the last 900+ years have been staged.

Dating from the 1090s, it survived the Parliament Fire in 1834 and the Blitz bombings of World War II.

Medieval monarchs used it for feasts and grand receptions until the warrior king Edward I turned it into a court where treason trials were held. There he put William “Braveheart” Wallace before his execution in 1305.

In 1535, under Henry VIII, Catholics like Thomas More were on trial for their religion. Gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes was convicted there in 1606.

The most famous trial in English history took place in the hall in January 1649 after King Charles I lost the Civil War.

In 1688, James II put seven bishops on trial for refusing to bend to his will. They got out and ushered in the glorious revolution that established our modern constitution and rule of law.

This week, the public will be able to see the hall for the first time since the Queen Mother’s inauguration in 2002.

No one questions their right to set these terms. In reality Great Britain is a kind of crowned republic.

The new king knows.

In his brief but thoughtful speech, he vowed to follow his mother’s example in “upholding the worthy principles of constitutional government that are at the heart of our nation.”

What are these principles? That the law applies equally to everyone, including the king. That the people we elect are representatives, not rulers.

That those in charge cannot change the rules over time. That we are allowed to do anything that is not expressly forbidden.

A constitutional monarch has multiple jobs. Speak for and with the country. To suffer with us in times of hardship and to celebrate with us in times of joy.

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to conduct ceremonies with dignity.

And to protect the constitution so that our democracy and society endure. Charles III understands these duties very well. God save the king!

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6205471/king-charles-westminster-hall-parliament/ I was in Westminster Hall to watch King Charles address Parliament – he could not have been more majestic

DevanCole

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