By Edith Harrison
Queen Beatrice’s decision to abdicate this week in favour of her son sets a precedent. It was a big step, historic for those of us who monitor the monarchy in all its forms. Could it happen here? Should it happen here?
I don’t doubt there will be calls from sectors of the media for our own monarch to do the same – to give Charles the chance to be king.
In fairness to her oldest son, however, I feel it’s the last thing he would want.
Charles knows he will never be as popular as his mother or indeed his own sons. I suspect he may have once made a first class king but that moment has passed.
He’s a thoroughly decent chap but lacks that common touch which endeared his late wife to so many.
And while he has not courted controversy –certainly not to the degree of his predecessors – he made the error of marrying the wrong woman not once but twice.
Just as Diana was wasted upon him, a realisation that must have driven her to despair, Camilla, his abiding love, will never capture hearts in the manner of his first princess.
A happier ending would have provided us with a Queen for our times.
And for that we must now look to Kate. Queen Catherine has a certain ring to it. Her husband the Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the throne but the people’s prince ... and prospective monarch. What if Charles stepped aside for him? Wouldn’t that be more acceptable to most of us? Harry must be delighted Kate is pregnant - as it has literally bumped him to fourth place.
And the truly historic occasion has passed most of us by – the fact that Kate and William’s baby will eventually rule Britain even if female.
My hope is they name their daughter after William’s grandmother. We are now nearing the end of a second Elizabethan age. It is only fitting that we should have some hope of a third in the years to come.
History has taught us that anyone called Charles doesn’t have a great track record in the monarchy.
I would hope he would step aside for his own son come the Queen’s death or abdication.
n To write for Live Wire contact Jacqui Morley