The Future of the British Commonwealth


Yui Mok // Getty Images

King Charles III greeting Liz Truss for the first time as prime minister

Mattox Friedman, Associate Editor

The crown has a new face as King Charles Philip Arthur George becomes the new monarch. He inherited the throne from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, but what is the future for the commonwealth and the king?

King Charles’s ascension to the throne directly coincides with Liz Truss’s appointment as prime minister. Both will be adjusting to their responsibilities simultaneously as they learn to navigate their conflicting political views. As tradition goes, the prime minister and king will conduct weekly private meetings to discuss government business. Though the king will be involved in these political meetings, the expectation is that in the public eye, the royal family, including King Charles III, will remain above politics, playing a similar role to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, attempting to fill her shoes.

King Charles claims that the focus of his reign is “to seek the peace, harmony, and prosperity of the peoples of these islands and of the commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world.”  The “prosperity” mentioned by the king partly refers to conflicts on climate, being characterized as a “Climate King” by multiple environmental news publications, which starkly contrasts Truss’s views, representing the right-wing Conservative Party. Truss expressed her mistrust and doubt concerning the promotion of renewable energy policies and signaled that she intends for the commonwealth to invest further in fossil fuels. For example, Truss announced an overturn of the U.K.’s previously placed ban on fracking. 

Even with these conflicts, both political leaders are active advocates for harmony. Truss appointed the most diverse cabinet the country has ever seen. Truss stated, “I am confident that together we can ride out the storm. We can rebuild our economy, and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be.” Even with the king’s and prime minister’s differences, clashes between the two are unlikely. During a difficult time in the country, the people seek hope and success in the king and commonwealth.