With ceremonies over, King Charles III faces biggest task

LONDON (AP) — The cannons have sounded, the bells have rung and the mourners have paid their respects. Now King Charles III faces the task of preserving a 1,000-year-old

monarchy that his mother nurtured for seven decades but that faces an uncertain future. The challenge is immense. Personal affection for the queen meant that the monarchy’s

role in British society was rarely debated in recent years. But now that she’s gone, the royal family faces questions about whether it is still relevant in a modern, multicultural

nation that looks very different than it did when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952. Amid a global re-examination of the history of colonialism and slavery that has seen

protesters tear down or deface statues in British cities and universities like Oxford and Cambridge change their course offerings, an institution that was once the symbol of the

British Empire is likely to face renewed scrutiny. Charles will try to “maintain continuity” while also signaling that the royals are prepared to change, said Anna

Whitelock, a professor of history of modern monarchy at City University London. But he faces a raft of questions. “What place does a monarchy have in a multi-faith,

multi-ethnic society?” Whitelock asked. “And is it the right rallying point for the nation? And should it be the monarch representing the U.K. abroad? What does it say about us?

Is it a bastion of tradition that people should applaud? Or is it actually a check on progress that actually doesn’t represent the inclusive, diverse society that people would

hope that Britain would now become?”