Is Charles up to the job?

While elaborate preparations are under way for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, her son is taking the first steps in his new role as King Charles III. Europe's press takes a critical look at whether the new monarch will be able to fill the gap left by his highly respected and popular mother.

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Times of Malta (MT) /

The bar was set very high

If Charles III does not find favour with the British, the monarchy as an institution will be at risk, the Times of Malta comments:

“The new king will need to emulate his mother's ability to remain in the hearts of most UK citizens if the monarchy is to have a bright future. There are those who argue, with good reason, that the monarchy is an irrelevant institution in a fast-changing world. One must remember, however, that it is because of the personal qualities that Elizabeth brought to the role - stoicism and resilience, grace and humanity - that most British people still see the monarchy as a symbol of their identity, a force of unity, and a treasured part of their heritage.”

Le Temps (CH) /

Climate commitment vs. scandals

Le Temps wonders whether Charles has the dignity required for the office - as Elizabeth did:

“Her almost Swiss-style neutrality forced commentators to guess from the colours of her clothes or hats what her opinion was on issues that divided the kingdom. Her son, whose infamies have been heralded in the tabloids, never had this shield. ... Unlike his mother, Charles has publicly known convictions, for example his commitment to climate protection. The issue is so important and consensual that at least it does not further divide the British. But it will take more to justify his role as king and defend his palaces - at a time when the country is entering a deep recession.”

Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Strong views as a decisive quality

With his environmental views Charles III could become a popular king, Deutschlandfunk speculates:

“Unlike Elizabeth, Charles tends to let his political views show through. He's not really allowed to do that though. ... Britain is a constitutional monarchy, but if he succeeds in weaving his convictions as a common thread into the reorganisation of his country, his strong views could prove to be a valuable quality. Even as a young man, Charles championed nature and climate protection - an issue that was ridiculed at the time but today poses the greatest challenge for humanity. He could become a 'green king'. This would be a modernisation of the monarchy that young Britons in particular would find convincing.”

ABC (ES) /

Preparing the way for William's accession

ABC says Charles won't have it easy:

“There is no denying that Charles is considerably less popular than his mother, and that his at times strident stance on controversial issues could take a toll on his image. ... Added to this is the country's more than delicate economic situation. ... Now that its separation from the rest of Europe is complete, the UK stands alone on uncertain financial ground. ... The domestic political situation is far from ideal, with the push for independence in Scotland and the danger of a return to political turmoil in Northern Ireland. ... Perhaps Charles' main task at the moment could be to prepare the way for his son William's accession to the throne.”