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Kamila Šebestová
September 14, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 4:18

British Media Expert: Perilous Times Ahead For The British Royal Family After The Death Of Queen Elizabeth II. (Interview)

Death of Elizabeth II. changed the future of Great Britain forever. She will be replaced on the throne by the less popular Prince Charles. What does this mean for the UK?

Kamila Šebestová
September 14, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 4:18
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Queen Elizabeth II of England she died after 70 long years of rule. The less popular Prince Charles becomes the new king of Great Britain. What does the Queen's death mean for Great Britain? How do the British react to it and how will it change their daily lives in the coming weeks? We asked British media expert Pete Murray these questions about the Queen's death. The Manchester Metropolitan University journalism professor covered the death of Princess Diana during his time at the BBC.

What was the atmosphere like in the UK just before the Queen's death? 

The atmosphere was very difficult. Everything indicated that the worst will happen. Never before has it happened that the Prime Minister was interrupted in the middle of a speech due to some announcement in the House of the British Parliament. Moreover, in such an important debate, as MPs were talking about the millions of pounds that they are going to invest in the fight against rising energy prices. The fact that the Prime Minister interrupted her announcement only emphasized the seriousness of the situation. It was also very unusual to have so many members of the British royal family traveling to see the Queen.



The seriousness of the situation could also be read from the way the media presented the queen's death. 

Yes, the BBC, for example, has completely stopped broadcasting its usual programme. Presenter Huw Edwards wore black tie. You could really feel the seriousness of the situation. The only time I remember such a broadcast was on the day Princess Diana died.


So the Queen probably died before it was announced?

I know from my own work experience at the BBC that such events are subject to strict protocols. The BBC has special rules for covering the deaths of members of the royal family - the more important they are, the more specific rules apply. With the queen, the rules are extremely detailed. It was similar with her husband Prince Philip. The fact that the Prime Minister immediately left the Chamber after hearing the news of the Queen's death is also part of the protocol.

At the same time, the BBC operates a special system that was put together during the Second World War in the 1940s. Of course, it has evolved since then. The idea is that every single BBC newsroom across the UK will know about the news at the same time. It is possible that such a system was also applied at the death of the queen.

What are the consequences of the queen's death?

The government continues to function, but some state institutions will gradually close. Also, many people voluntarily closed their shops and put on black clothes. People hang flags everywhere. In the royal family, there is an ancient protocol according to which they will crown a new king. It immediately came into force the moment the queen died.

Specific protocols work for everything, as I mentioned before. They were not talked about just before her death, as no one wants to tell bad news in advance, so only now will we learn more about them.


How will the position of Prince Charles change the political atmosphere in Britain?

These things happen in many matriarchal families. The death of the queen will affect other members of the family, they will probably be divided now and tension may arise between them. This can happen in basically any family. In this one, it is specific in that the Queen has reigned for 70 years and her authority and influence extends beyond the whole of the United Kingdom. And many other member countries of the Commonwealth, which considered the Queen as their state authority.


King Charles III Source: Wikimedia Commons/Dan Marsh


However, not all of them perceived her positively.

In the countries of the Caribbean, there were several movements that sought to end the rule of the queen and wanted to replace her with a president. But the institution of the British royal family is constantly changing. It will be different with Prince Charles. At the same time, he comes to power at a completely different age than the queen - he is 73 years old. The Queen reigned for 70 years, so there's no comparison. 


Is it possible that after the death of the Queen there will be an unexpected turn in politics? For example, the fall of the monarchy?

Not many people in the UK think the monarchy should fall. But interestingly, the new Prime Minister, Lizz Truss, had this attitude when she was younger. So it's not out of the question. But it does not mean that it will happen in the near future. Even the death of the queen will probably not change that. However, it is possible that the monarchy will become less popular with Prince Charles on the throne.


How will people perceive him?

There has been a lot of talk about Prince Charles in recent years, whether in connection with Diana or his lover and now wife Camilla Parker Bowles. These things caused controversy and he was not popular in many parts of the country. People didn't like how he behaved. So now are perilous times for the royal family.


In what exactly?The royal family doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to change. It is not easy for them to adapt to it. It is already clear that Charles' son William is much more popular than his father. Not to mention Harry and Meghan. It will be interesting to see what kind of tension between the members of the royal family the death of the Queen will bring. In such a large, powerful family, tensions are bound to arise, just as they did a year ago between Meghan, Harry and the rest of the royal family.

So now multiple scenarios can happen. People will mourn the Queen and support the monarchy, but they may also be frustrated by the new era of Prince Charles.

Yes, multiple scenarios can occur. But we probably won't find out in the near future, since out of respect for the Queen, no public polls will be held. So it will probably take a while to find out if people are happy with King Charles III.


In conclusion, we can say that Elizabeth II. was valued by the people of Britain. Yes, it was seen especially during the anniversary of the reign. Many people see her as a personality, a positive figure of Great Britain. And that is true even in Commonwealth countries.


Elizabeth II. in 1945 Source: Getty Images/Photo by PNA Rota


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