Up until this past Thursday, for the entirety of my life, Great Britain has had but one monarch. With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II after 70 plus years wearing the crown, now there will be at least two crowned heads as King Charles III ascends the throne. Given the fact he’s 73 years old, it’s obvious he won’t be a threat to his mother’s record of service. But it will definitely be interesting to see what transpires during his reign. His parents both lived to ripe old ages (Prince Phillip was 99 when he died, while the Queen was 96), so it’s possible Charlie will be around for a couple of decades or so.

I saw the new King in person once, albeit fleetingly. My family took a memorable trip to England, Wales, and Scotland back in the late 60s. We spent a few days in London and happened to be standing outside Buckingham Palace when a sports car rapidly left the grounds and drove right past us . . . with the Prince behind the wheel. I don’t recall him waving at us nor acknowledging our presence in any way. Surprised by the sighting, we probably didn’t wave to him either, come to think of it.

The extensive news coverage that is sure to come about the British royals over the next days and weeks will undoubtedly partly focus on what the Queen’s death will mean to her offspring. Charles and Camilla will probably pack up their belongings and move into Buckingham Palace. Of course, they’ll have people to help with that, but as anyone who has done it can attest, it’s never easy changing residences. Why, the change of address notifications alone can drive you nuts.

Given the royal rifts of late, it’ll really be interesting to see how the new King handles his own family matters. I mean, as principal heir, Charles carried on tradition by becoming Prince of Wales many years ago. That title may now go to son William. Perhaps the Duke of Cornwall is wondering out loud tonight, “Does that mean I actually have to learn how to speak Welsh? All those double LLs sound like you’ve had crud in your throat for days. And do I really have to go down into a coal mine? Surely not. They’re quite dark and rather dirty, you know.”

And what of wayward Harry and Meghan? As a grandmother, QEII might have had a softer spot in her heart for the redhead and the American actress than the new monarch has in his. I would venture to guess that Camilla is no major fan of the couple, although they definitely diverted the heat away from her. Do you suppose Harry might want to come back into the fold? “Yo, King Dad, this America gig isn’t working out exactly as we planned. Any chance we can get back on the public dole? I’ll commit to opening three new shops and take over half a dozen of your charities in the first month. We wouldn’t have to move back to rainy England though, would we?”

Then there’s Randy Andy, the new King’s disgraced younger brother. Charles may actually need him to do a mea culpa sooner rather than later in order to get some help with the royal duties that will surely begin to pile up faster than a bar tab at a Jeffrey Epstein party. The Palace probably wouldn’t want Prince Andrew attending the dedications of any schools, but he could pinch hit at, oh, pensioners’ homes, factory openings, new sewer plants, and the like. And perhaps he could pinch-hit for William when it comes to going down into a Welsh coal mine.

You would think Charles has been in training for his new role his entire life. But if you’re a devotee of The Crownseries on Netflix, you could get the impression that’s not a slam dunk. At least in that fictionalized version, the Queen and her firstborn did not always see eye-to-eye on duty to country above all else.

Watching Camilla may occupy a lot of the British tabloids’ time. It’s hardly a secret that she was not well-received by the subjects of the realm when she replaced Diana as the Queen-in-waiting. Or is that Queen Consort-in-waiting? The spotlight will shine even brighter on her now. Everything she says, everything she wears, everything she does will be sliced and diced by the notoriously less-than-decorous denizens of Fleet Street.

Whatever transpires for all the royals will most certainly feature spectacles to behold. Especially with a royal funeral for a beloved Queen and a coronation that hasn’t happened in seven decades. Nobody does pageantry like the British. And nobody watches their proceedings with more awe than Americans.

©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer