Queen Elizabeth II’s reign will define an era and her death is a watershed moment, a leading historian has said.
Sir Anthony Seldon, a constitutional scholar, told Sky News it was inevitable that her time on the throne would bear her name.
But he said that the period that follows -where Prime Minister Liz Truss said it would be called the New Carol era, post King Charles – will potentially be at least as important, or even more so, especially for the long-term future of the monarchy.
He said: “With 15 prime ministers and a monarch, you obviously do that – it will get known [as that].
“And Charles will not reign for that long, but he will be, I think, a defining monarch who helps the country adapt to its very different faces.
“It is unimaginably different in 2022 than it was in 1952 in terms of its aspirations, its place in the world, its sense of identity, its composition.
“We’re much more cosmopolitan, much more international. And it’s a … very different country to what it used to be,” said Sir Anthony, a former headmaster who has written biographies of six prime ministers and was knighted for services to education and modern politics. history.
But, he said, because of the change of monarch – particularly as it comes at the same time as the UK has a new prime minister – there are unique challenges ahead.
He said: “His monarchy will be of extraordinary importance, and it will have to be of extraordinary importance, for the survival of the monarchy.
“He will need to show the flexibility and adaptability that he has done so wonderfully.”
Much of that need, he said, is due to the qualities of the woman who has led the state for the past seven decades.
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“We have a change of monarch and this last monarch has seen the country through 70 years of massive change, from a great power to a second-rate power, with a great empire, to the loss of that empire, to a great extent,” added Sir Anthony .
“He’s seen the country through this period of stability without revolution or upheaval. And he’s been a great rallying figure. But the country hasn’t lost any of that. It has the same territorial integrity when he came into it as it did in And that’s still the point at the heart of the constitution.
“But this is the crown, rather than the individual. She is dead and now the new person is taking over and then all eyes will be on him.
“You can say that we are a republic and therefore… the monarch does not matter. The monarch matters. We are both a democracy and a monarchy at the same time.
“We just had a six-week leadership competition in the Conservativeswho will be our next Prime Minister. But the queen died and immediately King Charles became king. The queen is dead. Long live the king. And that’s the point. This is the continuity that has been the backbone of this country since 1066. This is the way it works.
“It’s brilliant… that we went into this week with Boris Johnson as prime minister and the Queen as queen, and ended it with two different players.
“In modern times, we have never had a change of head of government and head of state. It will be a novelty … and a very important indicator of the kind of country we are.”