Prince William to attend world event in place of King Charles

When King Charles boarded an RAF plane to fly to Germany in March 2023, he could, if he had imagined, send Queen Camilla to the garden of Clarence House with her trusty 24-carat lighter, the twinkle in her eye and his dog’s ear. passport.

It was the first overseas trip as king, and therefore the first in his 74 years, for which he did not need a single stack of official documents. So, burn baby, burn.

This week, while the King smugly watches his wife fumble for her passport under all her Dick Francis paperbacks, the rest of the busy royal family prepare to travel ahead of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings this week.

But when 25 world leaders and half a dozen kings and queens gather on famous Omaha Beach (AEST) on Friday, the king won’t be there.

Like it or not, Charles is about to take a step back from Prince William, prompting me to use the most obvious buzzword possible – son up too.

In a turn of events that no one would have predicted before the capital C entered the royal field, the Prince of Wales will attend a national memorial event in Portsmouth before flying to France for events hosted by Canada and France in Normandy 6 in June.

And William will be the one standing alongside Denmark’s King Frederik, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and 25 heads on Omaha Beach on June 6.

Consider the images we’re likely to see on Omaha Beach this week: the Prince of Wales taking his place alongside six kings, queens and future kings and dozens of world leaders, including President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Greens. Symbolically, visually and practically, the message will be clear – King Charles has been pushed aside, if only for a moment and not against his will.

(Charles and Camilla will also be in France, but for an event at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.)

Who knows what the 75-year-old might think about the matter, but it’s necessary because the king is still undergoing treatment for an unspecified type of cancer. Charles might return to public duties at the end of April with much fanfare, and with his smile so wide and beaming, he could represent an alternative source of energy, but the facts remain.

His Majesty is still under medical orders and words like ‘all clear’ and ‘unusual’ have not appeared once in any of the reports.

What this situation really brings out is a very rocky, dubious and problematic relationship between the ruler and the Welsh prince.

Centuries since Edward ‘The Long-Legged’ I (yes, really) managed to get his greedy mitts on Wales, making his son, the imaginatively also-named Edward, the first English Prince of Wales in 1301, the dynamic between the monarch and their itchy-legged heir was somewhat burdened. (I’m guessing Edward II is the first non-traveling child in history.)

800 years later, the Prince of Wales is still the second highest title in the land and a multi-billion pound windfall – and absolutely no official role or guidance.

Many Welsh princes and their royal parents have indeed done this.

Some Welsh princes bided their time and fully embraced the sybaritic life, none more so than the later Edward VII, who was such a devoted frequenter of a Parisian brothel that he had a sex chair made for him. (Yes, you read that sentence right.)

Others, like Charles, spent their pre-accession decades purposefully hustling and hustling, getting up every day and really getting stuck into a list of good deeds.

Or as one character in Armando Iannucui’s deliciously biting Veep calls Charles in one episode, “that 65-year-old freakin’ intern.”

To be the Prince of Wales is to have a position defined by what you are not – not king, not yet, not quite.

And for a sovereign whose son twiddles his sausage fingers and is busy rescuing a generation from post-Thatcher despair and keeping voles out of his petunias, that’s no easy feat either. This son needs to be groomed and trained for the throne, but also needs to be kept on a well-managed leash so that he doesn’t start making any usurpations or steal the limelight.

Think a lot of fine lines, delicate balance and tightrope walking for the office of King or Queen as much as that of Prince of Wales.

This is the background to Charles, William and the events that will unfold on the beaches of Normandy this week.

Whatever dance took place between the two men’s offices at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace ended on an upswing with the royal’s cancer diagnosis; The timeline for William is suddenly brought to the fore as a much more pressing issue.

It was only in the final years of the late Queen’s reign that her late majesty began to tap Charles on the shoulder to stand in for her, such as at the State Opening of Parliament in 2022. But the king had only been in office for 18 months when cancer reared its ugly head and forced the rejigging we see now.

The D-Day commemoration will also see many veterans of the 150,000 deployed to save the UK and Europe from the Nazi boot. Few reports failed to mention the fact that this would likely be the last time these brave men and women would come together. But I wonder which members of the royal family will be on the beach ten years from now when it’s time for the next milestone anniversary of the battle? There will be a king, you should guess, but which one?

Daniela Elser is a writer, editor and royal commentator with over 15 years’ experience working with many of Australia’s leading media outlets.

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth II

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