Why won’t King Charles be seen much during the UK general election campaign?

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III He won’t be going out much for the next six weeks – and it’s not because of his illness. ongoing cancer treatment,

Shortly after the call from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Early parliamentary elections on 4 JulyBuckingham Palace said all members of the royal family were cancelling most of their public engagements until after the vote, to avoid doing anything that would distract attention. Campaign,

More than 50 countries will vote in 2024

The announcement is one of the ways Charles will seek to maintain his role as head of state during the election, without violating a constitutional ban on interfering in politics. While the king’s role in government is largely ceremonial, it is bound by traditions that reflect the way royal powers have gradually shifted to parliament over the past 800 years.

Here’s a look at the monarch’s role ahead of the election, including some do’s and don’ts.

Did Charles play any role in holding the election?

The decision to hold an election was entirely Sunak’s. But before he could do so, the King had to grant permission to dissolve parliament early.

Technically, the King still has the power to refuse a request to dissolve parliament if he believes an election would be detrimental to the nation. But in modern times, no prime minister has been refused permission to dissolve parliament.

According to the independent think tank Institute for Government, ignoring this precedent “would expose the King to accusations of political interference of an undemocratic nature, even if the refusal is intended to preserve the good functioning of democracy.”

The last time a British monarch unilaterally overthrew a government with a majority in the House of Commons was in November 1834, when King William IV dismissed Lord Melbourne because of concerns about radical reforms supported by some members of his administration. But Robert Peel, the king’s choice as successor, was unable to secure a majority in Parliament, and Melbourne was restored to power five months later.

FILE – Britain’s King Charles III pauses during the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster Palace in London on Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)

What’s next for King?

The current session of Parliament will be “adjourned”, or ended, on Friday, the order was approved by Charles during a Privy Council meeting at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The King will not attend the formal closing ceremony of the session, a ceremonial ceremony in which the Speaker of the House of Commons and other members of Parliament will gather in the House of Lords to hear a speech written by the government.

What about those public presentations?

The royal family is prevented by law and tradition from interfering in politics at any time, but during elections it is even more important to ensure these rules are strictly adhered to.

This means royals cannot campaign for candidates, support policies, or even reveal their political preferences.

Buckingham Palace made it clear shortly after Sunak’s announcement that members of the royal family would postpone all engagements that “might appear to distract or detract from the election campaign.”

This meant the King skipped a Friday appearance at a Bentley car factory and a community centre to help those struggling financially.

What should an emperor do?

Well, some things are beyond reproach.

The king and queen still plan to attend the ceremony 80th anniversary of D-Day On June 6th.

Other actions would also be examined on a case-by-case basis, the palace said.

Why does it matter?

One of the primary roles of a modern monarchy is to provide a unifying head who is seen as above politics and who can provide a sense of stability during difficult times.

It is the first general election of Charles’ reign. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has overseen 21 elections during her 70 years on the throne.

“Elections are obviously moments of turmoil, with people looking to the monarchy for continuity,” said George Gross, a royal expert at King’s College London.

“There has been a power vacuum in political terms. Power is now back in the hands of the British people, and they will review the offer in the next six weeks,” Gross said. “So this means that the head of state has a new role. Or rather, the main role of stability and continuity comes to the fore. Now, (the royal family) cannot be political in any way.”


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