On May 6, entering central London during midday felt like stepping into a movie scene. Intermittent rain showered the area, and the crowd was a sea of umbrellas, making it difficult to distinguish individuals. The masses of tourists gathered to catch a glimpse of the golden chariot carrying the newly crowned King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, capturing everyone's attention.

However, there weren't many young Britons showing up on their own; those who did were either with their families or wearing yellow, a sign indicating their opposition to the monarchy. On social media, attendees said that the anti-monarchy march on the day of the coronation apparently drew roughly 1,000 protesters. Republic, the organization behind the march, claimed that the police asked them to disperse the protest and demonstrate in smaller groups, warning of potential arrests. Republic further alleged that eight members were unjustly detained despite following the given guidance.

As an interested observer, being Mexican and having never experienced such a historical event, I joined the queue after passing through Trafalgar Square and waited to enter the Mall. There, I witnessed the sight of jubilant and ecstatic individuals donning crowns on their heads and proudly displaying the Union Jack on their clothing. The atmosphere was filled with applause and the waving of flags adorned with the portrait of King Charles. It was an exhilarating and unexpected scene that captivated my attention.

When we reached the Mall, I found myself caught up in the same spirit as those around me. We hurried to secure a good spot to witness the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony (which we successfully managed to do). As we followed the crowd, we passed beneath the Victoria Arch, where I noticed people pausing to take photos and glancing back at the arch. Continuing onward, I encountered hanging signs prominently displaying the words "Happy & Glorious" in large letters.

If we are to discuss the potential demise or, at least, instability of the British royal family with King Charles now as head of state, it is essential to consider various factors that indicate perceptions may not be entirely accurate, and the answer is far from simple.

The British crown holds a rich history spanning hundreds of years, characterized by tradition and loyalty. It has evolved into the most renowned monarchy globally and one of the oldest that continues to reign over a significant number of countries. The lineage of monarchs, from William the Conqueror to Henry VIII and Elizabeth I to Victoria, represents a collection of illustrious figures who have garnered widespread recognition and left an indelible mark on international culture.

The modern perception of the royal family took shape during the Victorian era, a time when the monarchy faced new opposition arising from the emergence of the middle class. Unlike the nobility, this growing social class had no inherent loyalty to the monarch. Questions regarding whether the monarchy should remain in place in the United Kingdom started to crop up more frequently in casual conversations, to the point where critics showed up at Buckingham Palace. In response to this challenge, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, devised a strategy to maintain the popularity of the royal family among the British public. He elevated the royal family to a pedestal, transforming them into pseudo-celebrities, with Queen Victoria positioned at the center.

Such a plan has worked for every generation that has come after. As it is mentioned in Netflix’s The Crown, she (referring to Elizabeth II) is the most important thing.

Over her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has maintained a certain level of stability in terms of the monarchy's popularity. She has often topped the list of most popular monarchs, as indicated by a YouGov poll in 2022, where she received 67% of the vote. Her reign has solidified her position as the central figure of the royal family, aligning with Prince Albert's original plan. However, unlike Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II has faced numerous scandals, criticisms regarding the decline of the British Empire, and challenges in the political, social, and economic realms.

King Charles, the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II, has faced personal challenges, including scandals surrounding his marriage to Princess Diana and his relationship with Camilla. However, he has been actively involved in charity work through the Prince's Foundation and has become a prominent campaigner for climate action and environmental awareness.

September 8, 2022: A day to remember

At 18:30, Buckingham Palace issued an announcement of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Palace, where her family had gathered. Immediately, Charles was proclaimed King, and Camilla was declared Queen Consort. In the months leading up to the Jubilee, Charles gained popularity among the British public by attending more events in place of his mother. According to a YouGov poll, 36% of respondents believed he would make a good king, showing a slight increase of four points. However, for a monarch, this level of approval remains relatively low.

It wasn’t long after that it started to be suggested that Charles should pass the throne to his son William and his wife Kate, the now Prince and Princess of Wales. Some might have pointed to his age for justification; however, the reality was that many were focusing on how much money the royals were going to spend just in the lapse of one year when the United Kingdom was and still is living through one of the worst cost of living crisis in four decades. Many Britons started asking themselves, "Should we keep the monarchy or have an elected head of state?"

In the days preceding the Jubilee, according to YouGov polls, 73% of respondents expressed support for retaining a monarch as the head of state. However, following the Queen's passing, this figure decreased to 62%. Despite the speculation from various news outlets worldwide suggesting that King Charles was at risk of being removed from power, these statistics indicate that the majority still favored having a monarch as the head of state.

How do the youth perceive King Charles?

In October 2022, a survey conducted by YouGov revealed that only 30% of individuals aged 18–24 believed that the monarchy was beneficial for the country, while 46% of those aged 25–49 agreed. Younger generations will ultimately play a significant role in deciding the future of the monarchy in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, a Guardian report indicated that 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds expressed a preference for an elected head of state rather than a monarch just days before the coronation. However, older generations continue to support the monarchy, with 78% of those over 65 expressing their approval. Nonetheless, the CNN report suggests that three in ten adults have become less interested in the royal family, and 36% believe that it has had a more negative impact on their lives compared to 10 years ago.

King Charles' popularity has fluctuated since assuming the throne, with the UK media giving significant attention to his public engagements, humanitarian efforts, and personal pursuits. Over the years, the press has shifted its focus to highlight his charitable work, activism, and even his dietary choices, such as his vegetarianism. Some media outlets have gone as far as labeling him the "Climate King".

Despite King Charles' endeavors, a significant portion of young Britons perceive him as "out of touch," with 45% believing that he may not share their views. The challenging economic conditions in the UK, including rising inflation, stagnant wages, and a decline in living standards, have taken a toll on the population. The cost of the coronation, amounting to almost 125 million pounds, has sparked controversy, with 51% of Britons expressing the view that the government and citizens' taxes should not be used to fund such an event. This sentiment is particularly prevalent among the younger generations, as indicated by a YouGov poll conducted in April 2023.

According to a survey by Savanta, only 31% of Britons under the age of 35 expressed an intention to watch the coronation. However, half of the adult population stated that they would have attended at least one activity on coronation day.

Despite the challenges faced at the start of his reign, King Charles continues to generate interest and maintain popularity, particularly among Generation Z. His appeal has been growing within this demographic, with a significant number of young Britons showing a keen interest in his life and work. This indicates that he is successfully forging a deeper connection with the modern British public.