The duel for Elizabeth II paralyzes the political tension in the United Kingdom | International
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The most delicate and symbolic relationship in the UK’s constitutional and political framework is that between the sovereign and Parliament, which is where sovereignty really resides. When the BlackRod (Knight Usher with the Black Cane) addresses the House of Commons to announce that the monarch (the monarch, for seventy years) has arrived at the Palace of Westminster and is to deliver speech -until now, the queen’s speech—, which in practice is nothing more than the Government’s legislative agenda, tradition dictates that it be slammed in the face. They only agree to open after you hit up to three times with the baton. It is the way to make it clear that no king is above the representatives of the people.
This Monday, Parliament will not receive Carlos III with a slam. Accompanied by the queen consort, Camila, the new monarch will listen to the speeches of the speaker (President) of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the House of Lords. And he will address both legislative bodies, already for the first time as king, to reiterate before them the commitments outlined in his first statements. Only on one previous occasion had he addressed the deputies and lords: it was on May 10, substituting for his mother, whose “mobility problems” prevented him from fulfilling one of his most solemn annual obligations.
It will be a moment of extraordinary relevance, but hardly a parenthesis in the total freeze that the death of Elizabeth II has caused in the parliamentary and political life of the country, as well as the scheduled official mourning. It does not matter that a Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has arrived in Downing Street, who still generates a lot of uncertainty, and who was obliged, since she took office last Tuesday, to quickly demonstrate her plans to stop the recession and the crisis energy to come. It does not matter that the Labor opposition had prepared a powerful strategy to wear down the Government, and that it was already focused on its next annual congress in Liverpool (political conference, it is called in the jargon of the British parties), to warm up engines, with polls who indicate advantages of more than 10 percentage points over the conservatives. Everything has gone into the background, until Monday, September 19, when the state funeral will be held, and London will receive more than a million visitors and hundreds of dignitaries from all over the world.
Eight days to mourn the queen
Monday, September 12
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Elizabeth II passed away in Scotland. A nation with which the royal family had a special relationship. Paradoxically, the territory with a growing secessionist desire symbolizes more than any other the link of the Windsor with the traditions. Carlos III will begin a fleeting tour of the four corners of the Union there: his official residence is in England, but the monarch wants to make an appearance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Edinburgh, together with his wife, he will attend the religious service, with the coffin present of Elizabeth II, who arrived from Balmoral the day before, at St. Giles Cathedral.
Tuesday, September 13
Charles III and Queen Camilla will travel to Belfast. At Hillsborough Castle, his official Northern Ireland residence, he will hold meetings with political representatives from the territory and a select group of Northern Irish society members. Because of the paralysis caused by the unionists on account of the Northern Ireland Protocol signed between London and Brussels, there is currently no designated chief minister. After his recent electoral victory, it would be up to the Sinn Féin candidate, Michelle O’Neill, the party that for years was the political arm of the IRA, to fill that position. The leadership of the republican formation has confirmed her presence in the events scheduled for the visit of Carlos III, and has asked her followers to express respect for the mourning for the death of Elizabeth II. That handshake, in 2012, between Martin McGuinness, former head of the IRA and one of the actors in the peace agreement, and the queen, will go down in the history of the region as one of the moments when something changed for the better.
At six in the afternoon (seven in the afternoon, Spanish peninsular time), a plane will transfer the coffin of Elizabeth II from Edinburgh to Northolt air base, near London. Her body will arrive shortly after at Buckingham Palace. The king and his wife will already be there to greet him.
Wednesday, September 14-Sunday, September 18
Wednesday will be the day that a procession carries the coffin of Elizabeth II, covered with the royal standard, to Westminster Hall, the solemn lobby of the oldest building that makes up the Palace of Parliament. The coffin of Winston Churchill was there, and historic banquets have been held there, such as those that welcomed Nelson Mandela or Barack Obama on their state visit. Until Sunday, for five days, hundreds of thousands of citizens will be able to go to personally say goodbye to the monarch. George VI, the queen’s father, was bid farewell by 300,000 people. Buckingham Palace calculations on this occasion point to figures above half a million.
On the coffin of the queen will be placed the State Crown (The Crownfor lovers of the Netflix series), the crown that Elizabeth II wore at her 1953 coronation ceremony.
On Thursday and Friday, Carlos III will visit Wales, and the weekend will be spent attending international dignitaries and members of other royal houses who will have already arrived in London.
Monday, September 19
Declared a national holiday, it will be the last day of the long mourning. At half past eight in the morning (half past nine, Spanish peninsular time) the burning chapel will be closed. Half an hour later Big Ben will chime. Immediately, your percussive hammer will be covered with a thick leather cover so that the chimes of the rest of the day have a dull and muffled sound.
At 10:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. on the peninsula), the coffin will be transferred on a carriage – the same one that transported the body of Lady Di – to Westminster Abbey. At 11.00 her funeral will begin, with the presence of some 2,000 guests. An hour of service later, the coffin will return to the casket, and will tour, in the presence of hundreds of thousands of people, Parliament Square, Whitehall, Constitution Hill, The Mall and finally Wellington Arch.
From there he will travel, for the last religious service, to Windsor Castle. Isabel II will be buried that afternoon in the chapel of San Jorge, next to her husband Felipe de Edinburgh.
On Tuesday, under a new reign, the political urgencies frozen by the death of Elizabeth II will return to Parliament and public debate.
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