historian and journalist Philippe Delorme has answered your questions

An emotion that extends well beyond British borders. Queen Elizabeth II passed away “peacefully” at 96, Thursday, September 8, at his residence in Balmoral, Scotland. Across the Channel, uA period of national mourning, which will last until the funeral in ten days, has begun. What legacy does the sovereign with a reign of more than 70 years leave in the history of her kingdom? Does his disappearance weaken the British monarchy? Who will be King Charles III’s successor? Philippe Delorme, journalist and historian specializing in royal families, author of the book Elizabeth II: the young years of a queenresponded to questions from franceinfo.fr readers on Friday.

>> Death of Queen Elizabeth II: follow the tributes in our direct

@Laelia: Will the death of Queen Elizabeth II give the throne to Charles (logically) or, given his great age, will he go directly to his grandson, Prince William?

Philippe Delorme: A statement from the new king, Charles, yesterday confirmed that he would rule and clarified that he would do so as Charles III. The succession of monarchs is very framed. For the throne to pass directly to his son, he would have had to abdicate, but there is no question of it. Even if he will reign less long than his mother, it is he who succeeds her. He will be enthroned tomorrow (Saturday), following a meeting of a group of dignitaries called the Accession Council, a sort of Royal Council, in London.

@Philippe: Any idea how popular the new King Charles III is with the British compared to his late mother?

Yes, a recent poll gave around 80% popularity for the queen, a very high level. He, for the moment, is much less popular (around 50%). It is a lack of popularity linked to his age, to his little marked role until then, but also to the Diana affair. His ex-wife had become a star in public opinion. Her death provoked a very emotional reaction from the population and Diana was lamented as the one who had been neglected by Charles. But the fact that Charles becomes king will surely improve his popularity. There is a kind of “state of grace” that is taking place in public opinion, a bit like with the new President of the Republic in France.

@Pilote69: With the advent of Charles III, aren’t the British monarchy and especially the Commonwealth doomed to disappear in the relatively short term?

No, I do not think so. The strength of the monarchical institution is its continuity, which is not tied to a single person. Generations pass, but it is natural for the son to succeed his mother. He was appointed as the official successor to the Commonwealth several years ago, so there was no questioning. Lhe contestation of the monarchy should remain marginal, except if Charles III was really making big mistakes, which would surprise me, because he has long been prepared. Elizabeth II had also worked on the question of the lifestyle of the monarchy [en mettant fin à une partie des exceptions fiscales dont elle bénéficiait] to respond to criticism.

It is nevertheless possible that in certain countries of the Commonwealth, like Australia or New Zealand, the death of the queen raises the question of the legitimacy of Charles III as sovereign. But the public would have to be consulted, and that takes time.

@mathieu: Some do not join in the tributes and blame Elizabeth II for leading a colonial empire. What was its attitude and role during decolonization?

Decolonization was perhaps more successful in the British Empire than here. The Commonwealth allowed the former colonized countries to enter into a flexible structure, but where economic and cultural ties were maintained. The Queen does not have a very political role in this process but, by her presence, she has helped to lubricate the wheels by ensuring that links are maintained.

She nevertheless played a small political role when she went to Ghana in 1961, where the episode of his dance with President Nkrumah remained famous, with the aim of preventing the country from falling into the Soviet fold. She also showed that she was opposed to apartheid in South Africa, while Margaret Thatcher was against the idea of ​​imposing sanctions on the South African government.

@Graziella: Will the enthronement of the new King Charles III be shown on TV?

Yes, most certainly. The coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 was also the first to be fully televised, which at the time shocked some. That of Charles will probably break audience records and bring together more than 2,000 guests. It will not take place immediately: because of the mourning, there is no rush to crown the new sovereign. It also requires a lot of preparation. The queen had waited more than a year before being crowned.

From @M: Hello, a question / question about Elisabeth II. With all due respect to its longevity, and without wanting to be irreverent, can we really consider that it has accomplished or accompanied political and societal advances? It seems to me that on the contrary, it still represents a monarchy that has struggled to move forward with the times…

The role of the monarch is not political, in the sense of a politician. The monarchy is inherently conservative, since it is there to represent certain values. It is meant to be a landmark, a form of stability and permanence. If she did not precede him, Elizabeth II nevertheless advanced with her time. In the 1960s, for example, she had ennobled the Beatles.

From @phiphi: Hello franceinfo, with the disappearance of the Queen of England, what are the remaining crowned heads in this world?

In Europe, there are still ten monarchies: three in the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway), three in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), but also in Spain, the United Kingdom of course, Monaco and Liechtenstein. In the world, a certain number of countries still have royal families, in particular in Japan or in certain African countries. But imagine that we also have kings in France! There are three traditional kings in Wallis and Futuna, who are recognized and funded by the Republic. The British monarchy obviously remains the most famous royal family in the world and will continue to be so, in particular thanks to the new generation with William, Kate and their three children.

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