About this episode
He’s been heir to the throne for 70 years, waiting to take over as King of Great Britain from the country’s longest serving monarch, his mother, Queen Elizabeth. But as the Queen’s advanced age and fragile health becomes ever more apparent, many in the UK are wondering whether Charles is the right man to take over the throne from his long-beloved and admired mother. The Prince’s critics point to a sense of entitlement and dour personality unbecoming of a monarch. He lectures about the environment while flying in a private jet, is thin-skinned to criticism, and is forever tainted by his alleged treatment of Diana and the very ugly details that led to the breakdown of their marriage. And most importantly, his critics argue, a constitutional monarchy requires that the sovereign not interfere in politics, a role that Queen Elizabeth has embraced and perfected over her long reign. Charles, by contrast, has used his position to express his views and influence both popular and ministerial opinion.
The Prince’s allies insist that he is the right man for the job – he will bring a more modern, European, and tolerant sensibility to a country that must adapt to a new world. His lifelong commitment to protecting the environment and raising awareness about climate change – long before it was deemed fashionable – shows a strength of character sorely lacking in today’s leaders. And finally, as the longest serving heir to the British throne, he has long exhibited a keen sense of duty and commitment to the monarchy which has endeared him to his subjects and guarantees an easy transition when the time inevitably comes.