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EDITORIAL: Coronation could open discussion about the monarchy

The coronation could result in debate about whether Canada should remain a constitutional monarchy
FILE - Britain’s King Charles III smiles during a boat trip, in Hamburg, Germany, Friday, March 31, 2023. King Charles III arrived Wednesday for a three-day official visit to Germany. Britain’s royal family turns the page on a new chapter with the coronation of King Charles III. Charles ascended the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died last year. But the coronation Saturday is a religious ceremony that provides a more formal confirmation of his role as head of state and titular head of the Church of England. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool, File)

On Saturday, May 6, the coronation of King Charles III and his wife Camilla will be held in Westminster Abbey in London.

The ceremony, steeped in history and tradition, marks the beginning of his reign. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are expected to watch the event.

Charles III ascended to the throne on Sept. 8, 2022, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Since that time, he has assumed the role of the British head of state.

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Canada has deep ties to the United Kingdom and the royal family. The monarchy is part of Canada’s culture and tradition. King Charles III has the title of King of Canada and is Canada’s Head of State.

A coronation celebration will be held in Ottawa and will be televised for all to see. In addition, other events connected to the coronation will be held in communities across Canada.

While the coronation on May 6 is a ceremony steeped in tradition and history, the event will have little effect on the day-to-day lives of Canadians or others in the British Commonwealth.

The role of King Charles III is largely symbolic. The king reigns but does not rule. The monarch does not make decisions about legislation.

Under our constitutional monarchy, decision-making is done by elected governments, not by the head of state.

At the same time, the coronation has the potential to open debate about whether Canada should remain a constitutional monarchy.

Recent polls from 2022 and 2023 have shown more than half of Canadians believe the country should reconsider its ties with the British monarchy. Earlier polls, some dating back decades, also show a significant portion of the Canadian population has been open to abandoning the monarchy in Canada.

Abandoning the concept of a constitutional monarchy would be an involved process and would affect the structure of government in Canada. This is not a decision to be made lightly.

The response to the coronation of King Charles III and Camilla has the possibility to bring about some far-reaching changes.

– Black Press

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