We know King Charles will be a monarch who loves his country but he needs to lead a country that loves itself too, says Mark Dolan
The Queen is dead, long live the King. And may he prosper. For his victory, his glory, is ours too.
Let's talk about the future. The passing of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is inevitably a time of deep deep sorrow, as reflected in the queues, of thousands of people, waiting in line to pay their respects. Apart from ITV presenters. They don’t queue.
So whilst we mourn the Queen’s passing, now must be a time a great optimism too. Because our brand-new King, Charles the third, may be in his seventh decade, but you couldn't hope to find a brighter, more energetic and committed public figure. He is the perfect man for the job, with more recognition on the world stage, than almost anyone. Plus he's been waiting for this moment for decades.
He's had time to watch and learn from his incredible mother, and father I should add. He has seen the highs and lows of being a Monarch, the good the bad and the ugly. He'll make mistakes, of course he will, he's only human. But I don't think he'll make many. He's also had decades to think about what he will do with the monarchy.
He must of course follow the Queens incredible example, by representing the country and leading it, while staying out of politics. And on that I will hold him to account. But he's got to make it his own too. This mustn’t be a disappointing sequel to Elizabeth's reign, rather the start of an exciting new franchise.
Whilst a constitutional monarch welds no political power, which is why it's so successful, and why the king or queen, is really the only person that can truly united the nation, it's not a role without huge influence. The monarch can make or break Britain.
The Queen's great legacy - and where do you start - is the country that she has left behind. A politically stable, economic powerhouse. A global beacon of diversity, creativity and enterprise.
As our constitutional figurehead, Britain's recovery from the Second World War and it now pre-eminent position as a G7 superpower with a world class military, the Queen deserves credit. Britain’s largely positive post war journey, with a few bumps in the road obviously, all happened on her watch. The Queen made Britain great again.
So Charles has a simple task - to keep Britain great. And how does he do that? Well he has two main tasks. To preserve the union of the United Kingdom and to silence the siren voices of separatism, the likes of the SNP, whose uber nationalism is not only bad news for Britain, but most importantly, bad news for the people of Scotland themselves.
He must take a union centric approach to his monarchy everything he does, every action, for every waking hour, must be about Wales, about Scotland, about Northern Ireland about England.
And his other great challenge is the preservation of the Commonwealth, a beloved family of nations, a celebrated bridge to our economic, strategic, geographical, and diplomatic past. If he looks after the Commonwealth and listens to those voices around the world who seek more national identity, whilst wanting to stay in the family, then the Commonwealth will not unravel, as many predict, but strengthen.
With God’s will, Charles has got two or three decades in which to make that happen and in that we wish him well. But let me reiterate, Charles must stay out of politics and resist pending those spider letters to government ministers something of a late night habit of this, a must he must stay away from the net zero agenda because that is an exclusively political matter.
If he pushes debatable net zero, mark my words, it will lead to zero monarchy. The public will not tolerate a politicised king. King no way, will they put up with it.
We just need a King who can speak up for Britain, protect our traditions and serve our interests at home and abroad. We know Charles will be a monarch who loves his country. But he needs to lead a country that loves ITSELF too, by being a monarch for every Brit, of every age, creed, race and social class. A king for all.
As we navigate life after the pandemic and this economic shock and as we come to terms with a 21st century in which China is now fast emerging as the worlds greatest superpower, with Vladimir Putin holding the west to ransom over energy supplies and conducting a cruel war in Ukraine, we're going to need a steady hand at the tiller.
A calm head under pressure. And a king who can support our exciting new prime minister Liz Truss and remind the nation at every turn that whilst we have lost a queen, we have gained a king.
Charles has his critics, the campaigning Prince has divided opinion, and of course his love life has been a bit chequered too.
Plus he's got a short fuse, he's a bit pampered and clearly doesn't get on well with fountain pens.
So I think expectations are pitched just right for Charles. Everyone knows the Queen is the hardest act to follow and she simply can't be replaced.
So whilst expectations for our new King may be at the lower end, I think that's a good thing, and I believe they he will exceed them.
I think he’ll be good, and if he says out of politics, I will back him all the way. As the saying goes, the Queen is dead, long live the King. And may he prosper. For his victory, his glory, is ours too.