A fine and remarkable day it is today. We could witness a very prominent event in British history, which was last witnessed only by our grandparents and great-grandparents. The coronation of III Charles. But allow me to raise two questions: why is it important and what does it stand for?
The figure of the ruler is in almost every culture mystified to a degree. It had a similar legendary connotation with sanctified elements in European countries and empires throughout History, and in other continents as well around the world.
In Britain, the monarch is the Earthly governor of God. Especially, since the head of the Anglican Church is the reigning King or Queen. Therefore, the coronation of III Charles is also a saint ritual, a kind of rebirth.
Also, the symbol of the monarch stands for the land as well. A young, strong and healthy ruler is ruling over a green, fertile and united land. While a mad or sick ruler is the master of an ailing-rotting and fractured land. Similarly, to the micro-macro relations of Shakespearean plays, the characteristics of the monarch represents the state of the kingdom and vice versa.
Other than the spiritual role or the connection with the land, the figure of the king was magically mystified in the past as well. For example, there are the legends surrounding King Arthur, or in other literature, where the king has magical healing powers, like in Macbeth, or The Lord of the Rings. Even, in the Chronicles of Narnia, where the Lion – the symbol of the King – is synonymous with the Creator – and where everyone is put into their rightful place in the Great Chain of Being by the end of the story.
Now, how does that translate to the real world, or to the world of today that we are living in? The British are just as a fractured society as any other in Europe. Naturally, the identity of the British – or this notion of “Britishness” – is meaningless in itself. Especially, if we consider the many identities that vie for dominance. For instance, beside the national identities of the English, Scots or Welsh, there are people of the South, the North, from London, from Birmingham, Liverpool or Oxford; from a professional background or from the working class; a football fan or a cricket enjoyer; et cetera… many-many identities characterise the fractured society of the United Kingdom, and most of them overlap as well top all this. However, there is one prominent symbol – among many others of course – of Britishness that keeps them together and united despite the inner rivalry and identity crisis; and this is the Monarch.
However, this symbol also keeps united the Commonwealth as well, to a degree. Moreover, this is marked by how important this event is in those countries, such as Canada, New Zealand or Australian among many.
The King symbolises many things, he is surrounded by mysticism and sacred traditions, but also, he is at the core of Unity in the heart of a fractured society. Long live the King!