Your Saturday UK Briefing: A New King and a New Prince of Wales


Something for the weekend

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(Bloomberg) — Well, hello there.

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We have a new monarch. Charles III was formally proclaimed king in an ancient ceremony on Saturday at St. James’s Palace, a day after pledging “lifelong service” in an emotional address to his subjects and soon after we’d heard the first official rendition of the national anthem.  Just a couple of tweaks—“Queen” to “King” and “her victorious” to “him victorious”—but a hugely significant shift. Prince William, 40, becomes the new Prince of Wales and is now one step away from the throne.

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The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, born the year that John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of television and crowned the year of Joseph Stalin’s death, felt like the loss of a family member, Adrian Wooldridge writes in Bloomberg Opinion. And Therese Raphael explains what it’s like for an American (who arrived in London on the day of Princess Diana’s fatal crash) to mourn the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

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CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan reports on a project that will encourage Britons to commemorate Elizabeth’s reign in a singularly constructive way: by planting trees. And Kriston Capps looks at how Charles’ ascendance to the throne might have some interesting implications for urban planning.

But, as Emily Ashton and Alex Wickham report, there’s no hiding from the fact that just as the UK craves strong leadership and guidance, in the space of 48 hours the country has ushered in a new, untested prime minister and seen the departure of a legendary head of state who’d seen it all before.

The other big transition this week of course was Liz Truss, a true-blue, pro-markets Thatcherite, taking over at No. 10 from Boris Johnson. Her first big policy announcement: a prize freeze on energy prices that could cost 5% of economic output. Our commodities expert Javier Blas spells out why he thinks Truss got it wrong.

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Across the Channel, Europe appears as conflicted as ever over how to halt the relentless surge in energy prices. The latest ministers meeting was short on consensus and long on tensions—the risk of social upheaval is becoming a genuine talking point in Brussels.

Meanwhile in Sweden, voters head to the polls on Sunday with two issues dominating the agenda: power prices and gun violence. The nationalist Sweden Democrats look set to benefit. 

And finally, have a listen to the “Politics” podcast in which Mary Macleod shares her experience of working in Buckingham Palace, as we look back on Elizabeth II’s life.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, and we’ll be back tomorrow with a look-ahead to the coming week.

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