Apparently, King Charles III Was Not in a ‘Hurry’ to Become Monarch

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Jan 29, 2024

King Charles III’s ascent to the British throne was often misconstrued as a journey marked by impatience and eagerness. Contrary to popular portrayals, including those in Netflix’s The Crown, Charles’s approach to kingship was characterized by patience and deliberation.

However, biographer Robert Hardman, in his book, The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, paints a picture of a man deeply respectful of the natural order of succession, contrary to the hasty character often depicted in the media.

'The Crown' vs. Reality

Netflix’s The Crown dramatizes the royal family’s life, often showing Charles as restless to become king. However, Hardman’s insights, gathered from palace aides and friends, suggest a different reality.

King Charles III smiling

Source: White House/Wikipedia

Charles, far from being the impatient heir, was portrayed as someone spiritually attuned and accepting of his destiny, not in a hurry to disrupt the established timeline. “This idea that he was impatient to get his hands on [the crown] didn’t occur to him,” Hardman told People.

Charles's Spiritual Perspective

According to Hardman, King Charles’ spiritual beliefs played a significant role in shaping his perspective on monarchy. He viewed his future role as a matter of fate rather than ambition, aligning with his broader spiritual and philosophical views.

An open bible with red edging

Source: TEP RO/Pexels

This mindset was often overshadowed by more sensational media portrayals, which failed to capture the depth of his character and beliefs.

A Reign Begins in 2022

When Charles ascended the throne in September 2022, following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, it marked the beginning of a reign awaited but not rushed.

Charles and Camilla on the Buckingham Palace balcony following their coronation.

Source: HM Government/Wikipedia

His accession was met with a sense of readiness, a culmination of a lifetime of preparation, yet it lacked any semblance of urgency or haste that many had speculated.

Leading During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique opportunity for Charles to step into a more prominent leadership role. However, he chose to maintain respect for Queen Elizabeth’s authority, showing restraint and commitment to his role as Prince of Wales, rather than attempting to overshadow the monarch.

A black and white photograph of a man with glasses putting on a surgical mask. He is securing the elastic bands behind his ears

Source: Usman Yousaf/Unsplash

“That could easily have been a moment for him to sort of take more of the limelight had he wanted to,” Hardman said. “But at no point was the Queen’s authority being questioned right up to the end.”

The Relationship With Queen Elizabeth

Also contrary to popular belief, the relationship between Charles and Queen Elizabeth evolved significantly over the years. Initially perceived as distant, their bond strengthened, particularly in the Queen’s later years.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing a blue hat and blue suit dress, smiling at someone out of frame.

Source: UK Government/Wikimedia Commons

They found common ground in their duties and responsibilities, working in tandem on several royal matters.


Modernizing the Monarchy

Charles has long been known for his progressive ideas to modernize the monarchy. His initiatives and thoughts were sometimes seen as a sign of his eagerness to reign.

King Charles III is seen during the recording of his first Christmas broadcast in

Source: Victoria Jones/Pool/Getty Images

However, these efforts were more about his vision for a contemporary monarchy rather than a desire to ascend the throne quickly.


The Royal Family’s Turbulent Times

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in black formal attire, standing in front of a window with drapes drawn back.

Source: Commons

These events brought Charles and the Queen closer, says Hardman, as they navigated these turbulent times together, demonstrating a united front.


Charles's Charities and Organizations

Throughout his time as Prince of Wales, Charles dedicated himself to numerous charities and organizations.

King Charles photographed in a brown coat as he stands next to the flag of the United Kingdom

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

His involvement in these initiatives highlighted his commitment to his roles outside of the direct line of succession, showcasing a focus that extended beyond just becoming king.


The Media's Portrayal

The media often dramatized Charles as an impatient heir, eager to take over from Queen Elizabeth—no doubt for the sake of making compelling TV and film.

King Charles III stands after being crowned during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, on May 6, 2023 in London, England.

Source: Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As discussed, this portrayal, as Hardman’s book and other sources suggest, was a far cry from reality. The more nuanced truth was of a man respectful of the monarchy’s traditions and his mother’s reign.


A King's Patience

Evidence of Charles’ patience is seen throughout his life. He undertook numerous royal duties and responsibilities, always with an air of someone who understood his role in the monarchy’s future.

King Charles pictured at a Sunday service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate

Source: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

His patience was not just a personal trait but a strategic approach to his future as king.


Legacy of a Thoughtful Monarch

As King Charles III begins his reign, his legacy appears to be one of thoughtfulness and deliberation. The patient approach to monarchy that has recently been brought to light, deeply rooted in his spiritual beliefs and respect for tradition, sets a precedent for a modern yet respectful reign.

His Majesty King Charles III stands beside an ancient oak tree in Windsor Great Park to mark his appointment as Ranger of the Park, on November 11, 2022 in Windsor, United Kingdom. The tree that His Majesty is pictured under is one of many veteran and ancient Oak and Beech trees that make Windsor one of the largest and most important collections in North Europe. The continuity of Royal patronage of the Great Park for nearly a 1,000 years had led to the preservation and stewardship of this extra collection of trees.

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

This legacy highlights his character, one that defies the impatient image often portrayed in popular media.