Right in the centre - God save the King


By Ken Waddell 

Neepawa Banner & Press

Prince Charles is only one year younger than me. In our family, Quen Elizabeth II and her eldest son, Charles, have always been somewhat of a presence. I can’t remember ever singing ‘God save the King,’ even though Elizabeth’s father was still the King when I was very little. Elizabeth is the only monarch I have really known. I have great respect for her. Most years, we would listen to the Queen’s message and for the past several years, I have thought inwardly, or voiced the thought to my wife Christine that this might be her last message. Turns out, Christmas 2021 was her last and I am saddened by that.

We all knew that the Queen wouldn’t live forever, but her passing was still very sad and somewhat surprising. That she was still performing royal duties two days before she died was an amazing tribute to her pledge 70 years ago to serve until the very end of her life.

My first real memory of Prince Charles, now King Charles III, was an admonishment from my father when I was refusing to finish eating my oatmeal porridge. Dad said, “You eat your porridge, Prince Charles eats his.” I would love to share that little joke with the King some day; he might get a chuckle out of that.

As I watched the many hours of the Queen’s funeral, I was transfixed by all the ceremony, but was overcome with emotion and shed some tears near the end. The priest acknowledged the Queen’s passing and then pronounced, “God save the King.” The TV camera focused on Charles as the mourners sang and he never flinched. The pressure on Charles is unbelievable and while I don’t agree with all his views, he has my support.

Charles has been waiting to be king for decades but as he so aptly said, he has been dreading the day because it would mean his mother had died. 

Charles has had his ups and downs for sure and some of his own making. His marriage to Diana was and always will be surrounded by controversy. He loved Camila, but he married Diana. Let it be said, without judgment or malice, that neither Charles nor Diana were angels. As the liturgy of the Queen’s funeral stated, we are all sinners, saved by grace. Saved, that is, if we accept the undeserved grace offered by God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Charles has a big task ahead of him and yes, I know, he’s rich, well paid and catered to at every turn. He, and the Royal family, are very wealthy, but they also employ a ton of people, buy millions of dollars of goods and services and are very good for the UK economy.

There is another aspect too and that is the British monarchy has been going for 1,000 years. Thank God, we have the monarchy, in spite of all its past and present flaws.

The Queen’s father helped win WWII, the Queen helped bring about great and good changes in her 70 year reign. Charles will hopefully be able to continue.

So why do I encourage the monarchy? It’s simple and again, thank God, we aren’t the United States. The US kicked out the monarchy in the 1700s. They have been successful but their political system has become disastrous. They didn’t want royalty but they have created their own by idolizing presidents. The US made the Kennedys, the Bushes and now the Biden family into crazy, entitled and unjustified royalty. The US political system is entirely based on money and influence, where even a race for a state governor can cost millions of dollars.

As I said in an earlier column, on a recent trip to the US, I couldn’t find a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter. There is perhaps a good reason, neither man deserves support. They are propped up old men and if that is the best the US can do for heads of state, I grieve for their future.

Contrasting the experience of the two countries, and the state of affairs today, I can easily say our Constitutional Monarchy is a far superior system. Indeed, “May God save the King, Long live the King.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.