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King Charles seeks to fortify the UK with tour of nations

King Charles III will tour the UK this week, in a public display of dedication to UK architecture as it comes under increasing pressure.

The new king will address both houses of parliament in London on Monday before embarking on a program of visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

This begins in Edinburgh, where the body of the late Queen Elizabeth II arrived Sunday after a six-hour procession from her Scottish summer home of Balmoral, witnessed by large crowds along the route.

Liz Truss, the new British Prime Minister, will join King Charles at church services on his tour under the terms of long-planned official arrangements.

The procession passes St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, where the Queen’s body will be laid out on Monday and Tuesday © Getty Images

However, some constitutional pundits warned that her presence posed the risk of politicking events intended to materialize the king’s clear promise to serve his subjects “wherever you live in the UK”.

In recent elections to the Conservative leadership, Truss dismissed Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister pushing for a new independence referendum, as a “attention-seeker”.

After leading a procession that will carry his mother’s coffin across Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral, King Charles will meet Sturgeon and take part in a session of the Scottish Parliament with a vote of condolences.

Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party, which seized on Brexit to demand a second independence referendum, has said voting to leave the UK does not mean removing the monarchy.

Crowds lined the streets of Edinburgh ahead of the Queen’s procession © ADAM VAUGHAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

But independent analysts questioned the wisdom of allowing Truss to add a political dimension to the king’s first UK tour.

“It’s a strategic mistake for Charles III to begin with, because royalties are apolitical,” said Gerry Hassan, a professor of social change at Glasgow Caledonian University and author of Scotland Rising: The Case for Independence, to be published later this month.

Polls show that the monarchy is less popular in Scotland than in England, although there is still a majority. Recently, support for an elected head of state has increased significantly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

“The Royal Family has to reinvent itself all the time and I suspect the new King and his team will be very aware of some of these figures,” said Mark Diffley of the Diffley Partnership, an Edinburgh-based polling agency. “They will have to work hard to maintain their relevance.”

On Tuesday, as the Queen’s body is flown to London, the King will visit Northern Ireland, where politics has also been shattered by the fallout from the 2016 Brexit vote that has sparked public support for a united Ireland. increases.

Many nationalists and Republicans in Northern Ireland greeted the news of the new monarch with indifference, but some residents reported cheering, clapping and fireworks following the Queen’s death.

King Charles and Liz Truss meet on Friday. Her accompaniment to the new monarch on his upcoming tour of the UK has drawn some criticism © Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images

Sinn Féin, the nationalist party pushing for a united Ireland, did not attend King Charles’ proclamation at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast on Sunday. Leader Mary Lou McDonald said that was “for those whose political allegiance is to the British crown”.

Michelle O’Neill, the candidate for Prime Minister of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, has signed a register of condolence for the Queen and calls for respect. She will meet King Charles with other politicians in Hillsborough.

King Charles will visit Wales on Friday. Until his accession, he was Prince of Wales, a title he bestowed upon his son William shortly after his mother’s death, to the chagrin of some Welsh nationalists.

A petition who has drawn more than 15,000 signatures, said the title was a “symbol of dominance” over Wales, which an English prince has had since 1282 when Edward I completed his conquest.

Truss insulted Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, during a Conservative leadership fight by describing the principality’s top Labor politician as an “energy-efficient Jeremy Corbyn”.

Daniel Wincott, a professor of law and society at Cardiff University, said the King’s tour was necessitated by the growing impact of Scottish and Welsh political devolution on the UK’s constitutional equilibrium since the Queen came to the throne in 1952.

“Wales had no capital in 1952,” he added. “Even after Cardiff became the capital, the ceremony for Charles as Prince of Wales took place in Caernarfon in 1969, showing how devolution has changed the political landscape.”