BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Programmes: Monarchy  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Friday, 7 June, 2002, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
The future King
Prince William
Prince William, the future King William V

"If only my father could have lived long enough to enjoy his own Silver Jubilee," thought King William V as the Irish State Coach bore him to Westminster Abbey for the formal, religious part of the celebrations to mark the 25 years since his accession.

His step-mother, the Dowager-Queen Camilla, who was following behind in an open landau, was thinking much the same thing about her beloved late husband.

The 15 year reign of King Charles III from May 2012 to June 2027 had been short, but undeniably eventful.

"Dame Geri Halliwell"

As the vast crowds cheered the 70 year old King William along the route from Kensington Palace, via the People's Palace Art Gallery and Museum of Royalty, towards the Abbey, he waved with one hand.

Geri Halliwell
Will we be saluting Dame Geri Halliwell in years to come?
Under his robes, he held the hand of his lovely 63-year-old Consort, the former supermodel Lily Frieda.

Once the formal business was over as Defender of Faiths, in the ecumenical service at Westminster, they would be going on to hear Dame Geri Halliwell serenade them at dinner.

What an incredible amount of change the House of Windsor had seen, reflected the monarch as he smiled and waved, in the half-century since he had attended his great-grandmother's funeral service in that same national Valhalla back in 2002.

The death of Elizabeth II at 86 and the threatened break up of the Commonwealth, as Australia and Canada became republics.

Then the decision of his newly-acceded father Charles III to re-marry, which took place quietly at the Chelsea Registry Office only two months before the Coronation.


Then there was the decision, made by Gordon Brown's ministry in 2014, for Britain to enter the single currency after the defeat in 2003 of Tony Blair's first attempt.

Prince William
Will Prince William marry a supermodel?
After that went through, and Britain effectively became part of a single European super-state, his father couldn't really see the point of continuing as nominal sovereign of a country that had no sovereignty left, but continue he did, and little seemed to change.

Of course all the old royal prerogatives had gone; but they were really only leftovers from the 19th century anyhow, and William felt rather relieved that nowadays the Crown was no longer responsible for calling and dismissing parliaments, going to war and so on.

It allowed him and Queen Lily to do what they were good at, jollying people along, opening hospitals and smiling for the cameras.

The idea of still being nominal commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces no longer seemed such a burden any longer either, at least not since the institution of the European Army Reaction Force and the abolition of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF as separate organisations.

Their visit to America seemed to go alright, he reflected as the carriage turned down Birdcage Walk, past the Wellington Barracks Luxury Multiplex Gym and Leisure Centre.


It came in the middle of one of those tiresome EU-Nafta trade bloc wars, of course, but they had still shown them respect.

Indeed the US President had very kindly offered the House of Windsor asylum in Palm Beach if Brussels passed the EU Directive No 10,987,678 (Abolition of Outmoded Constitutional Posts) Section four, subsection five English Region into law.

He rather hoped that it would not come to that.

After accepting cuts in the Civil List, the abolition of the Royal Flight and Train, the payment of death duties, the ending of the prerogative and the sale of Buckingham Palace, the King had rather hoped that the republican agenda would have let him keep his job.

It was only when it was too late that everyone came to realise that what that reactionary seer Andrew Roberts had said was right after all, that it was the institution of royalty itself that the republican bureaucracy hated, not just the trappings.

"Ah well", thought the venerable, much-loved old monarch, "at least it's a nice day for what will probably be the last Jubilee in British history".

Our Monarchy
The results
Test your knowledge
Change our mind
The debating chamber
Talk to us
Prince William as king
Royal scandal
Sex and the royals
I never knew that

Follow our throne cam

The best ideas

Links to more Monarchy stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Monarchy stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |