Monday, April 15, 2024

King Charles III officially crowned; Belize has a new monarch

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth nations recognizing the British crown as their Head of State were part of the historic coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6th, at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The event also saw the coronation of Queen Consort Camilla. Belize is one of the Commonwealth realm countries with ties to the British monarchy and was represented at the coronation by a delegation led by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Froyla Tzalam, the Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Honourable Francis Fonseca.

The delegation further included Her Excellency Therese Rath, Belize High Commissioner to the UK, her husband Tony Rath, Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Stuart Leslie, and Belizeans who have contributed to British society. Belize’s military also joined the one-of-a-kind celebration. Four members of the Belize Defence Force, Second Lieutenant (2LT) Kim Garcia, WO2 Crisantos Ba, Staff Sergeant Luis Gabourel, and Staff Sergeant Jorge Teul, joined the coronation procession to and from Westminster Abbey, including representation on either side of the Golden State Coach transporting the king.

The last traditional event was held in 1953 for the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II, which saw thousands lined up the streets of the royal route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. Many camped overnight to secure the best spots to see the procession and the new king. Besides the spectacular and sumptuous parade involving thousands of military personnel, there were the sounds of trumpets, gun salutes, and loud cheering from the crowds.
After the official events at Westminster Abbey, King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla, returned to Buckingham Palace, honored with a royal salute. Then they were joined by other royal family members on the palace’s balcony to greet the thousands of spectators. The crown’s heir, Prince William, his wife, Princess Kate, and children were on the balcony waving at the crowd who chanted ‘Long Live the King.’
Not everyone welcomed the celebration. A group of protesters demanding the abolition of the monarchy tried to overshadow the event with placards saying that King Charles III was not their king. Many of the protesters were detained by the metropolitan police in London.

(left to right) The Duke of Edinburgh, the Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, Prince Louis, the Prince of Wales, the King’s Pages of Honour including Prince George, Lord Oliver Cholmondley, Nicholas Barclay, Ralph Tollemache, King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the Queen’s Pages of Honour including Louis and Gus Lopes, Freddy Parker Bowles and Arthur Eliot, Lady in Attendance Annabel Eli

In the meantime, the monarchy’s future in Belize continues to be a topic on the streets. While Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceno stated that Belize would likely cut ties with the British King and transition to becoming a republic, most Belizeans questioned this possibility. They refuted Briceno and said the country is not ready to become a republic. Others also demand that if the government continues pushing this agenda, they must consult the nation via a referendum.

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