Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on funerals, coronations and how the King needs respect, not love

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

King Charles III – when's the Coronation?

You thought it was all over? Not a chance. After the poignancy of the lying-in-state and the grandeur of the funeral, there are still a million more words to be published, a million more images to be shown and endlessly re-shown.

Even if the daily newspapers and 24/7 TV decided it was time to draw down the blinds on the passing of Queen Elizabeth and get back to normal life, this weekend's Sunday newspapers are already at the presses, with their supplements and commentaries ready to go.

The key question today is for those who want to scrap the monarchy. We have seen the power and potency of our hereditary system at full throttle, squeezing out every ounce of our patriotism and duty with images as powerful as a massed band of pipers and as heart-meltingly touching as a walk-on part by a couple of corgis. Come on, you naysayers, tell us again what is so wrong with our monarchy? Convince us you have something better to offer. Where is the majesty and the magic in any other constitution?

The word on the block is that the republicans are keeping their powder dry until the coronation of King Charles III which could be as late as June next year.

By then we may have fallen out of love with Charles and his strange and awkward ways. But there's more to this royalty game than love. Contrary to popular belief, we didn't adore the Queen until she was in her 80s. For much of her reign she was respected, not worshipped. If Charles can generate respect, the monarchy is safe.

In the longer term, unless the rules are changed, King Charles III will miss out on something enjoyed by four of his ancestors – a jubilee. He is 73. If he has to wait the customary 25 years for a silver jubilee he will be 98. The rules are infinitely flexible and I can foresee some sort of jubilee to celebrate his first 10 years on the throne.

As for the next great royal spectacle, be it a coronation or another funeral, what lessons can be learned from this week's events? There should be fewer horses, fewer heart-stopping challenges for pallbearers and definitely a ban on idiots chucking flowers at the hearse.