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The Guardian view on the 2023 coronation: all change please | Editorial

Britain deserves a debate on what form the crowning of the new king next year should take

After her 70-year reign, the death of Elizabeth II in September was a national shock. Much of the country came to a halt. Crowds processed past her lying in state in Edinburgh and London. The accession of Charles III was gracefully handled. The royal funeral was large and dignified. Some 43% of the population of the UK (and 11% of the population of France) watched it on television. It was the end of an era.

Even in those solemn days, there was not, however, a settled national mood about the future. That is more true than ever now, three months into the reign of the 74-year-old king. The opinion polls suggest a two-to-one divide among the public in favour of a hereditary monarch. But under Charles III, the monarchy is still feeling its way into its post-Elizabeth relationship with the nation. The temper of the new era is not yet defined.

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