‘King Charles should feel justified – he’s defied predictions the monarchy would crumble’

At the time of Queen Elizabeth II's death, the monarchy had already been rocked by the ongoing scandal linked to Prince Andrew and the way Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their roles as senior royals – before leaving the Firm altogether.

But thanks to King Charles' measured approach and decades of steady experience the public eye, the first 12 months of his reign have been a success.

Taking over from the longest reigning monarch in British history was not easy feat to approach, but royal experts have been unanimous in their praise for King Charles, with one leading expert telling OK! that the palace will be looking back on the King's first year on the throne with "justified satisfaction".

Pointing to the King's soaring popularity and long tenure as a global figure, former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond notes: "It is interesting, one year into King Charles‘s reign, to remember the many predictions that the monarchy would be in turmoil after the Queen’s death.

"Nothing of the sort has happened, of course. The transition year has passed incredibly smoothly and Charles has a popularity rating, according to the latest YouGov poll, that any politician would die for."

Jennie continues: "For years, I have mouthed the words that one of the monarchy’s great strengths is the sense of stability and continuity that it gives us all – particularly compared to the rocky world of politics where prime ministers and Cabinet ministers come and go so frequently. In this first year we have seen that those words are absolutely true and it really is reassuring to have that continuity when all else is chaos."

Then, referring to the fact that King Charles became the eldest person in British history to succeed to the throne in September 2022 at the age of 73, Jennie says this added experience can only be a positive for the country.

She explains: "I also think we benefit as a nation from having an elderly – and highly experienced – monarch. There’s not much that Charles hasn’t seen or heard, he has met more world leaders than anyone currently in government, and like his mother, this has given him a breadth of experience and perspective on world affairs that few politicians could rival."

During his long tenure as Prince of Wales, the King was well-known for voicing his opinions and expressing concerns on public matters – least of all in his famed Black Spider Memos which were sent to senior Government officials.

This is a trait that the King himself knew he had to dispense with to be a successful monarch. Speaking in a documentary to mark his 70th birthday almost five years ago, the King spoke out to quell concerns that he would be a "meddling" or an activist king, saying: “I’m not that stupid”.

Jennie points out that the King has been true to his word. "He has kept clear of politics, but uses his soft power to convene meetings of people who can make things happen. I think the king, and the palace, will look back on this first year with justified satisfaction," she says.

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