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King Charles III should abdicate

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By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

None of the politicians in this country do anything I say, so I thought I would jump the pond and offer comments regarding our former oppressors.

A friend of mine posed this question: “What intrigues me is what are the main lessons to be drawn from British monarchical history?”

My first reaction: “That it has been largely immaterial since the chopping block went out of fashion.”

However, there is one area of life where the monarchy has been able to make a small contribution at times (at least up through Elizabeth II). That is as an example of everyday morality and decency.

Elizabeth’s children have fallen down on the job here, but she never did. Additionally, she sat through more boring presentations, mostly without falling asleep, than has any other human being in history.

Take King Charles III’s great uncle, Edward VIII. He abdicated the throne in December 1936 in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Lang, had much influence on the abdication, since the British Crown is the head of the Church of England. Lang thought it inappropriate for the Crown to marry a divorcee, as did many others at the time.

King Charles III should heed the advice of Lang and for the same reason. Yet, this past Saturday, King Charles III affirmed the independence of the Church of Scotland, both fulfilling his role as head of the Church of England and affirming a position toward the Church of Scotland that goes back to 1690.

We, as a society – on a worldwide basis – have seen a sometimes slow, sometimes fast, degradation of standards and mores for a hundred years. Queen Elizabeth II had no part in this decline. She stood the course, and when chaos surrounded the world and the cruder, baser, side of humankind appeared, she did not participate. Were we able to say the same thing about her children?

When one stands back at a distance, one must agree that, on the whole, we are less civilized than we were 100 years ago. At the rate we are going with mob rule already the norm in some places, it will become the norm everywhere. Will the King of England be able to be a bulwark against such degradation?

Granted, the sovereign of the United Kingdom has little influence on us here in America except through the media. But look what an influence that has been. How many tabloid pages have been printed here reporting on the antics of Queen Elizabeth’s children (and her sister)?

Is this setting a good example for all of us? After all, for our share of decadence, we already have countless Hollywood types, out-of-control athletes, politicians and the Kardashians. It would be nice to look someplace – anyplace – and see a modicum of civility.

The sovereign should live a life of a higher standard than the rest of us, and we should aspire to live by their example. There may be skeletons in William’s and Kate’s closet, but if there are, they have been hidden very well.

I say, redeem yourself, Charles, do the right thing, and abdicate to William now, before you make any more poor choices. Prince William is 40, and an excellent age to assume the throne.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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