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Friday, 1st Feb 2019
The forgotten county
By Tim Porter
Stones in his pockets
Wednesday 24th April 2019
Next theatre trip ......
Robert Powell (Charles), Ben Righton (William) and Jennifer Bryden (Kate) in the Malvern Theatre production of King Charles III
What sort of monarch
will Prince Charles make?
When Society members went to Malvern Theatre on November 4th to see King Charles III, they found themselves not just enjoying a play, but caught up in a controversy as well. Sylvia Wiblin explains.
Have you ever wondered what could happen when the Queen dies and Prince Charles becomes king? That was the question 36 of us found we were facing at the end of a light lunch in a private room at Malvern Theatre. Our relaxed state was soon rocked as the actors came on stage to perform King Charles III.
It’s well documented that Prince Charles takes a keen interest in many topics and is known to express his opinions in letters to various organisations and individuals. There are many who feel he shouldn’t do this.
We learned during the play, that one of the roles of the monarch is to give Royal Assent to any new parliamentary bills in order for them to become law. The last time Royal Assent was withheld was in 1708 when Queen Anne refused to assent to a bill settling militia in Scotland. We also learned that, independent of Parliament, the monarch’s executive powers include the ability to declare war, make treaties, bestow honours and appoint officers and civil servants. Traditionally the monarch is advised by ministers but nevertheless the monarch has the power to act independently.
On stage, the new King Charles III refuses to give his Royal Assent to a bill that would tightly safeguard privacy in such a way that it threatened the freedom of the press and possibly democracy itself. I don’t wish to give away any more of the plot in case you’ve not have seen the production and want to do so.
It’s been called quasi-Shakespearean by some reviewers. It’s written in blank verse, contains soliloquies, and the ghost of Princess Diana appears and speaks to two of the characters, but how should her words be interpreted?
As you may imagine there was a great deal of debate on the coach back to Stow. We discussed at length the constitution and the role of the monarchy. Some of us felt that the play was disrespectful to the Royal Family, others disagreed. For me, Charles was portrayed with a great deal of sympathy, as were others in the family. The person with ambition and desire for power was not someone who was born into the Royal Family, but someone else. (No plot spoilers here!)
The discussion continued at The White Hart in Stow, where fourteen of us went for dinner on our return. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day.
The next theatre outing hasn’t yet been booked but watch this website for an announcement!