On Monday, London prepares for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. According to the UK ambassador in Prague, Nick Archer, Elizabeth II. For the British, it is a constant and constant point in a world that is changing rapidly and significantly. Archer has a relationship with the royal family and especially the new King Charles III. Close, for several years he was an assistant to his personal secretary. Philip Nerad, head of the external editorial office of Czech Radio, spoke with him about the changes awaiting the monarchy.


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Queen Elizabeth and Charles | Source: Profimedia

Hello Mr. Ambassador. thanks for coming.
Good day. Than you for your invitation.

Nick Archer believed that if the people of any part of the Commonwealth of Nations decided that they wanted to go their own way, the King should not complicate the situation but rather stand aside. Listen to the interview

Britain has a new king after 70 years. What is the magnitude of the change?
I don’t think the change will be noticeable at first glance. to me Many changes This was already happening during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but they were always, I say, calculated – they were so gradual, that the monarchy always kept its own profile, but at the same time was in keeping with the times. And I think we’ll see something similar during the reign of King Charles III.

Will those seven decades ever be remembered as Elizabethan Britain, just as Victorian Britain entered history?
I think it is truly Can stand when we think back to Victorian Britain, it was similar in some way. There was one character, one fixed. I sat on a company that was changing in important ways.

Most of the Industrial Revolution took place in Victorian England, and I think we saw something similar during the reign of Queen Elizabeth – huge technological and political changes after World War II. It was important to us also Decolonization. And there was always this person.

While all these changes were happening, nAnd Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne. It made people feel that it was manageable, that there were no threats, and that everything would work out.

When it comes to change, the British are at their core It is very conservative. In addition to the king, the person of the prime minister also changed in a few days and a new government took power. How do they see this in light of the current serious problems with high energy prices and high inflation?
You’re right, that’s a good question. It is a fact of the death of Queen Elizabeth, and thus the accession of King Charles III. They certainly meant that people began to focus on something other than politics.

The economic problems you mentioned, which are currently plaguing both the UK and the Czech Republic, are here and people still live there. So I think their interest will very quickly return to domestic political issues. We have a new prime minister and people are focusing on the royal family now, but that will change.

I love the Queen people

You knew the Queen personally, met her several times. What memories of her come to your mind first?
We’ve seen each other a few times, but the meetings were pretty short and I wasn’t definitely the most important part of it. She was an interesting and exceptional person. She had a really rare personality.

What I will always remember about her is that even though she has had to meet hundreds of thousands of people in her life, she has always been able to focus on you. She was able to make you feel interested. She gave the impression that she was interested in you. I think this was her greatest strength.

I really liked meeting people a lot, I liked them. I think it was one of the most important things the monarchy ate keep we will miss you.

At the British Embassy, ​​she opened a place of worship where the Czechs could also bid farewell to the Queen and write a letter in a book of condolence. How do they remember her based on what I’ve seen so far? What do they write to her?
I must say it kind of surprised me. I find it wonderful that among the many people who came to our embassy place of worship to write something in the book of condolence and remember her character, how wise and kind she was, most of them have never met.

They shaped their view of Queen Elizabeth through the media and considered it a certain background to their entire life. And this is how it is being perceived all over the world. Everyone says her death is a great loss.

But this isn’t the last chance to remember it…
Yes, the vigil is already underway, and there is a long queue. Some of my acquaintances from the Czech Republic are also in it. People want to bow to the queen. I went through something similar when the Queen Mother died. But, of course, everything leads to the state funeral that will take place in London on Monday.

I would say we are already celebrating or want to thank the Queen for her service. I would also like to thank the Cardinal, who will lead mass today at 6pm at the cathedral here in Prague. The British community in Prague will hold another mass on Friday at St Clement’s Church. I think it happens all over the world.

Change, but continuity

You know the new King Charles III better than the previous queen. I was his assistant private secretary for three years when he was still the Prince of Wales. What is the shape of Britain’s new king? What do we expect from him?
I would say two things. The first is that in terms of Charles’ relationship to the monarchy and the position of King, I think we can expect continuity with Queen Elizabeth. Because Queen Elizabeth and King Charles think very similarly about the role of the monarchy in British society.

Property she has In their words to unite above all. We live in a diverse and complex society after all. Times are not easy.

And the King, that’s the other thing, I think he understands very well that his role is very different from what it was in the last seventy years. Of course, he did his best to improve the world around him. He has helped the underprivileged and been involved in various activities such as climate change. But obviously, he admits, he’s going to have to stop doing that because being a king is a full-time job.

But now everyone will move their positions. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will move to the position of Prince and Princess of Wales. I think Prince William would be too After his father for sure Take on some roles. Change, but continuity.

This means that Charles III. Does he not dedicate his life to topics such as climate and environmental protection? Wouldn’t it make the British monarchy greener?
I think it will be as green as possible. He knows full well that he will have to stop participating in some campaign. He will no longer be able to actively participate in it, because of course the relationship between our queen or our king and politics is complex. The point is that there shouldn’t be any tension – as long as everyone can handle it and as long as everyone knows their roles.

I think King Charles III. He’s clever enough, like the Duke of Cambridge, the new Prince of Wales, to understand that, for example, Buckingham Palace could go on to be the greenest palace in the world, but that would mean undoing some political activity.

What is the relationship of Charles III. To the Czech Republic? He’s been here many times, and he was even founded here with Václav Havel Some projects…
I know 100% that he has this state really happy. He especially liked President Václav Havel. And it is so often, on the basis of some personal relationship, that relations between states and states also develop. And I think Queen Elizabeth felt the same way about Václav Havel.

Charles III with naturally Still interested in the Czech Republic. But if he will be able to travel to Prague in the near future, I doubt it a little. He became the king, the head of state, not only in the UK, but in 15 countries. And the they are not That small country

He’s a king in Australia and Canada…so I think in the near future he’s understandably going to want to meet people in those countries in particular. After all, it’s a little different with them Link I think it is logical and understandable. I hope people in the Czech Republic understand that.

The will of the people is decisive

This is what I wanted to ask. In some Commonwealth countries after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. He begins again talking about getting rid of the British monarch as head of state and switching to republics. Antigua and Barbuda wants to hold a referendum. It is being discussed in Jamaica, and even Republican voices are heard in Canada.

Is there a real threat that the British Commonwealth will continue to shrink? Can the new King Charles III in the process. What role do you play, positive or negative, from London’s point of view?
First of all, I must say that the Commonwealth has never been a British Commonwealth. Of course Britain played a large and important role in it for many years, that’s right.

It developed from the British Empire, but was always based on the idea that individual states within it were equal. The Queen’s attitude reflected this, and she never distinguished herself. I considered all countries to be quite alike, equally.

On the question of whether our King will continue to be Head of State in these other countries, I think the Prince of Wales, when he spoke publicly about this matter, made it very clear that he wanted to serve all the countries involved as long as their people were willing. But if this or that country decides that it wants to elect its head of state, then certainly King Charles III. He has no problem.

Something similar has already happened in some countries in many ways. Take Barbados for example: This country has decided to have its own president, and I believe our relations are the best they have been in the past. King Charles III was already present at the party when took office president.

And when you mentioned referendums – I think when people have the opportunity to express their opinions, it doesn’t automatically mean that they will reject the monarchy.

What about the cohesion of the UK itself? The Scottish government is calling for a new independence referendum in Northern Ireland. Republican support is growing. Will the new king be able to moderate these centrifugal tendencies and be the link with Britain, as his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was?
This is a great question, but I have to be very careful with my answer because the property is associated with and associated with the UK. It is the United Kingdom, not a United Republic. The King built very strong relations with all four parts of the United Kingdom during his lifetime. So I think it could play a role in bringing them together.

It is known that the monarchy has with Scotland good relationships. After all, part of it comes from Scotland. We can mention James I, the king who came from here in 1603. The king was the Prince of Wales and lived in England all his life.

I am sure he will fulfill his role as head of state in the same way that Queen Elizabeth did. He will want to hold the UK together.

But why we have to be careful in answering this question is that if the people in any part decide that they want to go their own way, at this point the King should not complicate the situation in the first place. He should step back and stand aside. And it may turn out that he still belongs to that particular country in the same way that he remains the head of state, for example, Jamaica.

So we’ll see what people want. This is the most important thing.

Philip Nerad

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