Working to make government more effective

Insight paper

Future challenges for the monarchy

The threat to the union is the main challenge to the monarchy.

King Charles III
King Charles III

The main challenge to the monarchy lies in the threat to the union, says a new guest paper for the Institute for Government and Bennett Institute’s joint review of the UK’s constitution. 

Written by Professor Robert Hazell, founder and first director of the Constitution Unit at University College London. 

Noting that “the Queen’s death was a turning point which has naturally prompted reflection on the role of the monarchy in our political system”, the paper identifies the main challenges that King Charles III could face. 

  • Whether or not the monarchy should remain neutral if the Scottish government succeeds in a future attempt to hold a second independence referendum. 
  • What it will mean for the monarchy’s standing if Scotland votes to become independent. 
  • What the future holds for the 14 countries around the world where Charles is now head of state – though the monarchy may be relieved at the shedding both workload and reputational risk if any realms became republics.
  • Whether fresh legislation may be required to determine who can become a counsellor of state or, if there are not enough working royals to fill the roles, whether it becomes necessary to appoint non-royals. 
  • Whether the monarch’s religious oaths need to be revised and updated, or dropped altogether, to suit a more secular and pluralist society. 
  • How to remove the risk of the monarch being drawn into political controversy, as in 2019, perhaps by giving parliament control over prorogation. 

Related content

08 FEB 2024 Insight paper

The Union and the state

Whether the UK survives in its current form or what it will look like if it doesn’t stay together, will hinge on which vision prevails.