King Charles Has ‘Big Shoes to Fill’ According to Care Home Residents Who Have Been Giving Their Opinions on the New King
As the country prepares for the much-anticipated Coronation ceremony this weekend, care homes are also marking the occasion and hosting Coronation parties to celebrate King Charles III. While many mourned his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, less than a year ago, care home residents are now looking ahead to life in the UK under the new monarch. Some have shared their thoughts with leading care home reviews site, carehome.co.uk, on what they think of the new king.
88-year-old Cynthia Gardner, who lives at Eden Manor Care Home in Carlisle, believes the late Queen is a hard act to follow, saying: “I think King Charles will be okay but I don’t think he will be as good as his mother. I think he has big shoes to fill, his mother was amazing”.
Claire Braybon, 64, resident at Hastings Court care home in East Sussex, part of Oakland Care, praised the King for his humanitarian ventures and his care for the environment.
She said: “I think there is a lot to be said about a man who years before global warming and the planet’s environmental struggles were mainstream topics of conversation, was heavily invested in looking towards our planet’s future.”
Another Hastings Court resident, Rita Swain, 96, the same age as the late Queen, was sympathetic to King Charles due to the constant scrutiny he is under.
She said: “His generation of Royals were the first to live their lives in the spotlight of tabloid newspapers and televisions, any mistakes and indiscretions he made became public knowledge and public chatter instantaneously, a hard life for anyone, and an impossible life for a person who to the world needs to be seen as flawless.
“But Charles unlike so many, has taken responsibility for his misgivings and continued with the job he was assigned with a stiff upper lip, without or showing any sign of the burden which, he carries, a thankless task and one where I feel many would have faltered.
“I can see that there are a lot of pros and cons to a country having a monarchy, however, given the current socioeconomic climate that we are living in where it feels that politicians are entirely disconnected from the people that they are meant to serve, it gives me a small level of reassurance to know that there is a final line of defence against our country plunging into chaos.”
Rhona Handcock, 92, who also lives at Hastings Court care home said: “King Charles is someone to be admired, in the face of public scrutiny, mocking and at times bullying behaviour. Charles has stood fast on his ideals and maintained his stance on improving the environment and looking forward to Britain’s future. Although from the outside, being king sounds like a job which anyone would kill for, the enormity of his responsibilities should not be overlooked, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it.”
In Bristol, residents from Charterhouse Care Home, part of St Monica Trust, reminisced about Queen Elizabeth II and her legacy but were confident that the new monarch will step up to the challenge.
Ron Wallington, 87, said: “The late Queen did such a lot for Britain and really brought people together. She had our respect and she was a leader.
“King Charles is a very charming, hard-working person. I like it that he is keen on protecting the environment and is spreading awareness of climate change. He has also done a lot of good for young people through the Prince’s Trust. I think he will make a very good king.
“I think people were wary of Charles when he was a prince and lot younger and they didn’t like Camilla but now they like Charles and Camilla is very popular.”
Another resident at Charterhouse Care Home, Ruth Pryce, 95, is full of praise for Queen Elizabeth II.
“I thought Queen Elizabeth II was a wonderful woman. She was a great source of support to people during WWII. Because it was wartime there was no them and us. She really brought people together.
“So far I have been impressed with King Charles. I like that he is concerned about the countryside. I feel that he will make a good king. He comes across as a good person and as a nice person.
“If I was to meet King Charles, I would thank him for taking on the role of king. I have no idea what it is like to be a king but it seems as if it is a real burden to be a king or a queen. I think it is good to have a monarchy but only as long as the king or queen is a good person, as if the wrong person is on the throne, they can do a lot of damage.”
Residents are also looking forward to their care homes’ Coronation parties and some have even gone the extra mile. Ron Wallington, 87, from Charterhouse Care Home, said: “We have a choir session every Tuesday and one of the other residents has written a song for King Charles and we will sing that on the Coronation Day.”
Commenting on how care homes are celebrating the Coronation and their thoughts on the King, Sue Learner, editor of carehome.co.uk, said: “Care home residents have such fond memories of the Queen and were deeply saddened by her passing. She was a constant presence in their lives and a huge loss.
“However, it’s great to see there is a lot of admiration and empathy for King Charles. His campaigning on environmental issues and his call for action on climate change has gained him respect from people of his generation and that of the late Queen.
“Many residents remember Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and hold the monarchy in high regard so watching Charles being crowned king will be nostalgic as well as comforting in that it signals the continuity of tradition.”