Could Prince Charles finally get his crown? And if he does, could it mean the end of the United Kingdom?
Abdication in favor of the younger generation seems to be something of a trend in Europe — if two cases can be considered a trend. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated last year so that her son, Willem-Alexander, could bring some youth and vitality to the largely ceremonial role.
More recently, King Juan Carlos, widely credited with having assisted the end of the Franco dictatorship in Spain in 1975 and with puncturing a rather feeble coup attempt in 1981, vacated the throne in favor of his son, Felipe. The announcement was followed by large demonstrations calling for an end to the monarchy entirely, with Cayo Lara, leader of the United Left Coalition, quoted as saying, “We are not subjects, we are citizens.”
And that’s the problem. While individual monarchs may be popular in Europe, monarchy is something else.
To be sure, Spain is its own case. There is 25 percent unemployment, with 50 percent of the young unemployed. Leftists did well there in the recent European Parliament elections.