In the delicate world of British politics, there’s little room for missteps. Unfortunately, King Charles III’s first weekly meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss had a distinctly awkward tone. Global media quickly condemned the new monarch for this interaction. Here’s why the king’s behavior is a bit more understandable than the media has made it out to be.
‘Back Again? Dear, Oh Dear’
In the political pair’s first weekly audience, King Charles greeted Liz Truss with the question “Back again?”Then, muttering. “Dear, oh dear. Anyway…”The interaction was captured by cameras and shared with the palace in a brief clip. Unfortunately, there isn’t much footage beyond the controversial greeting, so the public is working off of a limited scope of the meeting.
The press immediately linked the king’s apparent discontent with the backlash Truss has endured ever since taking office. Truss came under intense fire after announcing her controversial tax-cutting plan, followed by a weeks-long critique of Truss’ position as PM. So, it would seem like King Charles’ comments were just par for the course—he’s seemingly joining the chorus of dissenters against Truss. However, there’s a far more mundane and benign explanation that’s failed to make its way into circulation.
Human Error Is a Natural Event
We need to look at the situation in a different light in order to offer a new perspective. Ever since Queen Elizabeth’s passing, King Charles has been caught in a whirlwind. His tenure as the king of England has only just begun, and we’d assume he’s still adjusting to his new role in these sorts of meetings. His comments could have been an attempt at easing tension in an otherwise difficult environment. It was, however, poorly received considering the political climate surrounding Truss.
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For Truss’ part, this was only her second meeting with Charles and third with any monarch altogether. Not to mention, she’s been ravaged by the national press in recent weeks, so it would be completely understandable if she was a bit timid going into the meeting.
Otherwise, both Charles and Truss were quickly condemned by the media. Charles, in contrast to the way the media received him comments, was happy to greet the prime minister. Considering we weren’t able to listen in on the rest of their meeting, we have no idea what kind of tone it eventually took on.
Maybe it remained entirely cordial or maybe things became even more hostile than we could imagine—we just don’t know. The press can accuse both sides for their explicit, purposeful actions but all this talk about “awkwardness”It feels weakly critical of the monarch and politician at best.