King Charles III ascended to the British throne on Thursday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, now holds the title of queen consort. Charles is now the head of the Commonwealth, a postcolonial group of 54 countries comprising 2.4 billion people. He is also the head of state in 15 of these nations, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The Prince of Wales presided over many landmark events of the age. For example, he represented his mother Queen Elizabeth II, when Fiji became an independent country ending 96 years of British colonial rule in 1970, will make a "controversial King".
Fiji, an island nation in the South Pacific, was ceded to Britain in 1874 by Ratu Apensia Cakobau. On October 10, 1970, Prince Charles formally relinquished British sovereignty on behalf of the Crown. He read a message from Queen Elizabeth II recalling how the Fijian chiefs had ceded the government of the islands to her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria on October 10, 1874 "in return for the protection which the Crown could afford you".
At that time Fiji was notoriously known as the land of cannibals. Since then, country with over 500 islets, has emerged as a popular tourists destination. In 1970, Prince Charles through the Queen's message welcomed the new island state into the Commonwealth of Nations as an independent dominion.
Challenges that King Charles III faced
Despite being described as the "hardest-working royal" and a tireless campaigner for charitable causes, Charles is disliked by 24% of the British public. Many Princess Diana loyalists have a certain "hate" for him too. They highlight his unsympathetic treatment of her death in 1997.
His marriage to Diana failed in a spectacular public fashion, owing to his affair with Camilla. Princess Diana in 1995 had highlighted Camilla for the breakdown of her marriage with Charles. She had famously said there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded. Camilla became a much hated figure after Diana's death. Many Britons regarded her as a home-wrecker. Charles and Camilla married in 2005.
Some critics believe his on-the-record views could cause a constitutional crisis if the government adopts a position he has previously backed, like supporting farmers to approving controversial architecture.