King Charles: a reactionary ruler

Our green, mystical monarch harbours a deep suspicion of modernity, science and freedom.

Article by Tim Black.


The problem is that Charles’s ultra-reactionary worldview no longer provokes the ridicule it might once have done. Quite the opposite. Our political and media classes now seem in love with his reactionary rantings – albeit their more diluted versions. They may have no idea what Traditionalism means or stands for, but they certainly share his climate-change apocalypticism. They may not be yearning for a conservative revolution, but in the declinist ambience of Charles’s screeds and speeches, they see a dim reflection of their own green-tinged disillusionment with modernity. Their own disenchantment with liberalism and democracy. And so they have been actively calling for him to abandon the neutrality of his predecessor. They even claim that his views on the environment are ‘uncontroversial’ and that expressing them would not violate any constitutional protocols.

US president Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, says he hopes Charles will continue to press for action on climate, claiming it ‘is a universal issue… not ideology’. ‘King Charles has been an environmentalist for 50 years’, opines the Washington Post. ‘Now is the time for him to make his case to the British people.’ Others have gone even further. ‘We are fortunate that our new king possesses a willingness to intercede in public life’, wrote one particularly excited ‘post-liberal’, just after Charles’s accession to the throne. ‘His instincts are good and just, and his decades-long critiques of globalisation, of our despoliation of our natural and built environments and our pell-mell rush towards the mythical horizon of progress have been tragically borne out by events’, he wrote.

This is what is most troubling. Not that Charles likes to think of himself as a 1920s-style conservative revolutionary, engaged in a project of often bizarre avant-gardist reaction. But the fact that these views chime so well with those of our political and cultural elites. His reactionary views, once the source of ridicule, are now theirs, too.