The Queen dies: King Charles III could adopt new approach on UK, says former First Minister Jack McConnell
The new King will place a new emphasis on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a bid to unite the UK, former First Minister Jack McConnell has predicted.
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He highlighted how Charles III had flown to Edinburgh immediately after making his first address as King to parliamentarians at Westminster and is now due to visit the other two devolved nations, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Lord McConnell, who was Labour First Minister from 2001 until 2007, said the Queen had embraced change inside the United KIngdom during her reign, attending the first meeting of the Scottish Parliament and regularly meeting First Ministers.
But in a TV interview after attending the thanksgiving service for the Queen at St Giles Cathedral he said: "It’s not just the Queen over the years who has had that relationship with Scotland. Prince Charles, as he was then – King Charles now – has also been a regular visitor to Scotland. He loves Scotland in the same way.
"And I think it’s really fitting this week that he has come straight from Westminster to Edinburgh and then on to Cardiff and Belfast, showing that the whole United Kingdom can come together at this moment – and I think that will be a way of working, if you like, that he will want to continue in the years to come."
Asked if he expected Charles to be a “modernising monarch”, Lord McConnell said he already was. “He and Queen Camilla are a different kind of couple, they have a different kind of relationship with the country and a different kind of relationship with each other. Change is upsetting and unsettling, but it can also be a positive force for good and it will be really interesting to see in the next few years just what he brings to the monarchy and what Camilla brings to it by his side.”