Britons give verdict on King Charles III in exclusive poll on new look monarchy

On a scale that has perhaps never happened before, the attention of the world has been focused on our island in recent days, for the Queen was not just our monarch but also a truly global figure.

We did not wilt in the spotlight. On the contrary, we rose superbly to the challenge, providing the best advertisement for the continuing greatness of our country.

In front of an international television audience of more than four billion and a congregation at Westminster Abbey packed with foreign heads of state, we delivered a heart-stopping spectacle the like of which no other place on earth could have mounted.

From the marching of the military to the sublime singing of the choirs, everything was executed to perfection.

What added to the impressiveness was the historic backdrop. Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Wellington Arch and Windsor Castle, all monuments to the richness of our past, have never looked so striking.

Mournful dignity was matched by split-second precision. All played their parts superbly, including the respectful crowds, the grief-stricken royals, and the Metropolitan Police which led the biggest security operation ever seen in the capital.

The state funeral produced a host of compelling images, but one of the most incongruous was Michelle O’Neill, leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, sitting in the abbey alongside Stormont speaker Alex Maskey, who was twice interned as a suspected member of the IRA in the 1970s.

Such participation in a royal event by Republicans would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In fact, Sinn Fein boycotted the Queen’s visit to Ireland in 2011.

The change graphically demonstrates how the Queen’s passing has acted as a force for conciliation. Admiration for her moral leadership has brought people together on so many fronts, not just in Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, the touching final rites for the Queen after her death at Balmoral emphasised the country’s shared identity with England.

Today, the cause of unionism looks stronger than it has done in decades.

The same applies to Wales, which gave the new King an enthusiastic welcome. A group of anti-monarchy protesters outside Cardiff Castle only emphasised their unpopularity with their tiny numbers.

The national mourning for the Queen has united people of all backgrounds, creeds, races, and classes in a way that no government initiative could.

Despite all the changes over the last 70 years, the traditional spirit of Britain remains strong.

The Queen herself said in her famous broadcast in April 2020, at the start of the pandemic: “The attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow feeling still characterise this country.”

That was amply proved by her funeral, which comprehensively refuted the destructive values of the woke agenda. This ideology has swept through our public institutions and dominated the airwaves with its unhinged, doctrinaire bile about nationhood and history.

But the last few days have shown how shallow its roots really are. In their determination to honour the Queen, our people triumphantly revealed that we prefer solidarity to identity politics, heroism to victimhood, and self-discipline to grievance.

We want to respect the past, not trash it. We see our history and military as a source of pride rather than vehicles for oppression and shame.

As Charles begins his reign, the Crown has rarely looked more secure, its popularity at record levels and its line of succession – God willing – clear for many decades, through William and George.

The strength of the constitutional monarchy is a reflection of the esteem in which the Queen was held.

No nation has ever been more fortunate in its sovereign, and that is why she deserved every element of her spectacular final journey.