The death of The Queen will affect the country deeply in ways many people will not realise, according to broadcaster Andrew Marr.
The veteran political journalist said her death will be an “absolutely massive, massive moment” as she has been part of British life for more than 70 years.
Marr, who has been presenting The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One for 15 years, said he thinks the Prince of Wales will be a “good” king provided he is able to hold back some of his ardent views.
Over the years, Charles has expressed opinions on the environment, farming, the countryside, GM crops and complementary medicine.
Describing the anticipated mood of the country when the Queen dies, Marr said: “I think it is going to be an absolutely massive, massive moment.
“I think people don’t realise yet quite how traumatic and surprising it is going to feel because, whatever your views of the monarchy, the Queen has been part of our lives for more than 70 years.
“She’s been on stamps, she’s been on the currency, she’s been in our dreams.
“We refer to her all the time one way or another, and of course through The Crown and other recent films she’s been on our screens as well.
“She is part of us in a way that we are going to find very, very painful when she is torn out of our imaginations and our consciousnesses when she dies.”
Welcome to socially distanced events #cheltlitfest. We are delighted to be welcoming live audiences to the Literature Festival this year – here are some of the measures we have put in place to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable visit.
— Cheltenham Festivals (@cheltfestivals) October 2, 2020
Marr was speaking during an event at the digital Cheltenham Literature Festival to promote his new book, Elizabethans, a history of the past 70 years told through the eyes of more than 60 individuals.
Asked about the succession, Marr said: “Prince Charles has been waiting for the job for a very, very long time.
“He could be a good king and it depends entirely on whether he is prepared to put to one side his very sincere and strongly held views about lots of subjects, which will get him, as head of state, into dead trouble with foreign governments if he gets that far.
“There are lots of questions ahead. I think it will be a very profound and rather grave moment for the country and a lot of people will be surprised about how emotionally they feel.”
Marr also expressed his sadness at the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step down as working royals for financial and personal freedom and relocate to California.
“I think it’s very bad news for the royal family in a way because Harry and Meghan had the possibility of being members of the royal family who drew in an entirely new tranche of people to be interested in and indeed support the British monarchy,” he said.
“You know younger, more liberal, more open, and that extraordinary moment at the wedding where you had in the chapel at Windsor a black wife and a black pastor, and it just felt Britain is really changing.
“Here we have the Queen’s grandson marrying a woman who can trace her descent back to African slaves. This is a really, really big moment.
“The fact that they have left Britain and gone off to California, and in many ways come off the front pages as a result, I think is really bad news for the royal family.”