King Charles III Won’t Be out and About Much Over the Next Six Weeks Amid Election Campaign 

Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
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King Charles III Won’t Be out and About Much Over the Next Six Weeks Amid Election Campaign 

Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)

King Charles III won’t be out and about much over the next six weeks — and it’s not because of his ongoing cancer treatments.

Shortly after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called an early parliamentary election for July 4, Buckingham Palace said that all members of the royal family were canceling most public engagements until after the vote to avoid doing anything that might divert attention from the campaign.

That announcement is just one of the ways that Charles will seek to play his part as a unifying head of state during the election, without violating a constitutional ban on interfering in politics. While the king’s role in government is largely ceremonial, it's bound up by traditions that embody the way royal powers were gradually transferred to Parliament over the last 800 years.

Here’s a look at the monarch’s role in the run up to the election, including a few dos and don’ts.

DID CHARLES PLAY ANY ROLE IN CALLING THE ELECTION? The decision to call an election was entirely Sunak’s. But before he could do so, the king had to grant permission to dissolve Parliament early.

Technically, the king still has the power to refuse a dissolution request if he believes an election would be detrimental to the nation. But the last time this happened was in 1835.

Ignoring that precedent “would expose the monarch to allegations of political interference of an undemocratic nature, even if the intention of the refusal was to preserve the good functioning of democracy,” according to the Institute for Government, an independent think tank.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE KING? The current session of Parliament will be “prorogued,” or ended, on Friday based on an order that Charles approved during a meeting of the Privy Council on Thursday at Buckingham Palace.

The king won’t attend the formal end of the session, a ceremonial affair where the speaker of the House of Commons and other members of Parliament will troop into the House of Lords to hear a speech written by the government.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE PUBLIC APPEARANCES? The royal family is barred by law and tradition from interfering in politics at any time, but ensuring that those rules are strictly followed is even more important during an election.

That means the royals can’t campaign for candidates, endorse policies, or even let their political preferences be known.

Buckingham Palace spelled it out soon after Sunak's announcement, announcing that members of the royal family would postpone all engagements that “may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.’’

That meant the king on Friday ditched trips to a Bentley car factory and a community center helping people who are struggling financially.

WHAT’S A MONARCH TO DO? Well, some things are above reproach.

The king and queen still plan to attend ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6.

Other engagements will be examined on a case-by-case basis, the palace said.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER? One of the modern monarchy’s primary roles is to provide a unifying figurehead who is seen as above politics and can provide a sense of stability in difficult times.

This is the first general election of Charles’ reign. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, oversaw 21 during her 70 years on the throne.

George Gross, a royal expert at King’s College London, said elections are by definition moments of turbulence in which people look to the monarchy for continuity.

“There is ... a power vacuum in political terms. Power is now handed back to the British people, and they will review the offering over the next six weeks,” Gross said. “So what that means, though, is that the head of state has a new role. Or rather, (the) key role of stability and continuity comes to the fore. Now, (the royals) cannot be political in any way.”



Crews Rescue 30 People Trapped Upside Down High on Amusement Park Ride

Crews rescue dozen of people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride - The AP
Crews rescue dozen of people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride - The AP
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Crews Rescue 30 People Trapped Upside Down High on Amusement Park Ride

Crews rescue dozen of people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride - The AP
Crews rescue dozen of people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride - The AP

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued around 30 people Friday after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

Portland Fire and Rescue said on the social platform X that firefighters worked with engineers at Oaks Park to manually lower the ride, but crews had been preparing to conduct a high-angle ropes rescue if necessary. All riders were being evacuated and medically evaluated, and there were no reports of injuries.

One rider with a pre-existing medical condition was taken to a hospital for further evaluation as a precaution, Oaks Amusement Park said in a statement posted on social media. Medics released all other passengers.

The ride, called AtmosFEAR, operates like a pendulum, with the capacity to swing riders completely upside down.

Chris Ryan and his wife, from nearby Gresham, were at the park for his birthday. He told The Associated Press in a Facebook message that they had just been planning to ride AtmosFEAR when they saw it was stuck and heard people saying, “Oh my God, they are upside down.”

They decided to walk away because of "how scary the situation was,” he said. They eventually got on the Ferris wheel and heard a loudspeaker announcement that the park was closed and that people should evacuate.

When the ride stopped, park staff immediately called 911 and emergency responders arrived about 25 minutes later, the park statement said. Park maintenance workers were able to return the ride to its unloading position minutes after first responders arrived.

Portland Fire said about 30 people were on board. The amusement park statement said there were 28 riders.

The ride has been in operation since 2021 and has not had any prior incidents, the park said. It will remain closed until further notice. The park said it would work with the ride's manufacturer and state inspectors to determine the cause of the stoppage.

“We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the first responders and our staff for taking prompt action, leading to a positive outcome today, and to the rest of the park guests who swiftly followed directions to vacate the park to make way for the emergency responders to attend to the situation,” it said.

Oaks Park first opened in 1905. Its website says it offers a “uniquely Portland blend of modern thrills and turn-of-the-century charm on a midway that has delighted generations of Northwesterners.”