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With coronation celebrations set for this weekend we've been looking at how the new monarch might affect the lives of gay and lesbian people.

There is no record of King Charles III speaking on the subject of LGBTQ+ rights. Despite that his close friend Sir Elton John has previously vouched for Charles, expressing confidence that he and Prince William would use their influence to try and decriminalise homosexuality in Commonwealth states.

As things stand same-sex relations remain illegal in many countries once colonised by Britain - many of which now form part of the Commonwealth. Elton was quoted in 2018 as saying "Things don't happen over night. You can't change a culture and people's way of thinking over night. But you can certainly step in the water and have a good go. If you don't step in the water, nothing's ever going to get done. I think Prince Charles, when he is made Head of the Commonwealth, will do those kind of things."

Given the recent events in Uganda that may well prove to be something that the royal family would not be able to achieve or indeed have any influence over at all.

The younger generation of royals have been much more vocal in their support of LGBTQ+ rights.

Prince William, who is now Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, said in 2019 he would be "absolutely fine" if his children were to come out as gay or lesbian.

He visted the LGBTQ+ charity akt - The Albert Kennedy Trust, where he was asked by one of the residents how he would react to his child coming out. "I think you don't really start thinking about that until you are a parent, and I think - obviously, absolutely fine by me," he said.

William said he has spoken about the subject with his wife, Catherine, now Princess of Wales, and he raised concerns about the pressure people face when coming out. William went on to say, "I fully support whatever decision they make, but it does worry me from a parent point of view how many barriers, hateful words, persecution and discrimination that might come."

William has supported the community before as well. In 2016 he invited LGBTQ+ people to Kensington Palace to learn more about bullying of the community, and the year before he led a diversity anti-bullying workshop. That same year he made history by appearing on the front cover of Attitude magazine, becoming the first member of the royal family to pose for an LGBTQ+ publication.

As President of the Football Association he also sent words of support to Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels after he came out as gay, saying that he hoped the sportsman's decision to "speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, have also showed support for the LGBTQ+ community by becoming the first members of the royal family to publicly celebrate Pride month.

In memory of his mother, Princess Diana, Harry has also tackled the stigma of HIV/AIDS and help spread awareness of the issues that some people face. In 2016 Harry was tested for HIV live on television, and as a result the numbers of people getting tested skyrocketed. He described his mother's work as "unfinished business", saying "I feel obligated to try and continue that as much as possible."

Prince Harry went on to say "I can never fill her shoes, especially in this particular space, what she did, what she stood for and how vocal she was on this issue."

During the height of AIDS crisis Princess Diana made many visits to a charitable HIV hospital in East London, called Mildmay, and she famously shook hands with a patient. It was a moving scene to watch and it certainly helped lessen stigma around the HIV/AIDS virus.

This single act of kindness was reported worldwide. Princess Diana saying, "HIV does not make people dangerous to know. So you can shake their hand and give them a hug, heaven knows they need it." The generosity of the Princess of Wales all those years ago is still remembered today and in 2015 Prince Harry donned a red AIDS ribbon while he visited Mildmay.

"When my mother held the hand of a man dying of AIDS," the Prince said, "no one would have imagined that just over a quarter of a century later treatment would exist that could see HIV-positive people live full, healthy, loving lives."

Photo Credits:

Imperial Crown of the British Emperor of India
by DonaldIndia is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 .

King Charles III by Christopher.Michel is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 .

HRH Prince William Duke of Cambridge Speaks at the Third Annual International Corruption Hunter Alliance by World Bank Photo Collection is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 .

Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games opening ceremony
by E. J. Hersom is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

Princess Diana at Accord Hospice by paisleyorguk is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .


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