King Charles at WY?

Eric Wang, Staff Writer

On September 8th, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at the age of 96. Having ruled for over 70 years, Queen Elizabeth was the longest reigning monarch of the UK, surpassing Queen Victoria from over a century ago. The news came as a shock to many around the world following statements released by Buckingham Palace detailing the Queen’s decline in health and subsequent referral to medical attention. Her funeral followed days later on the 19th, and was reported to be one of the most watched television broadcasts in the UK.

Elizabeth’s son, Charles III, quickly ascended to the throne upon her passing. Known for his eclectic taste in architecture and championing of alternative medicine, King Charles has a little-known connection to Whitney Young. The then-Prince Charles of Wales paid the school a brief visit during his trip to Chicago in 1986 to play a polo match at the Oak Brook Polo Club. Prince Charles visits WY in 1986While in the city, he visited Marshall Field to buy gifts for his family in the morning before paying Whitney Young a brief visit.  The Chicago Tribune reported that the prince visited students in a social studies class and talked to them personally about their lives. Students commented that he was very down to earth and knowledgeable about pop culture, music, and current events. 

”I thought he’d be snobbish and everything. But really he’s a person you can get along with,” remarked Richard Bondie, right after speaking to him about his family. 

This was not the first time that Charles visited Chicago, as he came once in 1977 and reportedly enjoyed his stay here. Which begs the question, if King Charles were to visit Whitney Young today, how would students react?

Trayi Sharma, ‘23, reluctantly commented that she would go see him. “I would probably be more excited if Safiya Nygaard came back [to our school]”, referring to the Youtuber and former Buzzfeed editor who graduated in 2010. 

Many students also reacted with confusion. “I honestly don’t know how to respond to that,” replied Jack Pennington, ‘23. “I’d probably laugh my a– off but I feel like it’s a situation where he’d walk into the auditorium and get laughed off the stage.” He added that it would be “interesting”, but questioned whether Whitney Young was ‘worthy’ enough for the king himself. This attitude was echoed by others, including an anonymous freshman who asked why the king would return to Whitney Young out of all places. “I’m sure he has better things to do with his time,” she said.

“Why’d they make a man queen?” Sage Sysavathly, ‘29, joked. I don’t care for the monarchy so I’d pass, but it seems like the overwhelming sentiment is that King Charles is a whole lot less relevant to a bunch of American teenagers today than he was as prince in the 80s. Sorry Charlie, but I agree, you’d make better use of your time visiting anywhere else instead.