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Queen Elizabeth II taking three dramatic centuries with him to the grave. Its first prime minister was born in 1874. Its last, installed by the queen two days before her death, was born in 1975.
It allows It’s hard to be shocked that a 96-year-old man is leaving his life behind, but it’s just as well a historic moment when perhaps the most stabilizing person in post-war European history lays down his scepter and his crown for good. With the death of the Queen, the dramatic history of post-war Europe falls to the grave in many ways.
In addition to For 70 years, she was Britain’s reigning monarch – and officially head of state of a host of countries around the world, from Canada and Australia to the small island states of the Pacific and the Caribbean.
It disappeared not historic pegs to attach thoughts to when we say goodbye to one of the longest-serving heads of state in world history. The same year she succeeded her father, King George VI, the world’s first jet-powered road opened. The United States adopted the peace treaty with Japan following World War II, the European Coal and Steel Union was born – the forerunner of the European Union, and the first pedestrian crossing controlled by light in the world has been put into use. In metropolitan New York, of course. In Europe, the Iron Curtain had already fallen and the Cold War was becoming a reality.
When she was crowned at Westminster Abbey in the summer of 1953, Britain was still the world’s greatest colonial power – and the Union Jack flew from flagpoles in every part of the world. But the empire was on the verge of dissolution. Winds of liberation were blowing in Africa as well as in the Middle East and Asia. A few years later, by the early 1960s, most of the large colonies had split off – and over the years smaller and smaller territories followed. But as the empire crumbled, the Commonwealth grew. Until our time, this in many respects strange community has survived, as a political organization with 56 member countries – the last occupied relatively few years ago. When she died, Queen Elizabeth was still the symbolic head of what is now called the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Commonwealth was an important reason why the UK chose to stay out of Schengen cooperation. Citizens of Commonwealth countries have rights in Britain that were not compatible with the decision to make Schengen the EU’s external border. In other areas too, commercial as well as political, there have been controversies between the UK and the EU because of the ties between the nations of the Commonwealth, ties which the changes of government in London never had. intention to shake.
English the monarch has very limited political power – but the influence can be enormous. Few would argue that the woman who breathed her last on September 8, 2022 has over the years become one of the most influential constitutional heads of state in the world. In British history, she will go down as one of the greatest – and most important, with a unique ability to bring together a national community that, even in the British Isles, has emphatically cracked the knuckles. King Charles III will have the more than demanding task of carrying on the legacy – and perhaps it will also prove impossible to continue.
The queen personified symbolic power – the result of more than eight decades of experience. Despite its unique role, controversies abound. The biggest burden came with the death of Princess Diana. The royal family appeared cold and distant as millions of people gathered in the streets of London to express their grief. Support for both the monarchy and the queen was at a low level. The request for change was not difficult to hear.
Many have predicted that managing death would prove to be the beginning of the demise of the monarchy. It didn’t work that way. Although the Queen barely changed her behavior or approach to the outside world after the death of her ex-daughter-in-law, many observers believe her consistency over the years has helped to strengthen her both as a person and the office she represented.
When the reactions went to bed, a new daily life in the island state is fast approaching. The new king, who has been crown prince for as long as his mother was queen, takes control of a nation struggling with significant challenges. Brexit has created a deep rupture in the union between the different countries that make up Great Britain, and the energy crisis and the consequences of the break with the EU characterize the daily life of the ordinary citizen. It is uncertain whether even the UK will survive for years to come.
Queen Elizabeth II was “La Reine” – the Queen – for residents of large parts of the world. Even principled opponents of the monarchy as a form of government will likely agree that the stability and continuity it represented served the island state well in extremely changing times. She grew into the role in a way that made her the glue of society.
time goes show if his disappearance will mean a break with what has been. King Charles III is unlikely to be a new institution. It will be up to a new generation to prove that hereditary monarchy still has value. And now Britannia keeps the prefix Big or not.
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