There is no getting around the fact that from the outside it looks strange as a modern nation mourning a 96-year-old monarch in the 22nd year of the 21st century. No doubt it also feels strange for many of the subjects of Queen Elizabeth II of England (now King Her Charles III).
When the news came, protocol was strictly followed: on the BBC, the anchor was dressed in black when he announced the death of Queen Elizabeth. A crowd gathered under a leaden sky outside Buckingham Palace in central London. A young couple huddled under umbrellas in the Mall, the majestic red street that runs from the palace gates to Trafalgar Square, said they had come to witness the spectacle. I really don’t get the point,” the man added without being prompted by me.
Admittedly, it’s more than a “little”. As has already been pointed out countless times, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an era for her. Even era is plural. One has to do with the country and one has to do with the extent of the British royal family itself. As the years passed, Queen Elizabeth’s realm evolved and shrunk dramatically.
“She was born at a time when Britain ruled a world empire of some 600 million people,” The Guardian noted in an editorial published after her death. It was a country of size and died when the future was uncertain.”
Indeed, a more accurate assessment than the one offered by Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who said Britain was “thriving” after the Queen’s death. You underestimate what the former colonial rule was going through. And perhaps it helps explain why this moment feels so “dark,” even for many who haven’t professed her love for the Queen or the institution she represents.
In addition to the grieving crowds and the funeral procession of London’s black taxis lined up outside the palace on Thursday, the UK now faces two very different big problems on its way.
First and foremost, how do we deal with the deepest economic crisis in decades? What exactly is the future?
Where the Royal Family Meets Economic Crisis
The obituary writers have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s ability to reassure the nation during past crises.
For many here, this is what adds extra trauma to the news of her death.
The Queen died in the midst of a particularly difficult upheaval, and a period of mourning unfolds against a tragic backdrop. For example, Friday morning’s cancellation of a planned strike by tens of thousands of postal and transportation workers marked the end of the Second Elizabethan Era. Battered by a worsening economic storm, they have demanded higher wages. Her Queen’s death prompted organizers to postpone the strike until after her period of public mourning was over, as the plight of the economic crisis met with the plight of Queen Elizabeth’s passing. It was just a method.
But the pressure on ordinary Britons has not paused for mourning, and such pressure has only increased. The cost of living here is rising at its fastest pace in 40 years as food and fuel prices rise.The effects of the war in Ukraine are rising in the UK as in many other places. .
Keeping this crisis under control was Truss’ top priority when he moved to Downing Street earlier in the week. That’s why Maiden’s remarks as her Prime Minister, made just two days before the Queen’s death, made little sense of a “thriving” country.
“We are now facing severe global headwinds caused by Russia’s disastrous war in Ukraine and the aftermath of covid,” she said, adding that addressing these challenges “will not be easy.” ” he admitted.
A day later, the British pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 against the US dollar. One of his financial market watchers shed light on the possibility of an IMF bailout if the UK continues to rush down the difficult road it now faces.
Even those who consider such predictions to be extreme admit that Britain’s near future is grim. “Look, we’re not going to lie,” began a recent Financial Times column. “The UK has had a rough decade, but the outlook is even worse. It has the highest inflation rate among the G-10 countries, the weakest growth projections and an external deficit that makes Argentina blush.”
Meanwhile, the UK’s National Health Service is struggling to recover from the damage of the pandemic. Currently, the number of people waiting for regular hospital care has reached nearly 7 million, but the health system is struggling to fill the tens of thousands of vacancies. There are various causes of gaps. From the immense stress healthcare workers faced during the pandemic to Brexit, which has led to fewer European nurses working in the UK. The end result is a key national institution under pressure in a country facing pressure on multiple other fronts.
So it’s no wonder London feels ‘dark’.
“Desolate” — and, as The Guardian noted, “uncertain” and much uncertain of what might come next. announced a plan to protect But what if global energy prices hit new records while the war in Ukraine continues? And what about Brexit? The UK’s divorce deal with Europe remains a contentious issue, and fierce disputes over key terms threaten to further strain relations with Britain, which remains its largest trading partner. be.
what to do with the monarchy
Just one day after the Queen’s death, conversations and newspaper columns in Britain and abroad began to gently raise questions of the monarchy called ‘life after Queen Elizabeth’. Is it still relevant? In the present age when the flag bearer who boasted tremendous popularity is gone, should it continue to exist in the first place?
Harvard University historian Maya Jasanov clarified her view in a New York Times editorial published on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s death.
Jasanov’s was a more academic version of the gist of a young couple’s conversation in a London mall. Such questions and quiet debates will follow during the period of mourning and beyond.
Whatever a recent poll may be, it certainly means something for most Britons. I answered that I feel But that was long before the Queen died. Would they feel the same under Charles III?
As Grid reported, the new king suffers from being less popular than not only his mother, but his son William, who is now heir to the throne. more likely.
And if that system is to be maintained, how and in what form? It may be too early to say. Not far from the British Isles, there is a very different model to be found, especially in the Scandinavian countries, where the royal family is relatively modern and more down-to-earth and, perhaps as a result, very popular.From Spain to Holland The monarchy has made efforts to modernize, with mixed results. Charles himself has made public his desire to “reduce” the British monarchy.
One of the distinguishing features of the British version is that the Queen (and now the King) still has “subjects” in 14 other countries. That very sentence feels like a throwback, a vestige of the era of colonial empires and one that the growing class of people living in these places would no doubt agree to need to go.
The Guardian said in an editorial: These are solemn days. But the right time will soon come to discuss these issues in earnest.Without excluding anything, if possible without the captivating self-delusions that have so often surrounded this subject.
All of this means that, long after the Queen was buried, Britain faces a period of months, if not years, with its economy and the future of this grand old institution in question. It will be
“Uncertainty” just begins to describe it.
Thanks to Alicia Benjamin for editing a copy of this article.