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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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HomeOpinionQueen Elizabeth and our fairytale queens

Queen Elizabeth and our fairytale queens

'The longest reigning monarch in more than a thousand years of British history has left behind mixed feelings in the hearts of people'

As I have written in this space that Britain is my second home. Whenever I happen to be there, I always buy local papers to see how they are treating the royals. It is always a mix of both the negative and positive. The British press thrives on the scandals of the royal family. Equally, it treats them with reverence and respect. British people love their monarchs.

When the longest reigning monarch of the British Empire breathed her last on September 8, the BBC stopped its routine transmission and ran the news as a breaking routine.

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I was going through social media before writing this piece. A friend shared the post of known broadcaster Shahid Malik, who wrote:

To announce a royal death, BBC outlets follow a well-defined protocol. As far as I can remember, the guideline in case of the monarch’s passing (and the monarch alone) did allow interrupting the transmission to break the news.

In the event, did they stop the transmission at an appropriate point this evening or did it happen rather abruptly? Here is a viewer’s account who was watching the TV:

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“We weren’t paying that much attention. But they did interrupt the programme. I think abruptly. And then the screen went black and white. This was followed by the breaking news. An obituary appeared on the BBC’s website almost instantly.”

For the next week, the British press will mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at the age of 96. She was the oldest ruling monarch who, in her 70 years of reign; saw the world change drastically. Before becoming queen, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War. She trained as a driver and mechanic with the rank of Second Subaltern, and five months later she was promoted to Junior Commander, which was the equivalent of Captain.

Can a princess be a driver and mechanic?

Perhaps, not in our fairy tales, but Queen Elizabeth had a past as a driver and mechanic.

At the time of her coronation, the young Queen was only 25. She became the Queen not only of Britain but of more than half the globe.

Elizabeth II was more than just a queen; she was a figurehead through whom the world saw Britain and her vast empire. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, although not born to be a queen, was meant to be one. She took on all the duties with a sense of responsibility and fervour.

Not only was Queen Elizabeth the queen of many nations, but she was also a family woman, a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was fond of dogs and horses and had many corgis as her pets throughout her life. Her love for horses often brought her to races where she used to bet and oftentimes won. The Queen’s unique sense of style was admired by many and so were her jewels.

Queen Elizabeth II ruled for a very long time, and her commitment to serving her throne and people throughout her life was a defining characteristic of her reign. As British influence waned, society transformed beyond recognition, and the monarchy’s very role was called into question, she came to represent the only constant in a world that was changing rapidly. She saw the royals turn into the “Royal Family” from the “Monarchy” and a major decline in the power that the family had over the world and the public of Britain. She still stood steadfast and rebuilt the image of the royals and, in recent years, became a figure loved by most of Britain. She saw and met a number of US presidents and gave her blessings to many prime ministers of the UK.

Elizabeth II inherited the colonial legacy of her ancestors who looted and plundered many lands around the world. If seen through the eyes of the Brits, then it was the Queen’s ancestors’ legacy to bring about law and order among the barbarians of Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, those who are the victims cannot forget the horrors of living under British rule. Although Britain’s colonial empire started to slowly deteriorate after the Second World War, Queen Elizabeth II has been time and again held responsible for several damages that occurred before her time as the queen and in the early years of her reign. The longest reigning monarch in more than a thousand years of British history has left behind mixed feelings in the hearts of people. Some remember her as the one who helped in the liberation of many states. Some see her as the flag bearer of peace and harmony, while many others see her as the face of a racist, classist, slave-trading plunderer, and looter who failed to apologize for the horrors that many faced due to her empire.

Whatever she may be, may she rest in peace.

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