Change of era: for 90% of the world’s population there has never been any other Queen of England, a key figure in news events and current affairs throughout the past 70 years whose roots were linked to a bygone world that shaped and fashioned the world we live in today. Her loss appears to add to the uncertainty being experienced in these troubled times.
The outpouring of grief continues after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday with an address to the House of Commons on Friday by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who recalled the Queen’s fascination with politics despite her neutral role while admitting that he ‘choked up’ after hearing the news on Thursday just days after meeting her at Balmoral Castle where he tendered his resignation while opposition leader in parliament Sir Keir Starmer paid his own warm tribute. The UK Accession Council will acknowledge King Charles III as King on Saturday although he assumed the throne on Thursday the moment the former monarch passed away.
On Friday, Britain was still coming to terms with the death of its longest reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II who died on Thursday afternoon just days after appointing her 15th Prime Minister, Liz Truss, to the role, her first being Britain’s World War II war leader Winston Churchill who was born in 1874 and had been elected to parliament during the reign of the Queen’s great great grandmother Queen Victoria.
That statement alone sums up the unique stature and importance of Queen Elizabeth II who was the longest-reigning monarch the world has ever seen except for King Louis the Sun King of France who reigned in the 17th century and came to the French throne as a boy.
Commitment to duty was her key principle and the one which guided her life since she was a young girl
It also demonstrated the Queen’s abiding determination to do her duty during which photographs of her appointing Ms Truss on Tuesday afternoon alerted many royal watchers that all was not well with the monarch’s health, something that was confirmed by doctors on Wednesday when the newly appointed prime minister alluded to it from the parliamentary dispatch box after receiving a note in the house informing her of the impending news.
This dedication to duty was forged years before World War II when the Queen’s Uncle King Edward VIII abdicated his throne due to adverse political reaction to his love affair with American divorcée Wallis Simpson in 1936 which elevated her father King George VI to the role and made Elizabeth Princess Royal at 10 years of age.
Her divorcé son Charles III now assumes the throne with his wife as Queen consort, a controversial development she decisively supported at the end
The news on Thursday that her son and heir Charles III, also a divorcé, had assumed the throne along with his wife Camilla as Queen Consort is also being attributed to a recent decisive intervention by the Queen, something that may yet prove controversial with the British public and which resurrects both memories of her uncle and her son’s first wife, Princess Diana, with whom the monarch had a tense relationship.
In 1997, after her daughter-in-law’s untimely death, this led to the most dangerous moment in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II who for several days was at odds with her own people for failing to sufficiently acknowledge the tragedy and grief it generated.
Played her own active role in World War II enlisting as a mechanic in the armed forces, fell in love with her prince and future husband Philip of Greece
Queen Elizabeth, after her father assumed the throne, went on to play a role in World War II where she worked as an enlisted army mechanic while at the same time meeting the man she would ultimately marry, Philip Battenburg or Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark who she married in November 1947 after the then 26-year-old prince and close relative, relinquished his foreign titles to become a British subject.
Afterwards, she recalled of Prince Philip, despite an at times tempestuous relationship as he adjusted to royal life, in her own words, that he was the ‘only man I could ever love’ while Prince Philip admitted that during their courtship he told the Princess that he had ‘fallen in love completely and unreservedly’ with her.
Thai PM sends a message to people of the UK on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip
His critical role in supporting her as the Duke of Edinburgh and as the patriarch of their family has been openly acknowledged and it is clear that his death in April 2021 took a devastating effect on the monarch’s health.
All eyes now on King Charles III and his consort Queen Camilla as they take on the duties of monarchy
On Friday, just 24 hours after her death, all eyes were beginning to focus on the forthcoming reign of King Charles III and his Queen consort Camilla after he met with the new Prime Minister and prepared to address the nation as King.
He now takes over as Head Of the British Commonwealth of 56 nations, the Head of State of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries which used to be part of the British Empire, forged under the reign of Queen Victoria and earlier monarchs in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Already, the early departure of Prince Harry, the estranged son of the new king and husband of celebrity actress Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, from Balmoral on Friday morning just 18 hours after his visit there, has begun a frenzy of tabloid gossip despite the country and the world being in mourning.
Hostile New York Times coverage ignores the pivotal role of Britain in the dark depths of World War II and the leadership of Queen Elizabeth’s family
The hostile reaction from some media quarters to the Queen’s death such as a pointed article in the New York Times criticising the British Empire and linking Queen Elizabeth to it, has drawn outrage from monarchists and many of the estimated 90% of the world’s population for whom Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant presence, particularly with her links to World War II and modern Britain’s finest hour when in 1940, under the last-ditch premiership of Winston Churchill, it held out at a time when the forces and supporters of the German Nazi Party swept Europe and seemed invincible.
It is a lesson the world must not forget in the same way as people all over the world must never forget the horrors of the holocaust.
It was a moment when the fate of the world was in the balance and when the forces of good looked like they would inevitably succumb and surrender to evil.
Loss of Queen Elizabeth is a blow in today’s deeply uncertain world with divisions and conflict growing
In today’s Twitter world and a polarising culture of a left and right divide that is now opening up in all countries worldwide, the loss of Queen Elizabeth, an acutely and skillfully apolitical monarch with a surprisingly good grasp of world affairs and the human psyche, will be a blow.
Her demise, at this time, adds further to the uncertainty that has been created this year by smouldering and dangerous tensions in US politics, the atrocities of the Russian-Ukraine War and the growing prospect of conflict in Asia where tension is deepening between the United States supported by the United Kingdom and western allies and Communist China over Taiwan.
UK Foreign Secretary visits Bangkok after AUKUS security pact further raises tensions with China
Indeed, one of the signature achievements of the UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss appointed by the former UK monarch on Tuesday was the AUKUS military alliance between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom which Ms Truss boldly announced in Bangkok in November 2021 as UK Foreign Secretary.
It is an alliance that is aimed squarely at countering China in the Asia Pacific.
Remembered fondly in Thailand for her 1972 and 1996 state visits when she was hosted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, flags flown at half mast in the kingdom
In the meantime, over the next 10 days or so, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and the emergence of a new royal family under King Charles III will occupy the headlines.
In Thailand, the Queen will be remembered for high-profile state visits to the kingdom in 1972 and 1996 with the Duke of Edinburgh when she was hosted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s longest-serving monarch and whose reign was the third longest the world has ever seen behind that of the Queen herself.
On Thursday, Thai national flags at Government House at other key buildings flew at half mast while the government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent its condolences to King Charles and the people of the United Kingdom.
‘Throughout Her Majesty’s life, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II devoted her life and performed her duties for the benefits of the British people, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the close ties between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Thailand,’ the statement read. ‘We share with the British people and the international community in mourning this great and irreparable loss.’
For most global and British citizens, expats in Thailand and ordinary Thais, younger and older, who recognise the international stature of the Queen of England, she will be remembered for her unique personality that went beyond her exalted position.
‘We’ll meet again’ – Queen Elizabeth II who so successfully communicated with her people harkening to Britain’s unique spirit and humour
This was summed up in a recent TV appearance with 007 James Bond played by actor Daniel Craig for the 2012 London Olympics when she was portrayed parachuting into a packed floodlight stadium to open the games.
However, her appearance with the fictional Paddington Bear literary character in a skit just three months ago showed off her acting skills, something associated with female British monarchs down through the ages but which also told us something about the Queen’s open and famously humorous personality.
She has also been remembered for her message to the nation during the Covid crisis when she evoked the spirit of wartime Britain with the words, made famous by British wartime entertainer Vera Lynne, ‘We’ll meet again’.
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