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EDITORIAL

Elizabeth II: Adieu unifier, globetrotter, modernizer

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Queen Elizabeth II

WITH over 500 world leaders comprising serving and former heads of state and royals from Europe to Asia, America to Africa scheduled to converge on Westminster Abbey by Sunday morning ahead the final procession of Her Majesty, the Queen of England and Wales, Elizabeth II’s coffin to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, on Monday to flag off her state funeral, the die is really cast. Already queues are building up in London as her body’s lying-in-state now holds, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets to pay their respects.

  APART from her son, King Charles III, his siblings,  their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses, other Royals expected to fly in for her funeral ceremony from overseas include King Felipe VI of Spain, King Willem-Alexander of Netherlands, King Harald V of Norway,  Prince Albert II of Monaco and  many more. As a result, London City is expected to come to standstill, leading to traffic gridlock from airports, roads, tramways to railway.

  INDEED, the stakes cannot rise higher. But  beyond these paraphernalia lay the rare personality being honored just as the Queen-rebranded the concept of monarchy, her death is set to reduce dying to a mere metaphor as Her Majesty’s radiant life is yet not waning.  She left  indelible footprints in the sands of time as a unifying, wide-travelling,  modernising monarch.

  IF there is any force of gravity that can pull the whole word to one, common united front, it should have been Elizabeth II. At her home country,  calls for abolition of monarchy were confined to a fringe, far outweighed by those who continued to view it as a valued and essential part of what Britain is, because every political divide found relevance and faith in Elizabeth II.

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Even while politicians slugged it out during Brexit, the Queen kept her majesty intact by sitting well above murky frays of politics, ensuring no side swayed her.

Such dexterity in political non-partisanship made her  remain relevant even when institution of monarchy was being pulled or pulling itself down in many countries with extravagant and flamboyant kings and queens, from Monaco to Spain, Netherlands to Vatican abdicating their thrones.

   FOR many countries in post-colonial  Commonwealth of Nations, the England monarch was also associated with a British empire that exploited their resources, nullified any prospect of independence, and benefitted hugely from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade as well as British colonialism.

Yet, under Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth not only thrived but actually had so much appeal that some countries not colonised by Britain signed up for membership, including Uganda and Rwanda. Part of this was down simply to Elizabeth II’s sagacity in maintaining the heritage and longevity, spanning 70 years on the throne.

  QUEEN Elizabeth II made her reign exemplary by playing the long game when the digital revolution arrived, embracing it with her own website and established a social media presence long before her children or grandchildren did.

Through this, the internet presented her with another way of connecting with her public in modernising Britain in  line with the  21st Century, fraternising with young sports, film and music celebrities without scandal.

  ELIZABETH II was also reputed to have visited over 100 countries during her reign,  making  her the most travelled monarch in British history, all in her mission to take England to the world and bring the world to Britain. This is a big challenge to  on her successor,  King Charles 111 – a challenge he cannot afford to flunk.

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  THIS is why National Light mourns Her Majesty, the unifier, globetrotter, and moderniser.

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