The Queen is dead. With those four simple words, an era abruptly comes to an end. We thought it would last forever, so accustomedgewohntaccustomed were we to seeing Queen Elizabeth’s face on the television, in the newspapers, on banknotes and stamps. Without realizing it, over the past 70 years, she had become a part of us. With her departure, we lose a part of us.
The death of a long-reigning monarch is a strange thing. Its impactAuswirkung(en)impact runs deeper than politics and political beliefs, tapping into an underground river of collective thoughts and dreams, releasing a stream of conflicting emotions. From enthusiastic monarchists to the most diehardeingefleischtdiehard republicans, everybody feels something. Even in the denialLeugnendenial of feeling, there to lurklauern, versteckt seinlurks an emotional response of some kind.
How could it be otherwise? In most of our lifetimes, the Queen has been the one constant, linking the black and white certaintyGewissheitcertainties of the post-war eraNachkriegszeitpost-war era to the high-definition confusion of today’s digital world. From the Swinging Sixties, through Cool BritanniaBegriff der jungen, weltoffenen Kultur Mitte der 1990er Jahre, als Gegensatz zu „Rule, Britannia!“ (Titel eines patriotischen Liedes)Cool Britannia to Brexit Britain, she’s seen it all. In her time, she to swear inernennenswore in 15 prime ministers, gaining an unequalled insight into the country’s political life. In the mind of one woman resided a wealth of experience that nobody could match.
In public, she maintained a rare mystique. But, in person, she often charmed with her warmth, wisdom and humour
Throughout all this, the tragedies of her personal life to unfoldsich ergeben, passierenunfolded, a soap opera for the world, featuring the death of Diana, the sex scandals of Prince Andrew and the very public fight between Harry and William. The days of deferenceAchtung, Pietätdeference are long gone. The Windsors to walk a fine lineschmaler Gratwalk a fine line, under increasing pressure to justify their immense privileges. Is the end of the second Elizabethan age the beginning of the end for an antiquated institution that has lost its dazzleGlanzdazzle? It remains to be seen how King Charles III will to fareergehenfare.
Queen Elizabeth’s success rested on a very old-fashioned ability to to remain above the fraysich heraushaltenremain above the fray. “Never complain, never explain” was said to be her motto. In public, she maintained a rare mystiquegeheimnisvolle, besondere Ausstrahlungmystique. But, in person, she often charmed with her warmth, wisdom and humour, qualities that have brought tributeAnerkennungtributes from around the world. In a sense, she surpassübertreffensurpassed the role of British monarch, creating a universal appeal that few in this world have achieved. French President Emmanuel Macron perhaps put it best when he said: “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen. She will be with all of us forever.”