Yesterday, at age 96, 70 years of which she ruled as the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II died. She had an extraordinary life–The Telegraph once wrote that by her 90th birthday she had covered at least 1,032,513 miles and 117 countries. For all of my life, when anyone said the Queen, most of the world thought of her, the head of the world’s most famous constitutional monarchy.
As she aged, her popularity rose and the weeks to come will be rife with stories about her remarkable life. The new King, Charles, is nowhere nearly as beloved as his mum. He’s 73 years–one wonders what he will do with throne he’s waited for his entire life. (And, no, he cannot step aside for his son.)
As I read some of the immediate responses on Twitter yesterday, I was struck by how strongly so many felt about her. Those who loathed her as a representative of the monarch posted as did the many who are devastated. I’ve never been a monarchy watcher but I am interested to wonder what will happen now.
Charles is passionate about climate change–will being King change what he can do to effect his ecological agenda? He had said he will not be an activist King but what does that even mean in 2023? Will the monarchy lose support from its people? Will Charles use language that is more inclusive than did his mother? I have no idea but I’m curious.
Rest in peace, Elizabeth. We will miss your colorful wardrobe, your wonderful hats, your commitment to public service, and your marvelous calm. You were truly a Queen.