By Dickson Igwe, contributor
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, is the longest reigning British Monarch in history. Her reign is in its winter.
The Queen, who will be 91 on April 21, 2017, is the only British Monarch most of us alive today have known.
Britain has already entered the Post Elizabethan Age. Britain will be in a state of denial as a chapter in its history ends.
The Queen began her reign at the end of Empire. In 1947 she was on holiday in Cape Town South Africa with her parents’ King George the Sixth, and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen’s Mother.
The Queen was 6000 miles away from Buckingham Palace. However, a majority of those 6000 miles were well within the orbit of her realm.
That Empire has ceased to exist.
The passing of the Queen will be a monumental and deeply historic moment for everyone alive.
It will be a psychological shock to the world. The Queen is entwined in the lives and psyches of her hundreds of millions of subjects around the globe.
Hers will be the most important British state funeral since the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.
And make no mistake. The Queen is synonymous with Great Britain. Britain’s Royal family is the very definition of what Britain was and is.
Britain’s history, culture, and values system is highlighted and stated in the traditions, customs, and daily activities of the British Royals.
British security is a manifestation of the culture surrounding the Royals. The armed forces serve in the name of the Queen. Government functions in the name of her Majesty: Her Majesty’s Service.
The Queen is Head of State of 15 governments outside the UK. She is the Symbolic Figurehead of the 36 countries that make up the Commonwealth.
Her face is the symbol of the Atomic Age.
The Queen may be said to be simply a rubber stamp.
However, the Queen appoints the British Prime Minister after an election. And the defeated Prime Minister at an election hands over ministerial powers to the Queen as he or she steps down.
This is an interim that is as mysterious, as it is arcane.
The Queen in Parliament is part of Britain’s unwritten constitution of customs and conventions.
All Britain’s governing institutions derive identity and substance from their links to the Royal family.
The Queen is a Constitutional Monarch. Her powers are far from absolute.
However as a symbol of what Britain stands for, her symbolism is absolute. Now Queen Elizabeth’s Son, The Prince Charles, is the Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Rothesay.
His Royal Highness is also the Prince of Wales and the Great Steward of Scotland. He is the most powerful duke in the kingdom.
If Charles survives his mother, which is a probability, he will become King Charles the Third.
His wife Camilla, much to the chagrin of Diana’s lovers, will become Queen Camilla. This succession is set in stone.
Post Queen Elizabeth, what will the reign of King Charles the Third, the oldest person to ascend to the throne – Charles is 68 years- herald for the United Kingdom?
Now Sam Knight wrote a very interesting story in this Old Boy’s favorite British News Paper, the UK Guardian on March 17, 2017.
The title stated it all: ‘’ London Bridge is down: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death.’’
OK this is a subject Yours Truly would have best wished to avoid, even though we all have a date with the Grim Reaper.
Knight asserted that we were all told that the funeral of the Great British Statesman Sir Winston Churchill was the requiem for Britain as a great power.
However, the writer believes it will be all over when the Queen dies. Gosh!
For Knight, Queen Elizabeth the Second is the last living link with Britain’s former greatness.
The Queen is also the Monarch who reigned during Britain’s national decline that occurred after the Second World War ended in 1945.
Today Britain is a middle ranking world power and wealthy nation.
Britain is no longer a world power in the classic sense.
Her army is the most powerful military force in Western Europe.
However, Britain does no longer has the logistical capability to carry out a war thousands of miles from her shores, such as when she went to free the Falkland Islands from Argentina’s Dictators.
Britain will require direct US military support if she attempts such an expedition today.
Ominously, if Her Majesty lives long enough, she may witness a Scotland departing the Union and even the disintegration of the United Kingdom.
Knight further alludes to the fact that the Queen is approaching the end of her reign at a time of maximum disquiet.
There are tensions in the UK that could break the Queens Realm apart.
Her Scottish, Welsh and Irish subjects are skeptical about Brexit.
A new referendum may see Scotland depart the Union. Brexit agitations are being felt in Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Royal family will be moderated to something of the model of the Scandinavian Royals.
As Britain adjusts to its role as a moderate power, the Royals will follow suit.
To be continued…
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