Britain begins to write its post-Elizabeth history
After the perfume of the national community that marked the funeral of Elizabeth II, the UK turned a page in its history and found the course of its existence on Tuesday. Not without thinking about his future without this connecting figure.
In the final farewell to their Queen, who died on September 8 at the age of 96, including 70 years of reign, hundreds of thousands of Britons flocked to the streets of London and Windsor on Monday to watch the coffin pass.
A national community moment broadcast to a global television audience that froze the country and reduced electricity use Monday morning — by as much as 2 gigawatts, or the equivalent of two nuclear reactors.
They had also been numerous, in the five days leading up to this majestic funeral, to exchange a kiss, make an impromptu bow or shed a tear in front of the coffin, which was exposed to the public day and night in a room of Parliament after hours of waiting was .
“Over 250,000[people]passed through Parliament,” Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan told Sky News, according to a preliminary estimate. In 2002 it was 200,000 people for the Queen Mother.
The “farewell” to the Queen still dominated all the front pages of the British press on Tuesday, which competed with honors and photos of the events. The Telegraph, which is close to the Conservatives, underlined “a love burst”.
Following her private funeral, the royal family posted an unseen photo on their Twitter account of Elizabeth II, the only female sovereign many Britons have ever known, showing her in the grounds of their Scottish estate, Balmoral, where she died in 1971.
– The “Magic of Elizabeth” –
Symbolically, the MPs, like the members of the government before them, must swear allegiance on Wednesday to the new King Charles III, 73 years old – who, like his mother, has promised to serve his people throughout his life.
But the news, which was put on hold during national mourning, quickly took over.
Although the mourning of the royal family continues for a week, the flags are no longer at half-mast and the government of Prime Minister Liz Truss, which was just two days before the death of Elizabeth II, with the rising cost of living.
In this time of crisis, the undisclosed potential cost of the funeral for the taxpayer makes some twitch their teeth.
Minister Michelle Donelan tried to silence critics by saying she thought Brits would see it as “money well spent”.
“I think no one can argue that our late monarch did not deserve this farewell given the duty and selfless service to which she has dedicated more than 70 years,” she said.
Independence tendencies in Scotland, community tensions in Northern Ireland, social crises, new generations less clinging to tradition… The UK must now begin to write a new page in its history.
On her way to the United Nations General Assembly, Liz Truss underscored the public’s great sympathy for Charles III, that his first official trips took him to the country’s four nations (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales).
But his job is proving tricky, The Guardian estimates.
“The last 10 days have been a vacation from the usual political polarization: Admiration for the Queen was one of the only things most people could agree on,” writes the left-leaning daily, stressing its unifying role.
“If it turns out to be related to Elizabeth’s magic rather than the crown, then it’s unclear how long Charles will rule a United Kingdom,” he warns.
The Times, on the right, believes that Charles III. will continue to play an important role: “He should be what most of our leaders seem incapable of, a discreet symbol of virtue and propriety worthy of respect.”
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