After losing her anchor of stability, Elizabeth II: King Charles faces a superhuman task
So how are the British coping with their severe economic and political problems?
With all the pomp that an old empire is capable of, the British buried their Queen on Monday. Colorful uniforms, touching music, Bible verses in the flowery language of the 17th century – the military, clergy and civil society in perfect harmony created an event of the century that strengthened Great Britain’s position as a superpower Soften power should cement.
The sincere mourning of a family for their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother gave a human dimension to the dignified record. Of course, the new King Charles and the entire Windsor clan had to reckon with the death of an elderly lady who had recently become increasingly frail. Of course, the gratitude for a long, well-lived life mixes with the pain. The death of the family patriarch is a loss, however.
The Queen: Not necessarily loved, but highly respected
Billions of television viewers around the world were by no means just fascinated observers; many people honestly mourned the loss of Elizabeth II, who was somehow a part of life. The mainstream media let the whole world share in the Queen’s career, from glamorous young woman to wise interpreter of difficult times, who gave many people support.
Her optimistic speech at Easter 2020, when the corona pandemic kept the world in suspense, will not be forgotten: “We will see our friends again. We will see our families again. We will meet again.”
The British may not have loved the Queen; But most felt respect and gratitude. Hundreds of thousands also wanted to express this personally. They laid flowers at the royal palaces, stood on the streets of Scotland, and queued in front of the coffin in Edinburgh and London. Uncertainty mingled with the sadness and gratitude of the ten-day state mourning: what comes next?
It’s fermenting in the UK
For months it has been clear that Britain is facing difficult times. The island has been hit as hard by the energy crisis as comparable industrial nations. Added to this is the Brexit effect, which is steadily making the country poorer and alienating essential parts of the kingdom, such as Scotland and Northern Ireland, from the Conservatives in power in London.
The new prime minister, Liz Truss, has assembled a largely inexperienced cabinet and has policy and personnel dictated to her by the ultra-right wing of the party.
It’s fermenting in the country. Railroad and postal workers, teachers and nurses are preparing to go on strike to protest the steady decline in their income levels. In Leicester, in central England, young Hindus and Muslims have been beating each other’s heads for days. The once-respected police make one devastating blunder after another, not least in their shameful treatment of the tiny band of respectfully protesting anti-monarchists.
More than ever before, Great Britain needs the stability that the Queen embodied. King Charles III will have to do almost superhuman things to render a similar service to his country.