[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]
The following message was issued by Britain’s Royal Family:
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
Even in the U.S. which threw off the British monarchy 246 years ago, the media will be flooded with coverage of the 96-year-old queen’s life and death. Reigning more than 70 years, Elizabeth of the House of Windsor has been the only reigning British monarch nearly all Americans can remember until now.
Condolences to those who mourn her passing.
Her eldest son Charles ascends to the throne with his mother’s death though it’s not clear if he will be known as Charles III or take another name.
Over the last 24 hours the royal family had flown to Balmoral, Scotland where Elizabeth had been staying when her physicians expressed concern about her health.
Elizabeth had appeared frail when she greeted UK’s new prime minister Liz Truss on Tuesday at Balmoral.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
~ ~ ~
I am not a royalist. Britain in particular inflicted enormous challenges on my father’s forebears. Many colonized people, most Black and/or indigenous persons of color, will feel less than sentimental at the passing of the figurehead of a monarchy which seized, occupied, oppressed their people and lands.
While I feel for Elizabeth as a woman caught in history’s grip, a mother whose children and grandchildren have like most humans been mixed parts successful and failing, I can’t celebrate her reign. Even though the head of a constitutional monarchy, she had power she did not use as she could have to alleviate the suffering of former colonies let alone her own people. She did too little to assure her country was prepared to meet the future.
I will mourn instead the opportunities squandered.
May her eldest son have the courage to seize what power he now has to do better by his people and the colonies which once formed the British empire. May he do more and better at cleaning out the House of Windsor.
What is left of the United Kingdom in the wake of hard Brexit and Boris Johnson’s corrupt and feckless leadership will need whatever guidance Charles Rex can muster as his nation heads into one of its grimmest winters ever.