By: Colleen Nakhooda
September 8th of 2022 has become a day that no one will ever forget, the day that Queen Elizabeth’s reign came to an end, and a new era of the royal family began. I remember I was walking down the stairs when the news notification popped up on my phone. I looked around as the entire upper school expressed their shock over the news of the queen’s death. In some ways it felt to me as if Queen Elizabeth was immortal and that the figurehead of the royal family would never truly die. After all, the Queen was in fact 96 years of age when she passed. Whether it was American college students consoling their fellow classmates from Europe who were studying abroad, (as seen on tik tok),or the expressions of utter shock and sadness seen on the faces of every Hathaway Brown student and teacher who heard of the news, America was hit with the impact of the Queen’s passing. With that said, Britain is now undergoing a royal family reset, with King Charles II coming into the position of the head of the royal family.
Although many people say that Britain will not be able to function without their Queen, there is a majority that beg to differ. The royal family, although prominent in the representation of Britain, stands only as a figurehead for the government. The monarch has no political or legal control over anything that happens within the country, and has never greatly influenced a particular decision or act of parliament. This means that many will pose the argument that losing the Queen does nothing to the country’s functionality. With that said, Queen Elizabeth’s reign was filled with a lasting protection for the royal family and its representation to the entire world, and her 70 year reign survived the skeptical eye of the public and other officials. According to the New York Times, her reign “survived tectonic shifts in Britain’s post-imperial society, inspired broad affection for her among her subjects and weathered successive challenges posed by the romantic choices, missteps and imbroglios of her descendants”. As much as Queen Elizabeth is criticized for her lack of initiating real and true change in the conflicts of her country, she is revered for her class and professionality as a female monarch in a stable position for such a long period of time.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth, questions are once again arising about the death of Princess Diana on August 31st 1997. Most of the world still believes that her death was not an accident, and that it instead was a scheme, covered up by the “press’s pursuit of her” and the royal family’s power. Although masses of mourners attended the flower dropping ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace along with her funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth, there were not nearly as many people as there were for a figurehead like Princess Diana. The question now is, will King Charles possess a more dominant role among the figureheads of Britain, leading the country to wish they still had Queen Elizabeth?
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