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Elizabeth II, Queen of England, has died. She rests in peace, with the satisfaction of fulfilled duty, after a reign that lasted more than 70 years, the second longest in human history, marked by her political talent and her commitment to the Crown, which were key for the United Kingdom to persevere as a nation and as an international power, despite the inevitable crumbling of the old empire.
In 1952, just 25 years old, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary came to the throne of a country plunged into a deep crisis, not only political and economical but (literally) existential: the “Pax Britannica” of the nineteenth century had collapsed under the siege of totalitarianism and the consolidation of new global powers, next to which the United Kingdom seemed even ridiculously anachronistic. Yes, London had “won” the Second World War, but it emerged from the conflict a power in ruins, where all institutions were at mortal risk.
After all, in the century before Elizabeth II’s coronation, virtually all the great European monarchies had disappeared; and many considered it a mere matter of time before England followed a similar route. However, the Crown remained because the English people understood that their monarchy was more than a mere office of government; it was a symbol of their identity, their history, and their national vocation; and Elizabeth II knew how to embody it for 70 years, that identity, that history and that vocation, with many more successes than failures.
With Elizabeth on the throne, the monarchy persevered. The UK made it through the 20th century, perhaps faltering, but “united” and solidly integrated into the new times, where it is no longer “the great empire” but remains a cornerstone in the concert of nations, with the Crown as a factor of unity beyond ideologies, with the support of the people and the respect of the world. To achieve all this in such turbulent times as those we have lived through in these 70 years is something worthy of recognition and celebration.
“Elizabeth II, Queen, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its other realms and territories. Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the faith.” With her lights and shadows, she leaves to history the legacy of seven decades in which she served worthily as monarch, as a symbol of the United Kingdom, and living bridge between the old royal houses and the new world of technological globalization.
The future will devote her to an ocean of ink and reflections, condemnations, absolutions, and flattery. Her name will be inscribed among the most relevant in history. But that will come later. Now, suffice it to say: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, rest in peace. You did well.
Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”