“Keep Calm and Carry On” was a slogan conceived by the British government in 1939 at the dawn of the Second World War, with the aim of encouraging the population to remain optimistic in case of an enemy invasion. Can this idiom be considered relevant by the Bitish people, nowdays, after the Queen’s death?

di Iulia Marasescu

On 8th September one of the most important and influential figure in modern history deceased: we are talking about Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled the Commonwealth until the age of 96 years old, becoming the longest-reigning monarch and beating Queen Victoria’s record.

Born in 1926, her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York and she had a younger sister, Margaret.  Because of her lasting lead, it’s easy to forget that she wasn’t supposed to become a queen at all: her father was the King’s second son. However, after Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936, his brother George became the King. From that moment on, Elizabeth became the first in the line of succession.

During her lead, there were a lot of ups and downs, for example “annus horribilis” that brought a lot of distress to the Queen because in 1992 three of her children had marital problems: Princes Charles and Andrew separated from their wives and Anne divorced her husband. In 1997 Lady Diana died in a car crash and the monarchy was accused of being involved in her death. There are also recent scandals as Prince Andrew’s lawsuit in the United States, charged with sexual abuse, and Prince Harry’s estrangement from the royal duties after marrying Meghan Markle.

Why was Queen Elizabeth II so popular?

The depression years in which Elizabeth grew up and the example of her father’s lead during World War II marked the way she decided to take care of her reign as a monarch. She always had a vision on what was happening in the outside world and its problems, understanding at a very early age that when things get hard for people, royalty mustn’t disappear in its own world.

The main reason why the Queen was so loved, not only by the British but also by many people around the world, was her strong attitude and the commitment with which she carried on her role and her duties: she has always been known for taking a serious interest in government and political affairs and modernized many aspects of the monarchy. She presided official ceremonies, hosted world leaders and travelled in support of the British government. In 70 years she worked with 15 prime ministers, met 13 American presidents and France changed 10 presidents: therefore, as politics changed, she provided a sense of stability.

What is going to happen to the monarchy now?

First of all, the country’s situation nowdays is very unstable: the current prime minister, Rishi Sunak, was elected after Liz Truss’s shortest time served as a prime minister (44 days). She met the Queen just a few days before her death and she resigned because her proposals triggered an immediate economic crisis.

The Monarchy’s role depends essentially on its domestic position and the prestige the United Kingdom has on the international plan. At the moment, Commonwealth citizens are very supportive towards the new King as the IPSOS survey states: therefore, as long as the country’s prestige on the international plan remains unvaried, Charles III and the royal family are going to remain a major influence not only in the United Kingdom.

IPSOS survey: https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/6-10-britons-now-say-king-charles-iii-will-do-good-job-king

Learn more with the Royal Family’s official site: https://www.royal.uk/queen-elizabeth

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