A queen and her kingdom, erasure as destiny

A queen and her kingdom, erasure as fate

BETTING À DAY

LONDON | A curious and emancipated woman for her time, Elizabeth Windsor, now Elizabeth II, distinguished herself by her discretion and her insignificance. Ultimate feat, she will have taken the whole of the United Kingdom with her.

Fareed Zakaria, the political columnist for the Washington Post and CNN, judges that the the highlight of Elizabeth II's seventy-year reign was her “iron determination to stay boring”.

We don't know his opinion on anything; nothing she thinks of Donald Trump or Barack Obama. It will have been, adds Zakaria, an anomaly in “our denominational era where we share the slightest idea, desire and impulse that comes to mind”.

This erased role is in the image of this than the UK has become over the last seven decades.

SOMETHING SMALLER, BRITAIN

Elizabeth II began her reign when the great winds of decolonization were rising: from Ghana in 1957 to Brunei in 1984, thirty-nine countries gained their independence from the United Kingdom. At the same time, the Commonwealth was swelling, but London would never have the same authority again.

The “City” remains one of the world's great financiers. And yet, its aura has been tainted by Brexit, which has scared away a number of investors. This famous Brexit also contributed to diminishing the British ascendancy, by removing it from the European Union and from the political and economic weight of its 447 million citizens and consumers.

The British army maintains its prestige, in particular thanks to its nuclear arsenal. His Majesty's soldiers still intervene here and there; in particular, they carried out an arduous and heroic mission for eight years in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

In the 21st century, the tommiesHowever, they have become, without malice, the lackeys of the American forces, Washington frequently highlighting the commitment of the British at its side to affirm that we have not embarked, alone and unilaterally, on a new military adventure. Shame on anyone who thinks wrong!

A BIPOLAR WORLD

The United Kingdom is taking up less space, not only because of decolonization and its political choices, but following the reorganization of the world around superpowers – during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union; today, the same United States, this time against China.

Some individuals manage, for a time, to bring out a surplus of influence from their country: Charles de Gaulle had this impact on France in the 1960s and Vladimir Putin for today's Russia. It doesn't last.

And as a result, difficult for an average power to stand out. Except that to see, here in London at the moment, the devotion of the English for this queen, modest and secret, I come to conclude that they liked what they saw of her and that they are at peace. with what she has done with her kingdom. They obviously ask for no more. 

ONE KINGDOM. FOUR COUNTRIES. 

The United Kingdom is made up of four “countries”:

  • l England
  • Scotland
  • Wales 
  • Northern Ireland 
  • 67.5 million inhabitants (21st in the world)
  • 242,495 km2 (78th in the world)
  • Gross Domestic Product: 3200 billion US$ (5th in the world)
  • Military budget in 2021: 68.4 billion US$ (4th in the world)

A queen and her kingdom, erasure as fate