The Queen’s Death: What Happens Next?


Image by Jhoan Cordoba courtesy of Pixabay

Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at the age of 96. Leaders worldwide expressed their condolences to this important British leader, including the United States, Singapore, and Japan. She is not only the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history but also in the world. She made appearances in public back when Britain had just won the Second World War, and Churchill was the prime minister. To millions, Queen Elizabeth is a projection of British pride and what people want to see Britain be like. This shows how much influence she has and her importance to the Britons. Her death is going to have a profound impact on Britain’s future. 


Britain is already having a very rough time at this time, suffering from problems like inflation, the spike in food, fuel, and energy prices, and the recent change of prime minister. The queen’s death no doubt makes the matter worse for Britain. In the aftermath of the Second World War, she was the person that led Britain from a declining major power to become the country it is today. Andrew Neil from the Daily Mail commented, “She was the glue that held our nation together for as long as most of us can remember. Through war, peace, social revolution, and consolidation… from Empire to Commonwealth.” Having such important meaning to the United Kingdom, the question of national identity that has been with this nation since the end of the war will emerge once again following her death. 


The successor of Queen Elizabeth, King Charles III, will face numerous challenges as he takes over the country from his mother, especially as he’s the oldest person ever to become the British monarch in history. He’s not supported and has low approval ratings by people in the United Kingdom, as seen in this 2021 poll. The first thing he would have to do is to gain the trust of his people. It will be hard to accept for most Britons who have seen the Queen as the only monarch in their life since she ruled for such a long time. 


Political problems also emerged with the Queen’s death. There are still countries that were former British colonies that recognize the monarchy as their head of state, but some of these countries have expressed the intention of breaking away from it. Questions on the purpose of the monarchy remain, particularly around the recognition of its troublesome and exploitative past. It seems that the future of the monarchy is uncertain.