Queen Elizabeth II's long life, an empire's demise - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Queen Elizabeth II's long life, an empire's demise

Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96, and her son, 73-year-old Prince Charles finally got to sit on the throne of Britain with the title of "Charles III". Sarah Bradford, who published the Queen's biography in 1996, turned out to be correct. “If Elizabeth lives as long as her mother, the poor Prince will be over seventy when he ascends the throne,” Bradford wrote in her book in question. When Bradford penned these lines, Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was 96 years old. The Queen Mother would die in 2001 at the age of 101.

As the Queen of 32 countries, Elizabeth II wore the British crown for 70 years. During this time, 17 countries have removed the Queen's already symbolic/ceremonial "head of state" status. It is expected that other countries will follow suit during the Charles III era.

Born in 1926, Elizabeth II witnessed the gradual withering away of the empire described by the British as the one "on which the sun never sets". However, his father VI. When George ascended the throne in 1937, he had the title of "King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions" and additionally "Emperor of India". II. When Elizabeth came to the throne, it was about 5 years after India gained its independence.

The First and Second World Wars had weakened Britain's power. On top of that, the U.S. and the Soviet Union overtook England in this process. As a matter of fact, England had won both world wars with the help of the U.S. The crumbling of the British empire After World War II continued at full throttle. It was with the "Suez Crisis" in 1956 that the British realized that the sun had set on their empire. The crisis began with the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Jamal Abdulnasser, who came to power in Egypt through a coup.

British Prime Minister Anthony Eden welcomed the decision by saying, "Nasser pressed his finger on Britain's windpipe." When Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt under a secret agreement known as the "Agreement of Sevres", Elizabeth II was 30 years old. It is said that the Queen, who is supposedly the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, was not informed of this agreement.

The United States and the Soviet Union reacted sharply to the military intervention. The occupation put England into a financial crisis, gold and dollar reserves decreased by 15 percent. The United States turned down London's request for help. Elizabeth II, which is said to have described the operation as "absurd", was facing her first serious crisis. “Operation Suez” shattered the “Special Relationship” between the U.S. and Britain. Under pressure from Washington, the invaders withdrew from Egypt. Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigned in disgrace.

The "Suez debacle" was a testament to Britain's loss of imperial power. This Fiasco marked the end of the Empire and the reshaping of the Middle East. In the new global power game that evolved into the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were now in the driver's seat In the new power system, the role of "sub-supporting actors" fell to England and France.

The "Suez debacle" not only humiliated and weakened Britain and France but also accelerated the disintegration of colonial empires around the world. Colonized countries gained their independence one by one with national liberation movements.

The transfer of Hong Kong, which was a British colony in the first half of the 19th century thanks to the inhumane “First Opium War”, to China in 1997 marked the “official” end of the Empire. With her dull eyes, Elizabeth II witnessed the de facto end of the empire in 1956 and the official end in 1997. While Elizabeth admitted to a long list of imperial crimes in past centuries, she never apologized for them. The Crown rejects claims for reparations from the former colonies.

Four out of five people living in England were born after the Queen's accession to the throne. Thus, Elizabeth was the only monarch recognized by British subjects for 70 years. Elizabeth, who stood out with her supra-political stance, was a “nostalgic/symbolic” representation of British traditionalism, imperial splendor, and a sense of national continuity. Her private life was shrouded in"mystery. Meanwhile, the Queen's 96-year life served as a sort of chronicle of the empire's becoming bedridden, then vegetating, and finally drawing its final breath.


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