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The Queen, the future of the monarchy and how The Queen's death affects the Commonwealth

“An icon.”

“The embodiment of an era.”

“The definition of service.”

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, and the end of the second Elizabethan era has caused the United Kingdom, the realm and countries in the Commonwealth to stop, pause and reflect on the life and legacy of the longest-reigning monarch in British history, one that will be greatly missed.

Her 70-year reign, from 1952 to 2022, has seen the advent of the digital age, world wars, royal divorce, an annus horribilis, 15 British prime ministers, 12 Canadian ones, a pandemic, and so much more in between.

The death of her husband Prince Philip last year saw the Queen for the first time without her “strength and stay” and, some might say, signalled the start of her decline until her death on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Now, questions turn to what will happen to the monarchy now that the last great monarch, in some people’s eyes, has gone. There’s no doubt that the United Kingdom is entering a transition period. We’re at the beginning of 10 days of mourning ahead of the state funeral of the Queen, and although Charles is already King, to be officially known as King Charles III, we have a coronation to come in the next few months.

But what happens afterwards is a longer transition period, one that will cement the future of the new monarchy.

The key for this new monarch and the Royal Family is to remember that the family exists because of the consent of the people – not on its own – and if it doesn’t adapt it will simply fail to exist.

The Queen, in her life, realized that the Royal Family needed to modernize, strip back and slim down. Extravagant spending was to stop – no more splashing out £92,000 on light bulbs as it’s rumoured the then-Prince Charles did.

But the monarchy also needs to take along hard look at its past and its rule over the British Empire, colonialism and slavery and the dark cloud that it has left.

This is a cloud that hangs over Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy, and means that certain sections of society, particularly the BIPOC community, have mixed emotions with her death.

Social media has opened up the discourse with people having conversations around what their ancestors endured during her rule and how that still affects communities today.

It’s up to the new monarch King Charles III and his heir Prince William, the new Prince of Wales, to try and reconcile with these communities in order to take the Royal Family into the next generation.

With calls already being heard for the Crown Jewels to be returned to India and South Africa, and republicans in Australia, St.Lucia and Jamaica looking at plans to remove the King as Head of State, the monarchy is at a crossroads.

They either face the past, adapt and listen to the subjects they rule over, or they become victim to falling popularity.

The second Elizabethan reign was a unique one, the longest in history, spanning 70 years and many different challenges.

As we enter the era of King Charles III, the challenge now becomes how to be a constant, steadfast and sure monarch, just like his mother, whilst accepting that a modern Royal Family is one that faces up to its difficult past to build a better future for its realm of nations and the Commonwealth. Top Stories

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