Much is currently being written about the life of Britain’s longest monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, however, regardless whether one embraces or despises the monarchy the Queen’s 71 year reign beheld her working alongside 15 prime ministers throughout her reign, beginning with Sir Winston Churchill, while witnessing the rule of 14 US Presidents.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union. Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Sir Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Ms. Truss, born 101 years later in 1975.
She held weekly audiences with all her Prime Ministers.
Since 1953, one year after the Queen took the throne, UK coins have borne five different versions of her portrait. She appeared on the country’s banknotes starting in 1960 but now, the Bank of England, which prints the country’s banknotes, and the Royal Mint, which makes its coins, face the sizable task of withdrawing that currency from circulation and replacing it with money bearing the portrait of the new monarch, her son, King Charles III.
Her horse drawn coach is made of 4 tons of gold, worth over US$350 billion while she is not required to pay taxes on her vast wealth. The crown she wears in public, worth over US$ 4 million, is made of stones “obtained’ from India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and other territories. She owns over 300 properties and her present worth is an estimated US$17 Trillion! On a personal note, the Queen’s husband Prince Philip was her third cousin while the marriages of 3 of her children ended in divorce
But there is another side of the monarch which the word needs to know. From a Guyanese standpoint when the (Marxist) PPP won 18 out of 21 legislative seats in 1953 troops were sent to this British colony and the Constitution suspended. Such scenarios proliferated her empire, often times with great violence, famine and killings, spanning over 200 years and the abduction of and 4 million African slaves and half a million Indian indentured servants .Her former colonies, mostly in Africa, descended into a proliferation of military coups and widespread bloodshed. By far, the worst act was the installation of Apartheid in South Africa throughout which, by her silence, she acquiesced. .
As head of the Church of England she wears jewelry worth millions-all ‘obtained’ from her empire, most notably the Jewel in the Crown: India.
Let the world remember that the British Empire was built on grand looting and murder. India and a vast array of African countries were the primary casualties. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen!
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine