By Bridie Strowe-Bolger ’24
Queen Elizabeth II will always be remembered as the Queen of England, but the quality of her 70 years on the throne is still hotly debated. I will always remember where I was when I heard the news: the Field, crowded by new freshies, frolicking in the freshly cut grass, playing activities like volleyball and bocce. The news spread rapidly. Avery Warren, ‘24, joined by Jo Wimler, ‘24, shouted from the corner for all to hear, “The Queen died! The Queen died!”
FGS reactions weren’t nearly as enflamed as those on other ends of the globe. The Irish, who endured centuries of bias from the British after the atrocities committed against them by Oliver Cromwell and other British leaders, were seen chanting, “Lizzie’s in a box! Lizzie’s in a box! Oh! Lizzie’s in a box!” on repeat to the melody of “Give It Up” by KC.
African nations have had mixed reactions to the news. Some leaders, like President Elect of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto, have praised the woman’s leadership of the Commonwealth. “She steered the institution’s evolution into a forum for effective multilateral engagement whose potential to drive tremendous socioeconomic progress remain incontestable and redounds to the Queen’s historic legacy,” stated Ruto in his September 8th tweet.
Australia, a former British colony (independence est. 1986), mourns the Queen’s death by issuing moving statements from national leaders and officializing an annual national holiday to remember the Queen.
Jamaica, a former colony, remains part of the British Commonwealth and mourns the Queen’s loss throughout higher levels of the state. Jamaican citizens, however, feel hopeful for their long awaited true independence.
In the midst of this global event, we are reminded of how the sun once “never set” on the British Empire. Some are saddened, some remain neutral, some rejoice.
Queen Elizabeth II’s death will go down in history. As one of the most influential individuals known in global culture, her legacy remains complicated by the diversity of reactions around the world.