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January 10, 2023
It was as if the world stopped turning when the queen died. Articles from Mexico to the Philippines mourned the queen and reflected on her influence. Though not under the queen’s reign, Britain has colonized countless countries. As of 2022, there are 14 Commonwealth realms recognizing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The phrase ‘The sun never sets on the British empire’ still rings true today.
But why was it such a big deal for Americans? “It’s not like the president died,” Collins pointed out.
She isn’t the face of America by any means, but her impact reached far past her jurisdiction. America, especially, is fascinated by her.
AP European History and GT American Studies teacher Lauren Javandoost reflects on possible historical reasons for America’s obsession with the queen. “Great Britain has been our ally since the world wars and she took power shortly after World War II, so she has been our ally,” Javandoost said.
The queen had a very public life due to media exposure and the nature of today’s society.
“She’s the most visible [monarch] because she’s less of a political figure, especially in the last decade. We’ve been captivated by her.” The queen’s power diminished with time as Britain leaned more into democracy in establishing a constitutional monarchy. Her absence in politics only further validated her presence as British royalty, as she upheld legacies and brought people together– the real reason the British monarchy still stands.
“[Today] in the United States, Hollywood is our royalty. But before we had Hollywood, Royalty were the celebrities– the people we wanted to emulate,” Javandoost said. Queen Elizabeth did not disappoint in this manner and fully delivered celebrity status, even appearing in movies alongside Paddington the bear and James Bond.
Queen Elizabeth II will not be forgotten– in fact many are begging for the modern Elizabethian age to continue. Though the British empire waned in her years of reign, her spirit and care for the nation did not falter.