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World's Reaction to Death of Queen Elizabeth II Shows Growing Divide over Role of Monarchy in the Modern Era

Long Live the King - Or Not? World's Reaction to Death of Queen Elizabeth II Shows Growing Divide over Role of Monarchy in the Modern Era

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Sep. 9 2022, Published 12:02 p.m. ET

Yesterday, the Queen of England passed away at the age of 96. Queen Elizabeth II was a fixture in the lives of all British subjects, and a familiar face for the rest of the world.

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But although her passing brought forth no small outpouring of grief, there was another wave of emotion riding alongside her death - relief. The mixed reactions to Queen Elizabeth's passing, and the crowning of King Charles III, shows the growing divide between those who revere the monarchy - and those who loathe it.

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Icon or Criminal? The World's Reactions are Divided

Former President Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social, "may she reign forever in our hearts." Other world leaders wrote words of grief, heartbreaking, and inspiration in the wake of the Queen's passing.

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Average people wept in the streets, and businesses across the UK closed in mourning as news broke that the Queen had died.

But something else rose alongside the grief and tears - relief, joy, and rage. #AbolishtheMonarchy began trending on Twitter, and to those observing it became quickly clear that not all British subjects are happy about the ruling class.

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For many, what the Queen and her family represents is generations of conquest of their native lands, colonization, oppression and a lack of representation. The royal family is often seen as out of touch and racist, sitting on gold many feel they've "wrongfully plundered" from native populations conquered by the British Empire throughout the generations.

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One Twitter user wrote, "Its a sad sight to see more people concerned for the health of 1 person just because it's the Queen, and 0 attention for the 11,400 people due to die in the UK this winter due to fuel poverty. £102m is sent each year to the palace. It's a broken system. #AbolishTheMonarchy."

Another posted, "People will tell you that 'now is not the time to be political'. Thats bulls--t. Now is absolutely the time. The monarchy is the figurehead institution for the idea that some people should live in privilege and rule by right whilst you simply kneel + obey. #AbolishTheMonarchy."

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It's a stark contrast to other messages in the wake of the Queen's death which talk about an icon and British fixture taking with her the end of an era and the start of a new.

Does a Monarchy Have a Place in the Modern Era?

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It all begs the question: is there still room for a King or Queen in the modern era?

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walked away from royal life, the debate raged anew: is it time to abolish the royal family and put all British citizens on an even playing field?

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Here's what would happen if that were to come to pass, per Business Insider:

  • The King would move out of Buckingham Palace, but he would retain his royal residencies.
  • Prince William and Kate would need to find their own financial path forward.
  • Royals in general would need to find their own place in society, and a decision would need to be made about the royal coffers. Many see it as wealth that belongs to the people.
  • International diplomacy with Great Britain would need to be reworked.

But even though there's growing momentum to abolish the royal family's place at the top of British hierarchy, it would take legislation in an act of Parliament then signed by the Sovereign, who has reason not to want to leave the throne.

While the royal family is often considered to be an albatross around the weight of the British people, there are enough who appreciate the pageantry and tradition of it all. A movement achieving abolishing the monarchy is still a way off, with its best chance to succed residing with a future king William or Harry.

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