Fare thee well, Queen Elizabeth II

Today, the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, who passed on September 8, 2022, goes home.

Interestingly, it is said that the Queen’s funeral is the first state funeral in the United Kingdom since 1965 when that of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill was held.

If it happens as reported, another interesting related event will be a special funeral of the Queen to be held by the Ghanaian community in the UK on the Conel High Road, Tottenham, London, from 1 p.m.

Who is the woman called Queen Elizabeth II whom almost the whole world wants to be part of the history connected to even her death?

For Ghanaians, if nothing at all, there should be one reason to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II.

From November 9-20, 1961, Queen Elizabeth visited the Republic of Ghana and during her tour, she danced with Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah at a farewell ball in Accra.

 According to The New York Times, Queen Elizabeth’s dance with a Black man outraged many racists both in her own kingdom and the larger Commonwealth, but the queen was resolute in her support of equality for all men.

She is said to use that dance as a springboard to work behind the scenes to get the Commonwealth to condemn South Africa’s apartheid system.

Her effort was, however, stymied by her own prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Even before ascending the throne in 1952 and reign for 70 years to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history that the world knows today, Princess Elizabeth had expressed love for her country.

No wonder in spite of her parents’ protest for her not to have anything to do with World War II, Princess Elizabeth forced to be allowed in 1945 to join the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Service (ATS), and trained as an auto mechanic.

Even though members of the ATS did not take combat role, they still faced risks asat least 335 of them were killed during theworld wars.

As Queen, she was the head of state, yet she is not recorded anywhere as having opposed political decisions, not even those challenging her authority such as the one by Prime Minister Thatcher.

She was such a politically neutral leader in spite of the influence she wielded.

She is credited with bringing stability to the monarchy and to her country.

As the Britain was rebounding from the war, she, barely 26 years old, had to take the crown and with her steady, calm approach to her new role, she gave the nation exactly what was needed as it emerged from a particularly chaotic period.

The British Empire held 57* but at the time of her crowning, the Commonwealth had eight member states; today there are 54.

Among other achievements, she reformed the monarchy’s finances in order to deal with criticism that it was expensive.

She ensured the traditional tax waiver was lifted in the 1990s, and in 1992, the Queen volunteered to pay income tax and capital gains tax, and since 1993 her personal income has been taxable as for any other taxpayer.

Queen Elizabeth supported more than 600 charities in Britain and nearly 3,000 charities around the world and she was careful to pass her patronage on to other family members to ensure that these charities would always have the backing of the monarchy.

As the Queen goes home today, the world must trace her leadership history and take lessons to improve humanity.

Fare thee well, Queen Elizabeth II!

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