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Queen Elizabeth II: End of an Era!

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Adamu Muhammad Hamid PhD

It was indeed a heavy tragedy for the United Kingdom as Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, September 8, 2022. Since her death, thousands of mourners have been trooping till now to Buckingham palace in London to pay her last respect and tributes also poured in from world leaders.

Queen Elizabeth was the Queen of the United Kingdom, the longest serving UK Monarch and other commonwealth realms from February 1952 until her death in 2022. She had a husband, Prince Philips and four (4) children. One of the greatest legacies of the monarch is the commonwealth, which is a group of states that includes the UK.

Until her death, she was the head of the Commonwealth. She assumed the leadership on ascending the throne as Queen in 1952 at the age of 26. She nurtured the commonwealth from an initial association of 12 states until it reached 56 states, and the custom holding members together are shared traditions, institutions and experiences as well as economic self-interest with its headquarters in London. The commonwealth foundation supports people’s participation in democracy and development, while the commonwealth of learning promotes open learning and distance education.

Nigeria which is often referred to as the Giant of Africa joined the commonwealth in October 1960 after being granted independence by the British under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at the tender age of 34. Since then, she has been regarded as queen all over Nigeria, as she was the head of state for three years. She visited Nigeria in 1956 for twenty (20) days and the places she visited got historic importance, and in 2003 when her country hosted the commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM).

The death of Queen Elizabeth II is the end of an era and its impact is not limited to just her home from where colonialism did a global tour. Her death will definitely have an impact on many things in Britain from the nation’s Anthem to its Banknotes amongst others.

By extension, the death of Queen Elizabeth would have an impact on Nigeria which will begin to unfold with time. Just recent, a serial presidential aspirant is already suggesting that “in order to immortalize Queen Elizabeth, the University of Nigeria NSUKA should be renamed to Queen Elizabeth University since it’s the first university in Nigeria”.

 The demise of Queen Elizabeth will have both positive and negative impacts, but what remains is the fact that its impact will be felt in Nigeria. Part of it is that the United Kingdom might establish a policy in regard to her death and Nigeria being the giant of Africa that was colonized by the British may likely adhere and adapt to it, considering that Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth nations. 

During her reign as the Queen of the United Kingdom, most of the 56 countries that make up the commonwealth gained their independence including many nations on the African continent such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. His Excellency, the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari will no doubt travel soon to the United Kingdom for a condolence visit alongside a huge entourage, which would include the minister of foreign affairs and others. 

The Queen’s death is the end of an era and the dawn of another era as it is predicted that Nigeria and other African countries will gain real sovereignty and not unseen hands over, countries will be released to do better than it was before as a good example is that the presidential candidate must go to the UK to fulfil some course of action before proceeding to become the President.

The change of monarch’s impact on Nigeria will be hazy, as it will be difficult to determine whether it will affect the existing relationship between UK and Nigeria. On her part as the Queen of England, her commitment to Nigeria’s independence was an indicator that she was concerned so much about Nigeria and it is expected that the new King Charles will strengthen and deepen the relationship.

Some Africans, though, feel less concerned about the death of the Queen as it is claimed that her death is just a reminder of the tragic moment Africa faced because of her, how Nigeria’s resources were exploited and little was returned, how gold, diamond and historical monuments were carted away by the British to better their own country.

Queen Elizabeth II has left a lot of legacies to be remembered for, such as the commonwealth which she natured carefully. The big question is what will King Charles’ era as the monarch of the United Kingdom look like?

As the saying goes, one chapter closes and another opens. Now that Queen Elizabeth is dead, it is obvious that her oldest son Prince Charles takes over as the new King of the United Kingdom.

King Charles Philip George was born in Buckingham palace on the 14th of November 1948. He had a lovely wife Princess Diana and had her two (2) children. The marriage broke and Princess Diana died in a car accident in the 90s. Later he got married to Camela Bowls, who is still his wife. He is a shy and highly reserved person, a sensitive soul in one description.

It is expected that King Charles’ reign would be a continuation of that of his mother but obviously, he cannot carry on in exactly the same way as his mother as his reign will have a different focus considering his personality even though the difference in reign would not be much as he will be very careful. He is used to leadership and statesmanship affairs and mostly represented the Queen at commonwealth functions.

Considering that he is not as popular as the late Queen, he still has a large size of the public that he needs to win over their support as he is ready for a group conversation about change.

However, it would be a little bit difficult for him to blend into the reality of being a monarch as he is someone used to speaking out on issues that are of public interest. He will no longer have strong opinions on the public, definitely, his lifestyle will need a change because the public will not want a monarch that will be campaigning, and due to that he needs to be less outspoken.

The assumption of the throne by King Charles as the King of the United Kingdom is not, of course, a guarantee that he will assume the head of the commonwealth since its succession is not hereditary. It is equally not a guarantee that Britain will change its trade policy with Nigeria to make it mutually beneficial to both countries.

Commonwealth is meant to help achieve development, democracy and peace, and to promote justice and human right. However, it is also heard that some commonwealth countries say they need to set their own course as they are not completely satisfied.

Will the bond of commonwealth countries and the relationship get stronger or will it fade, now that Queen Elizabeth II is dead?

Adamu Muhammad Hamid can be contacted via hamidadam00@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect WikkiTimes’ editorial stance.

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