Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 1.23 PM IST

As Queen Elizabeth bids adieu


The death of Queen Elizabeth, who was on the British throne for seventy years, is also the end of an era. Another queen who has achieved such worldwide popularity is perhaps rare in history. She lived with the dignity and prestige of the royal palace and is always an example for world leaders and people. She had warm relations with India and its rulers from Nehru to Modi. They got married in 1947 when India got independence. As the British Queen, Her Majesty visited India three times-1961, 83 and 97. During her last visit, she had also reached Kochi. On all occasions when they visited India, the fact that many people eagerly waited for them on the roadsides can be taken as a proof of the untainted love of the common people here. The words she recorded after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar were very relevant. They opined that Jallianwala Bagh is an indelible mark of the sad events that took place between the two countries in the past. They bowed their heads at the memorial and offered a wreath and prayed silently.

She was seen as a cult icon not only by the British but by the vast majority of people around the world. It is remarkable that not even a single act to tarnish that image has come from them in public or private life during this long period. She has also overseen the accession of 15 Prime Ministers in Britain over the past 70 years, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, who took office in recent days. She witnessed many historic events in the world during her seven decades on the British throne before she passed away at the age of 96. These include the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy, the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was very close to her, the death of Princess Diana, which ignited controversy, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the September 11 attacks, Brexit, when Britain became a part of the European Union, and the Covid pandemic that spread all over the world. She became the queen after the death of her father, King George VI. She became queen on February 6, 1952, but the coronation ceremony took place a year later. Biographers have noted that she arrived in Kenya on a tour with her husband, Prince Philip, and went up to the treetop cottage as a member of the royal family and came down as a queen. They were in a resort in Kenya when their father passed away. A plaque has been placed there that records the day Queen Elizabeth stayed at the cottage.

The then Indian Prime Minister Nehru was also present at Queen Elizabeth's coronation ceremony. After becoming the Prime Minister, Modi, who visited London, was received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace with a handshake without gloves, and the media considered it a great honor. Usually, the Queen shakes hands without wearing gloves only with American presidents.

The queen's outfits would be judged and written about by experts in the world of fashion all over the world. She had a commendable fashion sense. The hat worn by the queen on various occasions has also created waves in the fashion world.

News of the queen's deteriorating health came hours after the picture of her welcoming the new Prime Minister of England appeared in the media. Their demise took place in the palace of Balmora in the presence of royal family members. His son Charles becomes the new king. Elizabeth becomes queen at the age of twenty-three. Charles becomes king at the age of 73. When Charles becomes king, his eldest son William becomes crown prince.

His decisions to tax his private property and open Buckingham Palace to the public brought her closer to the people during the days of Britain's economic crisis.

The queen kept the handkerchief given by Mahatma Gandhi as a wedding gift as one of her golden treasures. In his condolence message, Prime Minister Modi has mentioned that the queen showed this handkerchief to him during one of the meetings. Time magazine has featured the Queen's face as a cover image several times. Queen Elizabeth kept a close eye on the political changes and major events of each country, especially the Commonwealth countries. She did not hesitate to share their understandings in these matters in meetings with the rulers of various countries. After serving for a long time on the throne of Britain, her demise also marks the end of a great era.

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