There is no doubt that the Great Britain empire shaped the global affairs in many facets of human lives, till today. From education, health, transport, sports, just name it, Great Britain plays a vital role in modernizing that sector. Most importantly, was the role of the Royals House, in which Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II played or refused to play. Elizabeth II came to the throne when she was in her mid-twenties and was on the throne for almost seven decades. Despite relegating the Britain Royals by the political system in place, either the Queen or King, still exercise legal responsibilities ascribed to the Royal House by the British unwritten constitution!
Queen Elizabeth came to the throne when the British empire was at its height of declining in all spheres of the empire. It was the time when colonists were agitating for either self- rule or independence from the empire, it is the same story from India, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, it is all independence.
Queen Elizabeth came on the throne at a young age, one reason that makes her more admirable in the colonized World of the former British empire. She came to the throne when the Monarchy was whistled off by its many sovereign powers. Despite that, as a Queen of the Great empire, she played lots of roles in shaping not only the axis of the empire, but their entire globe. As the queen has to always give her blessing to whoever became the Chief Executive of the empire holding companies (the Britain Prime Minister) and surviving or appointing 15 of the Britain CEOs as well as surviving their reign isn’t an easy sailing.
The death of Her Majesty generates lots of talk around the globe. As expected, it was the dominant talk on both traditional and social media. Even here in Yankee land, where they disparage anything royal but Britain Royals. The media was awash with the queen’s stories from birth to death. The only time the Britain Royals received such attention was during Williams’s wedding. It was reported that the entire United States TV media houses were mentioning Britain Royals in every 8 seconds. Yes, every 8 seconds. That was how attached the United States became to the Britain Royal family. Despite castigating and bashing the Royals from the Middle East.
Being the Royal head of the British empire is not an easy task for any human at the particular time Elizabeth II becomes the Queen. At that time, there was anti-colonialism World over, as well as rejection of everything that the empire represents. Thus, brutal repression from the rulers of the empire, of which Queen Elizabeth was one of them. The colonialists did not find it easy or lesser under Queen Elizabeth II. As Andrew Mitrovica writing for Aljazeera put it “… it would be deeply irresponsible and an egregious mistake to avoid acknowledging that the imperial institution Queen Elizabeth II led has caused indelible harm and suffering to so many people, in so many places.” Thus, can someone be humble and supervise an institution that meted harm and cruelty to other people on the basis of their color? The writer went further to quote then Prince Charles and now King Charles III during the last commonwealth head of governments meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The then Prince, who represented the Queen said “I want to acknowledge that the roots of our contemporary association run deep into the most painful period of our history. I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact.”
Queen Elizabeth, as the ceremonial head of the British empire, never admitted or took responsibilities on behalf of the empire she represented for the atrocities, brutality, cruelty, repressions, etc., carried for the establishment and maintaining of the empire. All these crimes against humanity, if not carried out against the colonies, as well as the people of color, the Britain of today will not be in existence.
The draconian laws promulgated in all the British colonies were more than evidence that the British empire was anything but racist. Ironically, those were the same laws Britain and Western World are calling the colonies that hold to such laws as “barbarism!” The laws were meant to uphold the empire expansion as well as sustenance of the Motherland, and at the same time depriving the periphery as well as its citizens. For example, one controversial law that most colonized authoritarian regimes rely heavily to calm down on oppositions is that of requesting permission for protest and or assembly. This law has its origin during the dying time of colonial administration when the colonizers started protesting against the colonizer.
The British empire’s most repressive policies were in Southern African sub-continent, particularly in Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, that is Zimbabwe and South Africa of today respectively (though some countries, like Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, etc., were caped out of these two Rhodesia). The most contentious issue in Southern Africa is that of land grab by the White minorities’ settlers. And other discriminatory policies like in education and health care, transport, agriculture etc. These policies are still subjugating fellow Africans in their country, in favour of the White minorities who own everything that is good in Southern Africa today. According to British The Guardian Newspaper in 2018 reports that South Africa’s 9% of the total population control more than 70% of the country’s farmland!
Despite him being so controversial, we still need to listen to him. That person is no other than the fire brand South African youthful politician, Julius Malema. In a viral social media video going rounds, Malema said “… We did not mourn the death of a Colonizer and a murderer. Who came and killed our people, and she is wearing proudly a stolen goods on her head. We have nothing to do with the Queen. They killed our people. They looted the minerals of Africa. They took them all over Africa… How can she praise colonialism? By mourning and praising the Queen, you’re celebrating colonialism…We were not colonized by the land called Britain, we were colonized by the leadership of Britain. That killed our people. So, we must not be asked to do wrong things here. We are very clear. The Queen does not represent anything good. Britain has got alot of gold, yet they don’t have a single mind of gold. Those are stolen goods. We must talk about reparation; we must talk about the return of the gold; we must talk about the return of the stolen diamonds. And not these other side issues which are not important to us. How can you be oppressed for so many years after liberation we’ve nothing to show that we have been liberated. You have got no land; you have got no bank.” These are serious issues that need the attention of each and every leader and will never die by themselves till when they are addressed by the oppressor, if not, they will continue to follow whoever heads Britain’s monarchy.
There are some people who are arguing that the colonizers need to forget and forge ahead with their lives as nothing happened. This is extremely difficult to do. There was no attempt from the oppressor to apologise as well as settle the issue of reparation. Any time the victim raised the charges against the colonizer, the victim was portrayed as ungrateful! For not thanking the oppressor for giving the victim civilization!
With the history of how the empire conducted itself in the colonies and whatever it had the opportunities of laying its hands on, still fresh in the memory of the victim, the Britain monarchy will always face the same criticism whoever is on the throne or dies. Thus, the victims of the British empire, mourn Elizabeth II, but not the Great Britain Monarchy! As said by Andrew Mitrovica writing for Aljazeera website, that “Queen Elizabeth seemed sweet, the monarchy isn’t. it ought to be abolished.” He went further by saying “the monarchy needs to die too.”
Abdullahi writes from Texas, United States via [email protected]