Queen Elizabeth II is dead: long live her example!

DGermany mourns Elizabeth IIas if she had been our queen too. This is not only due to the German roots of the Windsors, which are no longer known to many, and which bore the house name “Sachse-Coburg-Gotha” until the First World War. The Queen won over the Germans with virtues that are now rightly honored in all obituaries: sense of duty, decency, impartiality, poise. And with her humor, which she still showed in old age, which she must have inherited from her English ancestors.

The queen as a bracket

In Germany, too, it is known that the monarch has hardly any power in the British political system. He must make Prime Minister whoever the strongest party sends him and say what he writes down. The king does not interfere in the dispute between the parties. To this day, the public does not know how Elisabeth felt about Brexit. She shouldn’t have revealed that either.

The queen was the bracket that no longer held her quite a few kingdoms together, in which she personified the things that connected her. During the seven decades of her reign, Elizabeth always demonstrated that the “common ground” is greater than anything that separates the inhabitants of her kingdom. This task has not become any easier because of the centrifugal forces also pulling on Britain. She is now waiting for Charles III.

Germany is indebted to Elisabeth for her commitment to reconciliation after the Second World War. That was not a matter of course. She experienced the “Blitz” and the fear of a German invasion as a teenager. She watched as war-ravaged Britain lost her position as a world power. That hurts the nation to this day. Elisabeth, however, did not quarrel with the fact that her empire shrank after the war started by the Germans, but applied balm to the wound. She would never have said that the collapse of the empire was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.

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