Student’s react to Royal Family and Queen Elizabeth’s death
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
The death of Queen Elizabeth II took the world by storm last Thursday, September 8th.
“This is a political figure that has been around for decades, before I was alive and before my parents were alive,” said SCSU Democrats Vice President of , Nate Gross.
According to royal.uk, Queen Elizabeth reigned for almost 71 years. This makes her the longest reigning British monarch of all time.
Many were devastated by the loss of someone who reigned for many decades. Most people had never been alive during a time that wasn’t under Queen Elizabeth’s rule.
However, the reactions to her death were very mixed. For many, this was an opportunity to bring awareness to the problems within the monarchy.
A senior Scottish exchange student at the university, Nicole Harkness, said, “It is completely corrupt; there’s racism. They have covered up sexual assault.”
This refers to the controversies surrounding the Royal Family. The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has recently loosened ties with the Royal Family because of poor treatment and alleged racist remarks. The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, had spent millions on a settlement involving his ties with Jeffrey Epstein.
Markle’s rocky relationship with the Royal family has brought about comparisons to the late Princess Diana of Wales. There is a divide between fans of Markle and Diana and those who feel loyal towards the Royal Family.
“Growing up, I definitely preferred Princess Diana,” said Harkness. “I know there’s a lot of controversy around that.”
Diana’s tragic death led to a lot of rumors involving unethical practices going on within the Royal Family. Many felt that the timing of Diana’s death was suspicious. Even before her divorce from who is now King Charles III, she had been seen as not royal enough.
Harkness has experienced this split within her home in the UK.
“There’s definitely a split, there are people who worship the queen and think she is the greatest thing on earth,” said Harkness. “The other half is people who don’t really look up to her that much.”
The Royal Family has much more power than many seem to know. Their key role, politically, is diplomacy. They are the ones to welcome world leaders to the UK. According to royal.uk, Queen Elizabeth had welcomed over 100 presidents and prime ministers.
“They don’t have a huge impact on policy,” said The President of SCSU Republicans, Madelyn Dean. “But they do have public influence, which I think is underrated.”
There has been debate that this should finally be the opportunity for the monarchy to end for good. Many view it as outdated, as it is leaders who exist purely because of the family that they were born into.
“That money could be put towards other things like homelessness and helping people with drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” said Harkness.
Harkness is not alone in this opinion. Many have been calling for reform, especially in a time where people in the UK are worried about upcoming economic issues.
However, Americans have been having a tough time determining how another country should go about their government.
“As an American, I support democratically elected heads of the State,” said Gross. “As it pertains to the UK, I don’t think it’s my say-to-say what kind of government they should have.”
It is difficult to know what course of action would be best for a place like the UK, which has rapidly changed leadership in the past month. Just two days before Queen Elizabeth’s death, the UK had appointed new Prime Minister Liz Truss.
When asked about the new King Charles Dean said, “He’s going to follow a lot in Elizabeth’s footsteps, there won’t be any abrupt changes.”
Since he is the successor to the long reign of his mother, many people have felt comforted that he will carry on Elizabeth’s legacy.
Liz Truss is from the Conservative Party that the three prime ministers before her were also leaders of. This being Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron. Truss’ leadership will not be a drastic change to UK politics.
“King Charles is very interested in environmental issues,” said Gross. “With a conservative government, like Liz Truss’s, he might be able to make an impact”
Many have recognized the possible benefits of the split of powers in the UK. The Royal Family focuses on representation and diplomacy. The Prime Minister and Parliament focus on legislation.
“That person can focus on their role without having to smile and wave at all the cameras,” said Dean.