Queen By Fate

The role of fate plays a significant role in the lives of people, such as the ascension of Nasser Salah al-Din to the throne of Egypt after the death of his uncle, Asad al-Din Shirkuh, the inauguration of Sultan Fuad I as Sultan of Egypt, the succession of al-Nahhas Basha to Saad Zaghloul, and Anwar Sadat’s rule of Egypt after Abdel Nasser.

The fact of Queen Elizabeth II’s rule was not far from the role of fate. Her father, King George VI, became king accidentally after his brother Edward VIII abdicated the throne less than a year after his inauguration to succeed their father George V, in order to marry the American woman Simpson, who was divorced twice.

Because the King of England is the head of the Church of England, it is not permissible for a Queen to be divorced or previously married, and when the Church rejected his plea to marry his mistress, Wallis Simpson, he did not hesitate to resign and go into self-imposed exile in France to live the life of lovers after his marriage to the American lady. Thus, King George VI, Elizabeth II's father, ascended to the throne, which neither he nor anyone else expected. His younger brother, Edward VIII, was a young man hoping to have children who would take the British throne away from Queen Elizabeth's father.

It was fate that caused the crown to pass from Edward VIII to his brother George VI, who died in his early fifties, to Princess Elizabeth at the age of 26. She was then already the wife of Prince Philip, who changed his religion from Greek Orthodox to Anglican in order to marry her. Because Philip had small financial resources among the royal families, he was not wanted as husband to the future queen.

Because love is more powerful, Philip gave up his Greek and Danish titles as a token of his love for the princess. He also did not invite his three sisters who were married to German leaders due to the British public’s hatred for Germans, as it was not appropriate to include a husband in the royal family with any German connection, a custom that had already been established.

Until World War I, when Germany led the Axis powers, the royal family’s surname was Hanover, represented by Queen Victoria. It was no longer appropriate to keep a German surname in the British royal family, so King George V, grandfather of the late Queen Elizabeth II, issued an order changing the surname to Windsor. As a result, Britain's kings have been quick to respond to popular sentiment and change from within in order to maintain the stability of the empire, on which the sun never sets.

This order established great traditions that have lived in the conscience of the English people since the Normandy invasion by William the Conqueror. These traditions provided the Britons with security, safety, and prosperity, so they left their island to rule the world in the name of the Queen or the King. It is no surprise that the greatest expansion of the empire occurred during Queen Victoria's reign, which lasted sixty-three years and was only surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II's reign, which lasted seventy years and saw tremendous changes in Britain and the world.

Most of the former British Empire's countries have gained independence, though they remain in a tenuous association with Britain known as the Commonwealth. I believe it was Queen Elizabeth II's desire to dismantle the empire. Change took place gradually, particularly that the colonial era was over, and the winds of change had blown all over the world with the sunset of the British Victorian era and the rise of the American era. As a result, the late Queen preferred to submit to the law of change albeit gradually, especially with the communications revolution, genetic engineering, the information revolution, the fading of the Soviet Union, and finally the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the total closure of people's lives.

The Queen, on the other hand, was not far from popular sentiments because she was raised in an ancient royal family and inherited the love of the homeland. Queen Elizabeth learned from her father to cling to the land and the people. He refused to move the royal family from London during the Second World War, in support of the steadfastness of the home front. Despite the brutal German raids on London and the royal family's advice to leave London, they did not comply. On the contrary, they volunteered in hospitals to treat the wounded and console those whose homes had been destroyed during the war. The royal princesses, led by their mother, the Queen Mother, would visit the affected areas, collect donations for the war effort, visit the armed forces and their families, gain experience in managing the country's affairs, and deal with the political heroes of the time, led by Winston Churchill, who would be Queen Elizabeth II's first prime minister.

Throughout her seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated wisdom and a keen interest in royal traditions, to the point that she carried out her duties with her last breath. She appointed the most recent Prime Minister two days before her death, demonstrating the royal family's eagerness to work until the end to be Britain's last legend. Goodbye, Queen by Fate!