Millions of subjects—many of them rebellious—were left behind when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952. Her death today causes complex emotions, including wrath, throughout the erstwhile colonies of the British Empire.
In addition to the formal condolences honouring the queen’s longevity and devotion, there is some resentment against the past in places like Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and other places. The topic of colonialism’s aftereffects has come up, including slavery, physical abuse in African classrooms, and looted items kept in British institutions. Throughout her seven decades on the throne, the queen came to stand for many people for all of those things.
A lawyer named Alice Mugo posted a picture of a faded paper from 1956 online in Kenya, the country where young Elizabeth learnt of her father’s passing and her massive new duty as queen decades ago. It was published four years into the reign of the queen, and well into Britain’s brutal retaliation against the Mau Mau insurrection against colonial power.
However, the departing president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, whose father, Jomo Kenyatta, was imprisoned during the queen’s authority before becoming the nation’s first president in 1964, chose to ignore the history, as did other African leaders.
In addition to a string of Caribbean islands and nations along the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, Elizabeth’s reign saw the hard-won independence of African nations from Ghana to Zimbabwe.
According to some historians, she served as a monarch who oversaw the Commonwealth’s voluntary union of 56 countries with shared linguistic and historical heritage. This transition from empire to the Commonwealth was largely peaceful. She was, however, also a representation of a country that frequently trampled on the people it oppressed.
“This commonwealth of nations, that wealth belongs to England. That wealth is something never shared in,” the National Council on Reparations in Jamaica member Bert Samuels remarked.
In the Middle East, where many people still blame Britain for colonial efforts that drew many of the region’s borders and provided the impetus for many of its current problems, there were few indications of public sorrow or even interest in her passing. The Hamas rulers in Gaza urged King Charles III to “correct” British mandate decisions that they said disadvantaged Palestinians on Saturday.
India is redoubling its attempts to do rid of colonial names and emblems under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The nation has advanced for a long time, even surpassing the size of the British economy.