Queen Elizabeth II Death: A Mourning or Celebration?


By Khiya Derricott
Spectrum Staff Writer

       A 70-year reign has come to an end in the British monarch when Queen Elizabeth II died at 10:10 a.m. ET on September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland. Death often warrants sadness and grief, but many were relieved and celebrated the death of the Queen. While many celebrated other mourned and grief set in across Britain with confusion of why people would disrespect the throne an celebrate her death.

       Despite the flashy entertainment the Royal family provides, it’s not like all of the United Kingdom is in agreeance with the monarchy. A 2021 poll found that 41% of young Britons were in favor of ending the monarchy and having an elected head of state. BBC conducted man-on-the-street interviews the day the queen passed. One British woman cited “British colonial history” and “messy” situations like with Prince Andrew to explain why she really didn’t care that the queen had died.

       Due the colonizing of multiple countries at the hands of the British monarch, people are enraged at the decision they made or lack thereof. With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, many countries are looking at the possibility of being able to cut all ties with the British monarch. Excluding the Royal family, many are grieving and angry at those who celebrate the passing of the Queen.

      There are multiple opinions about the Queens passing, among many of the opinions are that her death is too romanticized in the since that people are depicting her to an all-great ruler and leader. Even though, she was not a bystander to the effects of colonization and colonialism that she inherited and then later practiced. As philosopher and author of Elite Capture Olufemi Taiwo put it, “If the literal Queen of England is not responsible for her decisions or complicity with harmful structures, who is?”

       Countless defensive takes poured onto Twitter, excusing the queen’s decisions, and downplaying her role and power throughout the 20th century into the 21st. The Daily Mail published an article wailing the “woke liberals” who didn’t jump to displays of teary-eyed romanticism the moment she passed. Even celebrities like Elton John and Mick Jagger played into the narrative, only acknowledging the public presence she held in people’s lives.

       “How can you disrespect something whose existence is disrespectful to you?” Teen Vogue news and politics editor Lexi McMenamin mentions in her most recent article about the Queen’s death. But perhaps the structure of the monarch or government wasn’t correct in the first place. The so called “disrespect” was about celebration: That resistance will outlive colonialism and the British Empire, just as countless countries have been doing.