So, What’s the Deal With the Queen?

Queen Elizabeth II of England has been a frequent name to appear in the news over the last several months — here’s what you should know.

Abbie Kraemer, Writer

If you’ve been online in the past few weeks, chances are you’ve seen the Queen of England come up in conversation. As a generally beloved public figure who is approaching her ninety-sixth birthday this coming April, it’s reasonable for people to be at least a little concerned when Queen Elizabeth’s name comes up in the news. However, with how much of a hot topic the Queen has become as of late, it comes time to ask — what’s the deal?

Public concern for the Queen began in mid-October, when she suddenly canceled a planned trip to Northern Ireland, citing health concerns which warranted an overnight stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London. This began a period of rest for the Queen in which she was excused from usual royal duties and appearances. About a month later in mid-November, the Queen was announced to miss her appearance at a ceremony for the nation’s Remembrance Day, a day meant to honor those lost in war, due to a sprained back. This caused additional public concern for Queen Elizabeth’s general health, sparking mass discussions online about her wellbeing and the possibility of a future for Britain without her.

If you were to ask my opinion, I would agree with the Queen’s cryptic quote about her recent health that stirred quite a discussion on social media; “Nobody can stop the passage of time.” Queen Elizabeth is already 95 years old, and even the world’s best healthcare can only do so much to prevent the inevitable. Most people, experts, and observers alike agree that from now on, the Queen will likely be taking a much more removed approach to royal duties due to her age. While the future isn’t certain for Queen Elizabeth, many are anxiously watching for any news on Her Highness’s health and status.

However, the Queen’s name has also come up in recent political discussions in relation to her rule over other nations, in this case, Barbados. This Caribbean island nation recently formally removed Queen Elizabeth as their head of state and has established their first president, Dame Sanda Mason, a former attorney, diplomat, and Governor-General of Barbados. Since the nation gained independence from the British Empire in 1966, it had been ruled as an independent commonwealth nation under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II. However, with its recent election of Governor-General Mason as Barbados’s first president on October 20th and her taking office on November 30th, the Queen has effectively been removed as head of state, and Barbados has officially established itself as a republic. A ceremony was hosted in the nation’s capital of Bridgetown and was attended by celebrity and Barbados native Rhianna, as well as Prince Charles of Wales. The Queen herself wished the republic “happiness, peace, and prosperity of the future.”