The World Mourns the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was the second longest reigning monarch (70 years) after King Louis XVI of France (72 years), and as such, Queen Elizabeth II oversaw an era of deep technological and societal shifts.

Queen Elizabeth II

For one, she is often regarded as the first British Monarch to openly grant self-determination to her colonies.

Under her rule, many parts of the British Empire either became independent, mostly as republics, or independent under her rule.

Those that became republics or part of other republics as well as part of other monarchies while under her rule include:

  1. Pakistan (included Bangladesh and small parts of India originally; 1956)
  2. Gold Coast/Ghana (1960)
  3. Cyprus (includes/included Northern Cyprus too; 1960)
  4. South Africa (1961)
  5. Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania; 1962; became Tanzania later)
  6. Nigeria (1963)
  7. Uganda (1963)
  8. Malaysia (included Singapore; 1963)
  9. Kenya (1964)
  10. Nyasaland/Malawi (1966)
  11. Basutoland/Lesotho (1966)
  12. Guyana (1970)
  13. The Gambia (1970)
  14. Sierra Leone (1971)
  15. Ceylon/Sri Lanka (1972)
  16. Malta (1974)
  17. Seychelles (1976)
  18. Trinidad and Tobago (1976)
  19. Dominica (1978)
  20. Gilbert Islands, and the Canton and Enderbury Islands/Kiribati (Canton and Enderbury Islands were a condominium between the USA and the UK; 1979)
  21. Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (1970 and 1980)
  22. New Hebrides/Vanuatu (previously a condominium between France and the UK; 1980)
  23. Fiji (1987)
  24. Mauritius (1992)
  25. Hong Kong (became part of the People’s Republic of China; 1997)
  26. Barbados (2021)

In addition to these, there were others as well, such as those who were protectorates/mandates of the British Empire that achieved independence under Queen Elizabeth II. These include:

  1. Jammu and Kashmir (1952; became part of India, and now disputed between India, Pakistan, and the People’s Republic of China)
  2. Suez Canal (became part of Egypt; 1956)
  3. Sudan (condominium between Egypt and the UK and included South Sudan; 1956)
  4. Somaliland (1960; became part of Somalia and then claimed independence again later)
  5. South West Africa/Namibia (became a protectorate of independent South Africa and became independent later; 1961)
  6. British Cameroon (1961; Northern part became part of Nigeria and Southern part became part of Cameroon and now some there claim independence as Ambazonia)
  7. Western Samoa/Samoa (1961)
  8. Kuwait (1961)
  9. Zanzibar (1963; became part of Tanzania later)
  10. Northern Rhodesia/Zambia (1964)
  11. Maldives (1965)
  12. Bechuanaland/Botswana (1966)
  13. South Arabia/South Yemen (1967; became part of Yemen later, and now some claim independence as South Yemen)
  14. Swaziland/Eswatini (1968)
  15. Nauru (was a condominium between New Zealand, Australia, and the UK; 1968)
  16. Tonga (1970)
  17. Muscat and Oman/Oman (1970)
  18. Bahrain (1970)
  19. Qatar (1971)
  20. Trucial States/United Arab Emirates (1971)
  21. Trucial States/Ras Al-Khaimah (1971; became part of the United Arab Emirates in 1972)
  22. Brunei Darussalam (1984)

In addition to all of these sovereignty changes, under Queen Elizabeth II’s rule, many countries gained their full and formal independence from the UK, but kept her as their Queen of their respective countries. These include:

  1. Jamaica (1962)
  2. The Bahamas (1973)
  3. Grenada (1974)
  4. Papua New Guinea (1975)
  5. Solomon Islands (1978)
  6. Tuvalu (1978)
  7. Saint Lucia (1979)
  8. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979)
  9. Belize (1981)
  10. Antigua and Barbuda (1981)
  11. Canada (1982)
  12. Saint Christopher and Nevis (1983)
  13. Australia (1986)
  14. New Zealand (1986)
The signing of the Canada Act (1982)

There are more states that did this originally including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Pakistan, but these states were included in the previous sections because they later got rid of the Queen as their head of state altogether. It is also important to note that some of these countries achieved independence via other realms such that Samoa achieved independence through New Zealand and Papua New Guinea achieved independence through Australia, and then Nauru achieved independence through Australia, New Zealand, and the UK via a condominium, but in reality, the UK controlled the sovereignty over all of these realms at the time so technically, the UK was still in charge.

Through these many changes, the world began to know Queen Elizabeth II as a monarch against total control and one completely seeking commonwealths, or in other words, one who seeks to govern for the people and by the people, not merely as an autocrat.

Therefore, many of these countries and the countries she had continued to rule had become proper democracies, some under a constitutional monarch, and others under a republic.

Henceforth, the Commonwealth of Nations and various institutions like the Commonwealth Games would become marquee institutions under Queen Elizabeth II’s tutelage. She would become the ceremonial leader of both. These institutions had begun in 1926/1931/1949 and 1930 respectively, but they would really come to full fruition and become a defining characteristic of these former British lands under Queen Elizabeth II.

Today, the Commonwealth of Nations include:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Australia
  3. The Bahamas
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Barbados
  6. Belize
  7. Botswana
  8. Brunei Darussalam
  9. Cameroon
  10. Canada
  11. Cyprus
  12. Dominica
  13. Eswatini
  14. Fiji
  15. Gabon
  16. The Gambia
  17. Ghana
  18. Grenada
  19. Guyana
  20. India
  21. Jamaica
  22. Kenya
  23. Kiribati
  24. Lesotho
  25. Malawi
  26. Malaysia
  27. Maldives
  28. Malta
  29. Mauritius
  30. Mozambique
  31. Namibia
  32. Nauru
  33. New Zealand
  34. Nigeria
  35. Pakistan
  36. Papua New Guinea
  37. Rwanda
  38. Saint Christopher and Nevis
  39. Saint Lucia
  40. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  41. Samoa
  42. Seychelles
  43. Sierra Leone
  44. Singapore
  45. Solomon Islands
  46. South Africa
  47. Sri Lanka
  48. Tanzania
  49. Togo
  50. Tonga
  51. Trinidad and Tobago
  52. Tuvalu
  53. Uganda
  54. United Kingdom
  55. Vanuatu
  56. Zambia
Blue are current members and orange are former members.
Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations

And the Commonwealth Games includes these nations and some dependencies too:

  1. Bermuda (UK)
  2. British Virgin Islands (UK)
  3. Cayman Islands (UK)
  4. Cook Islands (New Zealand)
  5. Falkland Islands (UK)
  6. Gibraltar (UK)
  7. Guernsey (UK responsibility)
  8. Isle of Man (UK responsibility)
  9. Jersey (UK responsibility)
  10. Montserrat (UK)
  11. Niue (New Zealand)
  12. Norfolk Islands (Australia)
  13. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK)
  14. Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)

Notes: Gabon and Togo have yet to compete. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland compete separately instead of the United Kingdom.

Commonwealth Sports Logo

It is via these many institutions that Queen Elizabeth II cemented her influence around the globe even where her kingdoms no longer ruled. 

But, it was her ability to continue with the times as technology changed and society itself changed.

Queen Elizabeth II would embrace computers, cell phones, television, and more. 

Her coronation in 1953 was the first British coronation to appear on television

She possessed a special cell phone with the latest and greatest MI6 approved anti-hacking systems

And when it came to computers and social media, Queen Elizabeth II embraced all sorts of new trends from becoming one of the first people to send an email in 1976, to using Twitter and Instagram, and even filming 3D messages.

These technological shifts by Queen Elizabeth II helped the United Kingdom and her other realms to embrace technology too. 

For example, Niue, a free association state of New Zealand, was the first nation to have full free WIFI in 2012.

Flag of Niue

But she also upheld many traditions. 

For example, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was said in a Liturgy dating back to King Edgar at Bath in 973.

As the world became more secular, and even as the various religious institutions embraced more progressive ideologies, her Anglican Church most notably, she also kept true to her religion and embraced both the Episcopal Church of England as its head (Supreme Governor) and the Calvinist and Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In addition to these, she helped solidify and preserve religious freedom across her domains and elsewhere. 

And even politically, she kept onto traditions such that Sark in Guernsey, a Crown Dependency for which the UK is responsible, was the last area of the world to abolish feudalism. Still, some abnormal rules persist such as no cars and no lights at dark.

Queen Elizabeth II most of all appeared to desire a style of rule that embraced modernity, but kept tradition. Her idea was that institutions needed to evolve with time, but not end.

And these ideas are what we saw most of all during her reign as the British Empire evolved into a democracy across the board, and as such, certain lands would be lost under Queen Elizabeth II, while others would be re-classified like those of the Commonwealth Realms, and others would be kept should they desire like the Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland. 

These embraces of democracy are what guided Queen Elizabeth II to strive for neutrality in an ever polarizing partisan world in order to create a unifying institution and a stable part of governance. And it also allowed her to display strength when needed such as in the Australian political scandal of 1975 when Queen Elizabeth II stuck by her Governor-General, and in the Falklands War a decade later when Queen Elizabeth II stuck by the Falkland Islanders in their democratic goal to stay British via armed defense and the military

Now, the powers of the Monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth Realms passes to a king, King Charles III, Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son at 73 years of age. 

As such, King Charles III has become king of the following sovereign-states and dependencies:

  1. United Kingdom
    1. Gibraltar
    2. Bermuda
    3. Turks and Caicos Islands
    4. British Virgin Islands
    5. Cayman Islands
    6. Anguilla
    7. Montserrat
    8. Akrotiri and Dhekelia
    9. Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
    10. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
    11. Falkland Islands
    12. British Indian Ocean Territory
    13. South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
    14. British Antarctic Territory
      1. Guernsey (responsibility)
      2. Jersey (responsibility)
      3. Isle of Man (responsibility)
  2. Australia
    1. Ashmore and Cartier Islands
    2. Christmas Island
    3. Cocos (Keeling) Island
    4. Norfolk Island
    5. Coral Sea Islands
    6. Heard Island and McDonald Islands
    7. Australian Antarctic Territory
  3. New Zealand
    1. Ross Dependency
    2. Tokelau
    3. Cook Islands
    4. Niue
  4. Cananda
  5. The Bahamas
  6. Belize
  7. Jamaica
  8. Antigua and Barbuda
  9. Saint Christopher and Nevis
  10. Saint Lucia
  11. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  12. Grenada
  13. Papua New Guinea
  14. Solomon Islands
  15. Tuvalu
Current Commonwealth Realm independent countries in blue, and dependencies in light blue.

Furthermore, King Charles III is now the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and thus a leader of Anglicans worldwide. 

It is highly likely that King Charles III will be well-prepared for this role because he is the longest serving heir apparent to the throne and the oldest successor to the throne in British history! So, he has had a long time as number two to practice and study for this moment. 

King Charles III

But, King Charles III is not quite as popular as Queen Elizabeth II was and therefore, the first order of business might be to start working on how to secure more support in places like Jamaica where the republican movement is strong. Even in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the King’s lack of support might push the republican movements further, especially as there is no longer a woman in charge and the indigenous movements in these latter have greatly shot off. New Zealand is already starting to embrace new flags and a new name for example. 

So, while Queen Elizabeth II was able to hold onto so much power for so long, King Charles III will be in an uphill battle. In terms of overall territories, King Charles III should retain many more proportionally. But, in terms of popularity and the longevity of the monarchy, King Charles III will have to change the hearts and minds of his kingdoms to enshrine his successors’ rule.


Published by CK 22

I like history, politics, foreign diplomacy, sports, and more. Basically, the most popular things, plus also geography.

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