By Nadia Johnson
The End of the Second Elizabethan Era
By Nadia Johnson
It is with great sadness and disbelief that I report the recent passing of the late great Queen Elizabeth the II of Great Britain. I am an American, who is a person of color, that has taken out time to mourn this great woman. Even though there has been talk that people of color should not mourn her, because of the colonial past of her country. Queen Elizabeth II not only deserves our respect, grief, but also our thanks. It is with her death that symbolizes the end of the second Elizabethan era, but before we get into what both happened and was accomplish during the second Elizabethan era we are going to look at the first Elizabethan era.
The first Elizabethan era, which started in 1558 – 1603 was named after Queen Elizabeth I who was the daughter of the famous King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. This period was also called the Golden Age of Britain. The reasons for that is because it brought Protestantism to both the world and Britain as a world religion, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, which was sent by Spain to reinstate Catholicism in Britain, who can forget William Shakespeare who’s plays are still performed to this very day, and last but not least it marked an age of exploration, commerce, flourishing in the arts, the union of the crowns, which was when England and Scotland become one, and the rise of England as a superpower.
Now fast forward some five hundred years into the future and we get the second Elizabethan era. The second Elizabethan era started in 1953-2022. Just like the first era of its namesake this one was marked not only by commerce, but the rapid technological expansion, sociopolitical changes, the decolonization and loss of the Britain Empire. Even with these losses there were important gains in the monarch, for instance, Queen Elizabeth II was the first monarch to have her coronation televised to both Britain and the world. She also saw the need to be a more accessible monarch for her people. This was a lesson she learned during the painful time when Princess Diana dubbed “the People’s Princess” died in a car accident some twenty-five years ago. When she came down to her people from Balmoral and gave a speech as not just as their monarch, but also as a grandmother, who know had the hard task of helping her son raise her two grandsons who just lost their mother. This was not the only change the Queen saw in her seventy-year reign. Her reign was also marked by famous and influential political figures that showed how the monarchy changing with the times.
Her first and probably most famous Prime Minister was Winston Churchill, who was the one monarchist. He viewed the monarchy as being traditional, imperialist, and staunchly. It was also Churchill, who tutored the young Queen Elizabeth II on how the complexities of the law, practices, and politics of constitutional monarchy benefited all who live in the many countries under her sovereignty. However, as times moved on so did how politicians viewed the monarchy.
By the 1980s Margaret Thatcher who was Great Britain’s first female Prime Minister brought change to the government, by dismantling of the postwar welfare state and emphasizing a neoliberal free market, tax cuts, and individualism. One can say that the second Elizabethan era was also define by the queen’s sense of duty before self-moto. She reigned much like her name sake over an age of commerce, exploration and new discovery. While also seeing the geopolitical, commercial, and cultural factors changes. Even thou, Liz Truss was the Queen second female Prime Minister, we cannot say what their relationship would have been like or what accomplishments they would have achieved as two women in power. Since she died the same week that she both meet and confirm Truss as Prime Minister. So with that being said Prime Minister Truss official term will start under the new monarch King Charles III.
In the end, she served her people with an unmatched forms of dedication, grace, nobility, compassion, understanding and wit that I don’t like we will see again for a long time.
And just like that, we have a new king, King Charles III who we know own our loyalty, respect and condolences. For the shoes his know late mother has left will be big the fill, but I think with God’s help he will do her pride.