Opinion: Farewell to the Queen – a loss for Britain’s role in the world

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was carried on the streets of London (Image Alliance / AP / James Manning)

The United Kingdom invited the Queen of Britain today. More: Half the world is represented with their heads of state at Westminster Abbey or follow the funeral service live. It was a funeral for preference: the monarchy showed all its splendor and pomp, and two million people lined the streets and parks near the procession.

This overwhelming sympathy demonstrates the great universal appeal of the British monarchy. The country’s burial and memorial services have given everything to present itself globally. The monarchy is a fundamental asset of Britain, and is the most important component of its massive soft power, which includes British schools and universities, popular culture or sports with the English Premier League and Wimbledon.

But the question is: will things go downhill from now on? In the next few days, inflation and energy prices will again dampen the mood in domestic politics. New Prime Minister Liz Truss may decide to escalate the dispute with the European Union over Northern Ireland. In the long run, a second independence referendum in Scotland will be inevitable.

Internationally, Britain’s influence will almost inevitably continue to erode or at least change. The First Nations want to get rid of the British monarchy, and British influence is viewed more critically than ever in the Commonwealth. The queen was able to make up for a lot with her distinguished personality and close contacts – she was a friend of Nelson Mandela. Recent protests against heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate in Jamaica may be repeated elsewhere. More than ever, Britain must come to terms with its colonial past.

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However, British diplomacy will continue to confidently pursue a role more important than what the size of the United Kingdom actually entails. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks on in amazement at Germany, which, on the contrary, is making itself smaller than it ought to be. In Germany, people view fictional British Airways with admiration, but sometimes also with a bit of displeasure. But why don’t the British use the diplomatic means at their disposal? Today, for some unfortunate reason, the country has been the center of global attention. The Queen not only played a prominent domestic role, but was also the greatest asset of British diplomacy. This loss may be particularly poignant for Britain’s role in the world.

Fredbert Maurer

Fredbert MaurerBorn in 1959, he studied German and history in Mainz and Bielefeld, and graduated as a teacher in grammar schools. In 1986/87 he was part of the founding team of the private radio station RPR in Koblenz, then underwent training at Deutschlandfunk in 1988/89. From 1995 to 1999, Maurer worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Bonn, specializing in foreign policy. Until 2015 he was the head of the Zeitfunk department and managed, among other things, “Information in the morning”. Thereafter, Maurer worked as a reporter for Deutschlandradio in London for five years. Since August 2020, he has been the head of the news department at Deutschlandfunk.

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