End of an Era
September 9, 2022
Thursday 8th September will be one of those days we all remember where we were when we heard, the day the UK lost a Monarch and the world lost a Queen. It is, quite literally, the end of an era.
We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later and the Platinum Jubilee, where Paddington Bear spoke those simple words for all of us, meant that many felt we had already said our goodbyes. And yet, as the well oiled machine of Operation London Bridge moves into action in a, sadly rare, example of British efficiency, the name of the Scottish part of the process, Operation Unicorn, somehow seems more apt. As the Queen herself said, the Crown is not a person, it is an idea.
She saw 15 Prime Ministers, 14 US Presidents and 7 Popes; her first Prime Minister was born in 1874 and her last in 1975. She saw the decline of Empire and the rise of the Commonwealth, the replacement of hard power with soft power. The second Elizabethan Era is sadly now over, and we move to a new Caroline Era (after the Latin for Charles – hence North and South Carolina, which were founded under the last Era). How things will change is the subject on which millions of words are already being written, but we do know that, unlike either his mother or his grandmother, King Charles has always expected this role to be his one day. The second point we would make is that with her passing, the UK will inevitably lose an enormous amount of its ‘Soft Power’ and that, like the Unicorn, we may find we never see its like again.
Regina mortua est, vivat rex