Elizabeth Windsor, a loss for stability and continuity
First Voice

Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The daily column clarifies emerging issues and better defines the news agenda, offering a Chinese perspective on the latest global events.

From empire to state, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, from telegraph to iPhone, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor reigned for more than 70 years as the Queen of the United Kingdom. She was the longest-reigning British monarch, the oldest and longest-serving head of state and one of the most respected world leaders throughout the last three-quarters of a century. Her name had become synonymous with the title she held and the country she led. She was the United Kingdom.

The world bid farewell to her on September 8. At the age of 96, she passed away at Balmoral Castle, surrounded by her family.

Her passing is a significant loss for a world desperately trying to cling onto the qualities she embodied – stability and continuity. As a leader who hadn't held the reins of the nation but the hearts and minds of the people, Queen Elizabeth II had been a symbol for continuity for the United Kingdom and for the world. She had worked with 15 British prime ministers, stayed as the face of the nation through the Cold War, the era of globalization and into another period of major power conflicts. Her approval rating has been described by the Independent as "consistently at levels politicians could only ever dream of."

A family at home in Leicester watching Queen Elizabeth II give her annual Christmas broadcast from Windsor Castle, Berkshire, December 25, 2021. /CFP

A family at home in Leicester watching Queen Elizabeth II give her annual Christmas broadcast from Windsor Castle, Berkshire, December 25, 2021. /CFP

On the international stage, the Queen was the rare person that world leaders would drink and dine with, regardless of the political differences or ups-and-downs in their relationships. Photos taken with the Queen are all highly popular political commodities for them, regardless of the political systems they run. Even as the majority of the world has moved beyond the stage of worshipping royalties and dynasties, this particular monarch has been the treasure that the world wanted to keep.

China's first intimate interaction with the Queen was in 1986, when she and her husband visited China and met with the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. It was a major milestone for the China-UK relationship after the United Kingdom recognized the People's Republic of China in 1950, a pioneer in the West in developing relationships with China. In the following years, she met with various Chinese leaders and continuously expressed her support for a better UK-China relationship.

Even as the relationship deteriorated in recent years due to various political differences, the Queen had made clear the royal family's willingness to continue work for the betterment of the bilateral relationship. The most recent interaction took place after she contracted COVID-19 in February. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of sympathy to the Queen to wish her a speedy recovery while expressing the wish to work with the British side to make new progress in the relationship as the two countries marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Her passing marks the end of an era for the UK. The world mourns the loss of a beloved figure, a seasoned stateswoman and a leader who spent seven decades helping her people to shape a better Britain and a better world.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

Search Trends