MANILA, Philippines – London Bridge is down. Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died on Thursday, September 8 (Friday, September 9 in Manila), at the age of 96.
Her death drew instant attention on social media, as tributes poured in from world leaders following the announcement from Buckingham Palace.
“Queen Elizabeth” immediately took the top worldwide trend on Twitter. Other keywords – such as “Charles,” “Royal Family,” “London Bridge,” and “Lizzy” – were also among the top trends following the queen’s death.
Social media users shared different views on Queen Elizabeth’s legacy to the United Kingdom and around the world.
Some said that the queen “showed grace and kindness” in her more than 70-year reign.
“Queen Elizabeth II served in a role she didn’t choose, she never asked for, and lived a life she may have not enjoyed all because that was what was expected of her,” one user said.
Elizabeth ascended the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, at the age of 25, while she was in Kenya on a royal tour.
While some mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth, others said her reign “hurt millions of people and cultures spanning multiple generations,” as she served as the head of state of colonies that were part of the British empire.
Before her death, the queen remained the head of state of 14 countries outside of the United Kingdom, known as Commonwealth realms, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
“Imagine if the world showed this much care and empathy for the communities that Queen Elizabeth II and the [British] monarchy colonized and ravaged,” said best-selling American author Frederick Joseph.
Accession of Charles
Following the death of the queen, her son King Charles III ascends to the throne. One user said that the accession is a “reminder that the monarchy is a symbol of continuity and stability” in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Twitter user Kayla Adams said that she “finds it really sad that for the next 10 days he has to sit in several meetings every day and go through all the paperwork and protocol instead of mourning the loss of his mother…privately.”
Others are more concerned about how much Elizabeth’s funeral and Charles’ coronation would cost the UK economy, as the country is on the brink of a recession.
Despite the varying views on the death of Queen Elizabeth, many would agree that it marks the “end of an era” for the United Kingdom.
– with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com