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The Queen Has Died, And As An Anti-Royalist, Here’s Why I Will Still Mourn Her Death

It comes down to separating the institution from the individual. Yes, the Queen stood for the monarchy and in turn, stood for all the reasons people like me feel it has no place in modern society. But she also stood for much more than that on a personal level to millions of people.

The significance of her life and death cannot be overstated. You would have to be in your 80s to remember a life without the Queen or to know anyone else on the British throne. That constancy and commitment was a source of comfort to a vast amount of people. The Queen was a figure of continuity. Her death not only marks the end of a historical era, but an era of loyalty and devotion.

Over the past few years in particular, the Queen was a figurehead for a sharply divided and battered nation. I will never forget her address to the country during the pandemic in April 2020, when thousands of people were dying every day in the UK and we were confined to our homes like bewildered prisoners, terrified for our loved ones.

I, like many others, wept as she said those words reminiscent of wartime Britain: “We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.” We wept because she brought us a crucial moment of comfort in a time of such fear and grief. We wept because we believed her. 

As we emerged bleary-eyed and bruised from the very worst of the pandemic, things didn’t get easier. The climate crisis worsened, injustice persisted, and political divides fractured us. To have a leader who didn’t continuously let us down like our elected leaders – and indeed, who had power over our elected leaders – and who never added to the rift or fuelled the fire, made us feel like we had someone to turn to. The world may have been going to hell in a handcart, but at least we had someone on our side.

Now, as we continue to live in such a fractious era and hurtle towards a frightening winter during a soaring cost of living, the Queen would have been a soothing source of support for so many. The void of her absence will be immense.

Watching the news after the Queen’s death, reporters interviewed people standing outside Buckingham Palace, many with tears in their eyes and audible lumps in their throats. People of countless cultures and communities paying their respects, sharing in their sadness and gratitude, and coming together to pay their respects to the one constant they had all known their entire lives.

No matter what you think of the monarchy, you cannot ignore the immense unity and comfort that the Queen bought to so many. During times of such uncertainty and division, that is something millions of people will sorely miss. It is something worth celebrating. 

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