Queen Elizabeth II also puts the 20th century to rest – Times of India


PARIS: Queen’s Rest Elizabeth II, whose 70-year reign witnessed the aftermath of World War II, the Cold War, and staggering technological change, marks another step in a farewell to the 20th century.
The British monarch exercises little real power, but Elizabeth was a titanic figure on the 20th-century scene, whose first prime minister was war leader Winston Churchill, met the first man in space Yuri Gagarin and made historic visits to newly independent nations like the British Empire. fell apart.
Her death at age 96 was even more symbolic, a little over a week after the death of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, 91, another of the less and less surviving icons of the last century, who left the USSR to dissolve and Eastern Europe. escaped the grip of Moscow.
Their disappearances come as the world is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, shaken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has revived fears of nuclear war, and awakening to how climate change is boosting hopes of could destroy these and future generations.
“These were absolutely central figures who we will have a hard time seeing again,” said Gilles Gressani, director of the French geopolitical magazine Le Grand Continent.
“We live in an interregnum – a space between two governments, two eras,” he added.
“We often have this fear and concern; we know very well that the world is changing because of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, terrorism, economic crises and the climate crisis.”
Queen Elizabeth II to be buried next to her father King on Monday George VIand other family members at Windsor Castle outside London after a state funeral attended by world leaders in the heart of the British capital.
Gradually, the world is losing the threads that still bind it to the 20th century, and only a few iconic figures are still alive.
The Great Cultural Giants Are Saying Goodbye, Too — Jean-Luc Godard, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century and the father of the French New Wave, died last week of assisted suicide.
Nelson Mandela, who campaigned to end apartheid in South Africa and went on to become the first president with a majority government, died in 2013. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who led his country for half a century and icon of the Cold War, died in 2016.
Jimmy Carter, 97, is the only former U.S. president still alive to have ruled exclusively in the 20th century, during a frenzied single-term mandate that saw the overthrow of the Shah in Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
His successors Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush died in 2004 and 2018 respectively.
The current Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who has lived in exile in India since 1951, when a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule failed, is 87 years old and still working.
And Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 83, who took over in 1989 after the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, remains in a post appointed for life.
Some of the largest bridges now preserved from the 20th century are cultural.
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, 79, continues to perform with his group, while Beatles icon Paul McCartney, 80, continues an illustrious solo career, including an enthusiastically received set at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
The Queen herself was a symbol of a shift towards modernity, with her coronation in 1953, the first major event broadcast worldwide, and her first televised Christmas message in 1957 paving a path for other world leaders.
But above all, the Queen’s death marks a major break from the memory of the Second World War, a conflict her father, King George VI, had to endure with his daughters and other Londoners in bomb-stricken London.
“The Queen took part directly in the 1945 victory. As one of the victors of 1945, she left a strong mark on the identity of the United Kingdom and the Queen embodied that until her death,” said Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).
“For me, Elizabeth II’s death in a sense marks an end point for World War II,” he said.

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