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  • Tim Oliver

British Foreign policy 10:12.9~18.9 -- The Queue

News this past week has of course been dominated by coverage of the late Queen's lying-in-state. There have been lots more good pieces about what the Queen’s death means for the UK, the wider world and the UK’s place in it. That tomorrow’s state funeral will be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in recent years says something about both the late Queen and the UK’s position in the world.

Here are my British Foreign Policy 10: 10 of the best reports, podcasts, twitter threads speeches etc. that I’ve added to my Zotero database this past week:


1. Alexander Clarkson sets out his hopes that the UK won’t squander the goodwill the Queen helped build with Ireland in the last decade of her reign. ‘The friendly welcome Queen Elizabeth found on the island of Ireland in the final years of her life and the sympathy expressed there after her death should give a U.K. government struggling with the implications of Brexit food for thought.The friendly welcome Queen Elizabeth found on the island of Ireland in the final years of her life and the sympathy expressed there after her death should give a U.K. government struggling with the implications of Brexit food for thought.’


2. Nosmot Gladamosi asks whether King Charles’s reputation for being outspoken will lead him to confront the full horrors of Britain’s colonial past in Africa.


3. Andrew Neil takes a very different approach in his piece for the Daily Mail. He doesn’t hold back in attacking critics of the UK or the monarchy.


4. Sunder Katwala has written what for me is one of the most balanced and thoughtful pieces about what the end of the Queen’s reign means for the UK. ‘Can you be both keen on tradition and open to change? Well, that sounds like Britain to me.’

5. Tom McTague in The Atlantic sees the Queen’s death as the end of the first post-imperial monarch, with King Charles set to be a hobbit king of a kingdom set to be a more inward looking power on the world’s stage.


6. Former British diplomat Peter Ricketts offers a different take on what the new king will mean for British foreign policy. For him the new king can rebuild Britain’s global reputation and role. ‘Throughout the decades of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, Britain was at its most effective when using its influence and powers of persuasion at the heart of the multilateral system. King Charles is already exceptionally well known and respected around the world. Even as he stays carefully above politics, his international experience is itself a boost to Britain’s soft power. Britain has an opportunity to rebuild a global reputation’.


7. The UK in a Changing Europe’s podcast, Good Neighbours, asks whatever became of the Anglosphere. With Michael Kenny, Leslie Vinjamuri and Srdjan Vucetic.


8. The international relationship the late Queen favoured most was the Commonwealth. We’re going to hear a lot more about the Commonwealth because of debates about republicanism, colonialism and Britain’s need to adapt to a multi-polar world. Philip Murphy in Foreign Affairs looks at the relationship that is the Queen’s ‘greatest - and most fragile - legacy.’

9. The monarchy has been central to what it means to be British. In this piece, republished this week but originally published by the New Statesman at the time of the platinum jubilee, Helen Thompson looks at unionism and the monarchy. ‘Like the Union, the monarchy works when it can, in its complexity, simply be. In her stoicism, the Queen gives a near permanent sense that she accepts that puzzle, navigating between the different personas required of her. How well her temperament has served the Union will become clear.’


10. And finally… the queue. Is there anything more British than standing in an extraordinarily long queue to pay respects to the late Queen? Irina Anghel and Harry Wilson report for Bloomberg on how 'Miles of Mourners Form Orderly Queue to Say Goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II.'


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