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History As It Happens

Sep 20, 2022

The death of Queen Elizabeth II provoked in her home country an outpouring of grief and pride while in other parts of the world – the independent nations of the former British Empire – her passing prompted a more ambivalent reflection on the imperial aspects of her legacy. That is because the queen was a symbol not only of stability and monarchical grace. Elizabeth II was also a symbol of empire and colonialism, and a reluctance on the part of some of her subjects to fully reckon with that bloody, rapacious history. In this episode, historian Dane Kennedy discusses the reasons for the mixed reactions to the death of the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch. Not everyone is feeling nostalgic for the world in which Elizabeth became monarch, which was in the throes of violent struggles for national liberation.