Cloud of colonialism hangs over Queen Elizabeth’s legacy in Africa
HERE NOW BE MOANERS: What’s the last date you remember singing along to Queen Elizabeth’s “God Save the Queen” as she delivered it at Buckingham Palace? It was in December 2015, and Queen Elizabeth II was to be the guest for her State Opening of Parliament.
A year ago, she told Parliament: “I am the longest reigning sovereign in the history of Britain, and I am very deeply honoured to be able to attend this ceremony today.”
In the week leading up to her visit to the House of Commons, the Royal Family has been in Africa, a continent where Britain has just a “tug of war” with a continent-wide wave of new leaders and a sense of disjuncture between their leaders and the public they are trying to reach.
In her speech on the state opening, Queen Elizabeth, to the delight of the crowd in Westminster, referred to President Nelson Mandela, Nelson Doumekpa, who took over as president in South Africa and had no government and no parliamentary opposition. He was later imprisoned for 20 years while others with him were awarded posthumous freedom.
Queen Elizabeth, whose father the Duke of Edinburgh is from the Cape, referred to him as an “eminent” man, who “brought the people of Kenya to freedom.” She then delivered her speech on the world’s oldest monarchy in an African setting, with a large contingent from the African diaspora, which included many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, along with several diplomats (as well as Queen Elizabeth) with their spouses and children, from different places in Africa — from Sierra Leone to South Africa and from Kenya to Nigeria.
“In many ways, we are trying to recreate a royal family here in Africa,” explained the daughter of the throne, the Crown Princess. “When we first came here in 1969, Africans and Africans-the whole world-were not thinking about our monarchy or our monarchy.
“Now, we’re just trying to build that monarchy.”
THE BRIDE OF DREAMS
Over the past few weeks with her mother the Queen, Crown Princess Mary, she attended the wedding of