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2022.09.08 世界的女王

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THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD
The paradox of Elizabeth II’s reign was that in presiding over a shrinking empire, she became a modern global monarch.

By Tom McTague
Picture of Queen Elizabeth II at 26 years old in 1952
Bettmann / Getty
SEPTEMBER 8, 2022, 2:46 PM ET
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Queen elizabeth ii’s longevity alone places her in the pantheon of royal greats. At the time of her death, at Balmoral Castle today, she had served 70 years as Queen—the longest of any sovereign in the English monarchy’s 1,000-year history. But it is not simply her longevity that marks her for greatness, but her ability to stay relevant as the world changed around her.

She was the product of ancestral inheritance but was more popular than any of her prime ministers and remained head of state in countries around the world because of public support. She was in a sense a democratic Queen, a progressive conservative, an aristocratic multiculturalist.

Queen Elizabeth was a constitutional monarch, not a political leader with real powers, and one who was required to serve an ever-changing set of realms, peoples, institutions, and ideas that were no longer as obviously compatible as they had been when she ascended to the throne. The Queen’s great achievement was to honor the commitment she made to an imperial nation and its empire as a princess even as it became a multiethnic state and a Commonwealth.

When the Queen devoted her whole life to the service of Britain’s “great imperial family,” she meant it and honored it. And she did so in a way that brought more harmony than discord. Even as her nation’s influence shrank, the world embraced her.

Picture of Queen Elizabeth II during a Commonwealth visit to the Caribbean, March 1966. (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II during a Commonwealth visit to the Caribbean, March 1966 (Express / Hulton Archive / Getty)
1. The Global Introduction
In October 1940, a teenage Princess Elizabeth gave the first of what would be a lifetime of public speeches designed to move, embolden, and steady the nerves of an imperiled empire. At the time, the British empire was standing alone against Nazi Germany: France had been crushed, the Soviet Union had made a deal with Hitler, and the United States remained aloof from World War II. Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, had traveled with their parents to record a message for the BBC that would be broadcast to “the children of the empire,” as well as children in the U.S.

The recording offers a glimpse of a time and place that is gone, as well as the first look at this representative of a new age, the age of Elizabeth. Hers would be an age not of world war and European empires, but of imperial retreat and American expansion; of the Cold War and the apparent end of history; of nationalism and globalization; of the space race and the internet.

For the 14-year-old princess, none of this was visible that day in 1940. The world that existed then faced the prospect of a Nazi-dominated Europe. Ostensibly, her message was to the children evacuated to the British countryside and to the Greater Britain that then existed beyond the seas, to evade German aerial bombardment of cities. In her clipped but childish tones, the young Elizabeth marvels at the lives being led in these far-flung corners of the world. “All the new sights you must be seeing, and the adventures you must be having,” she says, as if reading an exciting bedtime story. But then she turns to the central thrust of the message: a plea. “I am sure that you, too, are often thinking of the Old Country. I know you won’t forget us.”

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Here was the vulnerability at the core of Princess Elizabeth’s address. The Old Country was in trouble and needed help. Princess Elizabeth had been enlisted to ask for it, to do her duty—a task she would perform for decades to come.

During her reign, she weathered an array of crises, from her clashes with Margaret Thatcher to her mishandling of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. In doing so, she became the focus of something akin to a secular religion, the royalist historian David Starkey has noted, a form of “British Shintoism,” according to others such as Philip Murphy, a professor of British and Commonwealth history at the University of London.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on April 21, 1926, as a princess to not simply a king but an emperor. She became Queen to a multitude of realms. A child of empire, European supremacy, and the old order—even the old faith, Anglican Christianity—she came to see it as her solemn duty to represent all the peoples and religions of the Commonwealth.

This duty created friction during her reign, but it made her different from any other European monarch and, paradoxically, kept her modern. A great irony of Queen Elizabeth II is that the most penetrating criticism of her reign came not from the republican left but from the nationalist right, parts of which saw past her image of continuity and tradition to the deep change that her rule actually represented.

2. The Vow
On Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday, she delivered a radio broadcast that would define her life. Addressing all “the peoples of the British Commonwealth and Empire,” and specifically “the youth of the British family of nations,” she asked for their permission to speak as their representative. Delivered from Cape Town, South Africa, this was not a message to England, or Britain, or even the United Kingdom, but to the already fading empire.

The message was designed to inspire, but also to begin a transition. The princess declared that just as England had saved Europe from Napoleonic domination in the 19th century, the British empire had saved the world from Hitler in the 20th. The task now before the empire was just as pressing, she said: It needed to save itself.

“If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart,” Elizabeth said, “we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly, an even grander thing.” In doing so, the princess, with a politician’s sleight of hand, had endowed a relatively new construct, the British Commonwealth, with the myth of ancient roots. “I declare before you all,” she continued, “that my whole life whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”


In 1947, such a commitment could still be made without embarrassment. Formally, India, the jewel in the British imperial crown, was not yet independent, though the legal process was under way and would become reality within months. The last vestiges of royal connection to Ireland had similarly not yet been cut. Soon, however, this apparently “ancient” family would undergo a revolution.

Read: The first Brexit was theological

In the early hours of February 6, 1952, King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, died in his sleep. She was in Kenya when she learned that she had become Queen. Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast the news, describing the Crown as “the magic link, which unites our loosely bound but strongly interwoven commonwealth of nations.” And yet, just five years after Elizabeth’s Cape Town address, the world had already changed to such an extent that to speak of a great imperial family, as Elizabeth had done, was no longer appropriate. By 1952, for example, India was not only independent, but a republic. This new Commonwealth comprised free and equal countries that voluntarily accepted Elizabeth as their symbolic head—a role with no real power for an organization with no real status.

She was Queen, then, but of what?


Her father had been crowned George VI of “Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas,” as well as “Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.” By the time the young Elizabeth was crowned, the title “Emperor of India” was obsolete. Yet even this did not go far enough. She was proclaimed Queen Elizabeth II, “Queen of this Realm and of all Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

Although few paid much attention to the changes at the time, the new terminology caught the eye of one of the most influential and controversial British politicians of the postwar era, Enoch Powell. He had spotted that the new declaration contained within it imperial retreat and was dismayed. But this was not the real source of his fury—it was that Britain had been subsumed into a multinational structure that it no longer led. In Britain, Elizabeth would be “Queen of the United Kingdom,” but elsewhere she would have different titles, granted by different countries: Queen of Australia in Australia, Queen of Canada in Canada, and so forth.

What Powell had seen was that this marked a sea change not only for the Queen, but for Britain itself. What had been a single empire with a single sovereign was no longer—nor was it even a British Commonwealth. In its place was simply a Commonwealth with different peoples, each equal to the others, including that of the Old Country, whether or not they took the Queen as their monarch.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth had declared that she would give her whole life to the service of Britain’s great imperial family. When she became Queen, it was no longer clear what that really meant.

Picture of Queen Elizabeth II meeting with local children and residents of Malacca state during a Commonwealth visit by members of the British royal family to Malaysia in March 1972
Queen Elizabeth II meets with local children and residents of Malacca state during a Commonwealth visit by members of the British royal family to Malaysia in March 1972. (Rolls Press / Popperfoto / Getty)
3. The Revolution
The change to the Queen’s title was, in fact, just another logical step down a road already taken. In 1948, Parliament had passed legislation revolutionizing the nature of British nationality itself, creating several separate citizenships within the empire. What had been a Greater Britain around the world, singular and indivisible, loyal to the King and empire, was no more. It had shrunk, leaving space for Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand nationalisms to flourish as separate identities, just as a Scotsman today can also be British.

The Queen’s title, therefore, was a sign of the coming age, a beacon in the fog of the 1950s lighting the way to the postimperial world that exists today.

For the ordinary Brit at home, glued to the television to watch the Queen’s coronation, much of this passed unnoticed. As Vernon Bogdanor writes in The Monarchy and the Constitution, the feelings of attachment to Britain in its former dominions, such as New Zealand and Canada, were taken for granted. In 1953, Australia’s prime minister, R. G. Menzies, spoke of the Queen passing on “a crown that will always be the sign and proof that, wherever we may be in the world, we are one people.” Menzies had in 1948 even said that “the boundaries of Britain do not lie on the Kentish Coast, they are to be found at Cape York and Invercargill.”

From the December 1943 issue: The education of a queen

Indeed, on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, there seemed little reason to doubt the strength of this great global nation. The day before, the New Zealander Edmund Hillary had conquered Mount Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, planting the Union Jack on its peak. Welcoming the news, New Zealand’s prime minister declared how proud he was that an Englishman had been the first to climb the world’s highest mountain. During the Queen’s first royal tour of the Commonwealth, in 1953–54, she visited 13 countries, including Bermuda, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Australia, and New Zealand, covering more than 40,000 miles in six months. In Australia, 6–7 million people turned out to see her, amounting to about 75 percent of the country’s population.

Only now is it possible to see the slow unwinding of this Greater British identity during the age of Elizabeth. An early glimpse came during her first visit to India and Pakistan as Queen, in 1961. Despite being head of the Commonwealth, of which India was a member, the Queen was invited only in her capacity as Queen of the United Kingdom. To do otherwise might have implied “the existence in some degree of authority residing in Her Majesty over the Republic of India,” Philip Murphy points out in Monarchy and the End of Empire. When the Commonwealth bumped up against the hard reality of Britain’s place in the postimperial world, there was no question that the Commonwealth had to stand aside.

It was scarcely appreciated then, but the Queen’s coronation—that great triumph of Britishness at the peak of its powers—was what signified the retreat. A moment of deep continuity for the Old Country was actually a moment of quiet revolution, turning Britain inward and setting a course that it would travel for the rest of her reign, culminating in a threat to the very future of Britain by the time of her death, with support for secession growing in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Britons did not know it at the time of her ascent, but they were once again an island people. Only their Queen was global.

4. The Reign
In retrospect, it was absurd to think that the Queen could be both British and global, sharing herself equally among her various realms. How can one person be Queen of the United Kingdom one moment and Queen of Australia the next, as well as head of a Commonwealth? In time, the practical reality revealed itself—the Queen was primarily Queen of the United Kingdom.

From 1952 to her death, she would meet 13 of the 14 U.S. presidents elected in that time (Lyndon B. Johnson being the exception). She did so as Britain’s head of state—in effect, Queen of the Old Country hiding in imperial clothes, representing a state that, in U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s infamous put-down, had lost an empire but not yet found a role.

Read: The Queen Mother’s odd letters

Through the 1960s and early ’70s, following Britain’s humiliation at Suez, the country sought to tilt away from the empire toward its special relationship with the United States and membership in the new European Community. Globally, this shift in priorities meant sacrificing imperial power for imagined influence over the new empire that had replaced Britain: the United States. In Europe, it meant sacrificing trade with the Commonwealth for markets on its doorstep. For many in Britain, this was a hard choice, given support for the old imperial connections, particularly to the Greater British dominions (or, more cynically, to the white Commonwealth) of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Yet successive British governments knew which direction they wanted to go in. In Africa, for example, Britain, unlike France, encouraged its former colonies not only to become independent, but to become republics. The loss of the empire was seen as a price worth paying for greater influence, and the Queen supported recognition of African nationalism. In 1960, when British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan remarked in a speech from South Africa that the “wind of change is blowing through this continent,” signaling the inevitability of decolonization, Elizabeth “took the unusual step of indicating her personal approval of Macmillan’s words,” Murphy records. Shortly after the speech, Macmillan received a telegram with a message from London that “the Queen was very interested and much impressed by the Prime Minister’s speech.” Four years later, the process of decolonization in East, West, and Central Africa was largely complete.

However, tensions between her role as global Queen and national Queen were inevitable—and duly came. Because the Queen was atop neither an empire nor an international body with a constitution like, say, the European Union, her title as head of the Commonwealth was unclear, unwritten, and, crucially, unlinked to her position as head of state in Britain or anywhere else. What happened if her two roles clashed?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave to the crowd whilst on their Commonwealth visit to Australia, 1954. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave to the crowd while on their Commonwealth visit to Australia, 1954. (Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty)
In 1952, when the British dominions were part of an imagined Greater Britain or—outside the Indian subcontinent—the subjects of a still-vast empire, there was little scope for such a clash. By the 1960s, as the empire continued to be swept away, there was a very real prospect of friction.

The danger, as Powell had pointed out, was that in creating the fiction of the Commonwealth, the Queen risked losing the support of her people at home by appearing to have split loyalties. As the 1960s turned into the ’70s and ’80s, this prophecy seemed to be coming true. In an article in 1964, Powell spoke of the resentment of British people seeing their sovereign “playing an alien part as one of the characters in the Commonwealth charade.” The imperial monarchy, to which the Queen had devoted her life, appeared to be threatening the national monarchy.

Tensions really began to be felt when the Conservative Party in Britain elected as its leader a Powellite in the form of Margaret Thatcher, who seemed to have little time for the Commonwealth and even less sympathy for the policies of some of its more radical members. According to Murphy’s Monarchy and the End of Empire, Thatcher and her closest advisers joked that the acronym CHOGM—for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting—stood for “Compulsory Hand-Outs for Greedy Mendicants.”

In the Queen’s 1983 Christmas message, four years after Thatcher came to power, she appeared to champion the policies of India’s prime minister, Indira Gandhi, over those of her own government, adding that despite the progress that had been made on the subcontinent, “the greatest problem in the world today remains the gap between rich and poor countries, and we shall not begin to close this gap until we hear less about nationalism and more about interdependence.”

From the magazine: How to write about royalty

This was not a message from the Thatcherite script and its Cold War mentality. Powell said that the intervention suggested the Queen had “the interests and affairs of other countries in other continents as much, or more, at heart than those of her own people.”

Another clash between the global and national Queen came in 1986, when a number of countries were threatening to boycott the Commonwealth Games in protest of Thatcher’s opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Britain had been isolated on the issue, with the Queen notably avoiding taking Britain’s side. Sonny Ramphal, the Guyanese Commonwealth secretary-general, later recalled that “if the Queen hadn’t been there we might have gone on the rocks.”

Later that year, a series of articles began to appear in the British press revealing a rift between the Queen and her prime minister over the Commonwealth. A profile of Prince Charles in The Economist suggested that his views were considerably to the left of Thatcher’s. An article in the newspaper Today then suggested that the Queen was worried the division over sanctions could break up the Commonwealth, and had even urged Thatcher to change her views. Similar pieces appeared in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Finally, The Sunday Times led its front page with the headline “Queen Dismayed by ‘Uncaring’ Thatcher,” calling her “The African Queen.”

Such revelations, which came close to constitutional-crisis territory, centered on the Queen’s split loyalties to Commonwealth and nation. Powell had warned that this split would make her look more concerned for the Commonwealth than for Britain. The Queen had become a champion of global multiculturalism at home and abroad. Almost by accident, she had become modern.

5. The Legacy
In some senses, Queen Elizabeth II leaves an ambiguous legacy. She stands above almost all of Britain’s British monarchs, but was one who oversaw a drastic shrinkage in the monarchy’s power, prestige, and influence. Such a legacy, however, does not do the Queen justice.

At the funeral of the former Israeli leader Shimon Peres in 2016, then–U.S. President Barack Obama likened him to some of the “other giants of the 20th century.” Obama, whose father was a Kenyan government official born in what was then part of the British empire, chose to name two figures: Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen’s role in the Commonwealth might have been a device to hide the reality of the British empire’s decline, but she did not believe so. The irony is that in doing her duty to this imperial shadow in the same way she did her duty to Britain, she was better able to symbolize a modern, multicultural Britain and the world of the 21st century than logic might suggest was possible for an aristocratic European princess. Indeed, she is more popular in many African Commonwealth countries today than the former white dominions, which may soon choose to become republics and long ago stopped seeing themselves as British.

Yet her death has given rise to a sense of unease. Her eldest son, Charles, seems an unlikely figure for the British Shintoism that built up around his mother. Whatever his merits, such has been the nature of his life, lived in the glare of the modern world—of Diana and Camilla, The Crown and the tabloids—that it looks impossible to re-create the kind of worship that attached itself to the Queen.

Read: What Meghan Markle means for the royal family

Generations have known nothing but the Queen. She became almost above reproach, an icon on a wall, a symbol. Charles, by contrast, is human and flawed and distinctly reproachable. With the Queen goes the monarchy’s protective shield. Can the next generation escape the tarnish of racism leveled by Harry and Meghan, or the scandals of Prince Andrew?

Beyond Britain, will Australia and New Zealand and Canada accept Charles as their King, as they did Elizabeth in 1952? And what of the Queen’s other great love, the Commonwealth? It has already agreed to let Charles inherit his mother’s leadership. But how long can such an institution really survive? In an era of Black Lives Matter and imperial guilt, can an African child once again be pictured kneeling before some distant European monarch, as happened for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, in 2012?

None of these questions is answerable for now. Much rests on Charles himself. Can he show the lifelong restraint of his mother, the dignity and duty, the reserve and careful calculation? Will events blow him off course?

When King George VI died, Winston Churchill paid tribute to him in the House of Commons, before turning to his new Queen. “So far I have spoken of the past, but with the new reign we must all feel our contact with the future,” the prime minister said. “She comes to the throne at a time when a tormented mankind stands uncertainly poised between world catastrophe and a golden age.” For Churchill, such a golden age was possible only with “a true and lasting peace.” He then concluded: “Let us hope and pray that the accession to our ancient throne of Queen Elizabeth II may be the signal for such a brightening salvation of the human scene.”

Looking back on her reign, it is clear that the age of Elizabeth really was golden: an age of extraordinary prosperity, European peace, human rights, and the collapse of Soviet tyranny. Queen Elizabeth II—the Queen—was one of the great symbols of that age, though not a creator of it, a servant rather than a master. But if her legacy is anything, it is that symbols and service matter, even as what they symbolize and serve bend and bow to meet the new reality.



世界的女王
伊丽莎白二世统治时期的矛盾之处在于,在主持一个日益萎缩的帝国时,她成为了一个现代的全球君主。

作者:汤姆-麦克塔格
1952年伊丽莎白二世女王26岁时的照片
贝特曼/盖蒂
2022年9月8日,美国东部时间下午2点46分
分享到
伊丽莎白二世女王的长寿使她跻身于皇室伟人的殿堂。今天她在巴尔莫勒尔城堡去世时,已经担任了70年的女王--在英国君主制1000年的历史中,她的任期是最长的。但是,标志着她伟大的不仅仅是她的长寿,还有她在周围世界发生变化时保持相关性的能力。

她是祖传遗产的产物,但比她的任何一位首相都更受欢迎,并因为公众的支持而在世界各国保持国家元首的地位。从某种意义上说,她是一个民主的女王,一个进步的保守派,一个贵族式的多元文化主义者。

伊丽莎白女王是一位立宪君主,而不是一位拥有实权的政治领袖,她需要为一套不断变化的领域、民族、机构和思想服务,这些领域、民族、机构和思想不再像她登基时那样明显兼容。女王的伟大成就是兑现了她作为公主对一个帝国国家和帝国的承诺,即使它成为一个多民族国家和英联邦国家。

当女王把她的一生都献给了英国的 "伟大的皇室家族 "时,她是认真的,并兑现了它。她这样做的方式带来了更多的和谐而不是不和谐。即使她的国家的影响力在萎缩,世界也在拥抱她。

1966年3月,英国女王伊丽莎白二世在对加勒比地区进行英联邦访问时的照片。(Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
伊丽莎白二世女王在1966年3月对加勒比地区进行英联邦访问期间(快报/赫尔顿档案馆/盖蒂图片)
1. 全球介绍
1940年10月,十几岁的伊丽莎白公主发表了她一生中的第一次公开演讲,旨在感动、鼓舞和稳定一个濒临崩溃的帝国的神经。当时,大英帝国正独自对抗纳粹德国。法国被击溃了,苏联与希特勒达成了协议,而美国仍然对二战保持冷淡。伊丽莎白和她的妹妹玛格丽特与他们的父母一起旅行,为BBC录制了一段信息,将向 "帝国的儿童 "以及美国的儿童广播。

这段录音提供了一个已经消失的时间和地点的一瞥,也是对这个新时代的代表,即伊丽莎白时代的第一印象。她的时代不是世界大战和欧洲帝国的时代,而是帝国退却和美国扩张的时代;是冷战和历史明显结束的时代;是民族主义和全球化的时代;是太空竞赛和互联网的时代。

对于这位14岁的公主来说,这一切在1940年的那一天都看不到。当时存在的世界面临着纳粹统治欧洲的前景。表面上看,她的信息是向疏散到英国乡村和当时存在于大洋彼岸的大英国的儿童发出的,以躲避德国对城市的空中轰炸。年轻的伊丽莎白用她那简短而稚嫩的语调,对世界上这些遥远的角落里的生活感到惊奇。她说:"你们一定看到了很多新的风景,也一定经历了很多冒险,"她说,就像在读一个令人兴奋的睡前故事。但随后她转向了信息的中心主旨:一个恳求。"我相信你们也经常想到老家。我知道你不会忘记我们。"

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这里是伊丽莎白公主讲话的核心的脆弱之处。旧国家陷入困境,需要帮助。伊丽莎白公主被征召来请求帮助,履行她的职责--她将在今后几十年里执行这项任务。

在她的统治期间,她经历了一系列的危机,从她与撒切尔夫人的冲突到她对威尔士王妃戴安娜的死亡处理不当。在此过程中,她成为了一种类似于世俗宗教的焦点,保皇派历史学家大卫-斯塔基指出,这是一种 "英国神道教 "的形式,伦敦大学英国和英联邦历史教授菲利普-墨菲等人这样认为。

伊丽莎白-亚历山德拉-玛丽-温莎出生于1926年4月21日,作为一个公主,她的父亲不仅仅是一个国王,还是一个皇帝。她成为众多国家的女王。作为帝国、欧洲至上主义和旧秩序--甚至是旧信仰--英国圣公会--的孩子,她认为代表英联邦所有民族和宗教是她的庄严职责。

这种责任在她的统治期间造成了摩擦,但它使她与其他欧洲君主不同,而且矛盾的是,它使她保持了现代化。对女王伊丽莎白二世的一个巨大讽刺是,对她的统治最深刻的批评不是来自共和主义的左派,而是来自民族主义的右派,其中部分人看穿了她的连续性和传统的形象,看到了她的统治实际上代表的深刻变化。

2. 誓言
在伊丽莎白公主21岁生日那天,她发表了一个将决定她一生的广播讲话。她向所有 "英联邦和帝国的人民",特别是 "英国民族大家庭的青年 "发表讲话,请求他们允许她作为他们的代表发言。她在南非开普敦发表讲话,这不是向英国或不列颠,甚至是联合王国发出的信息,而是向已经消逝的帝国发出的信息。

这个信息旨在鼓舞人心,但也是为了开始一个过渡。公主宣称,正如英国在19世纪将欧洲从拿破仑的统治下拯救出来一样,大英帝国在20世纪也将世界从希特勒手中拯救出来。她说,现在摆在这个帝国面前的任务同样紧迫。它需要拯救自己。

"如果我们都带着坚定的信念、高昂的勇气和安静的心一起前进,"伊丽莎白说,"我们将能够使这个我们都如此深爱的古老的联邦成为一个更加伟大的东西。" 在这样做的时候,这位公主以政治家的手腕,赋予了一个相对较新的构造,即英联邦,以古老的根源的神话。"我在你们面前宣布,"她继续说,"我的整个生命无论长短,都将致力于为你们服务,为我们所属的伟大帝国大家庭服务。


在1947年,做出这样的承诺仍然不会感到尴尬。从形式上看,作为英帝国王冠上的宝石,印度还没有独立,尽管法律程序正在进行,并将在几个月内成为现实。与爱尔兰的皇家关系的最后残余也同样还没有被切断。然而,很快,这个表面上 "古老 "的家族将经历一场革命。

阅读。第一次脱欧是神学上的脱欧

1952年2月6日凌晨,伊丽莎白的父亲乔治六世国王在睡梦中去世。当她得知自己已经成为女王时,她正在肯尼亚。首相温斯顿-丘吉尔广播了这一消息,将王室描述为 "神奇的纽带,它将我们这个松散但又紧密交织的联邦国家联系在一起"。然而,就在伊丽莎白在开普敦发表讲话的五年后,世界已经发生了巨大的变化,以至于像伊丽莎白那样谈论一个伟大的帝国家族已经不再合适。例如,到1952年,印度不仅独立,而且是一个共和国。这个新的英联邦由自由和平等的国家组成,这些国家自愿接受伊丽莎白作为其象征性的首脑--对于一个没有实际地位的组织来说,这个角色没有实际权力。

那么,她是女王,但属于什么呢?


她的父亲曾被封为 "大不列颠、爱尔兰和大洋彼岸的英国领地 "的乔治六世,以及 "信仰的捍卫者、印度的皇帝"。当年轻的伊丽莎白加冕时,"印度皇帝 "这个头衔已经过时了。然而,即使这样也不够。她被宣布为伊丽莎白二世女王,"本王国及其所有其他王国和领土的女王,英联邦的首脑,信仰的捍卫者"。

尽管当时很少有人注意到这些变化,但新的术语引起了战后最具影响力和争议性的英国政治家之一伊诺克-鲍威尔的注意。他发现新的宣言中包含了帝国的退却,并感到很沮丧。但这并不是他愤怒的真正来源--而是英国已经被归入一个它不再领导的多国结构。在英国,伊丽莎白将是 "联合王国女王",但在其他地方,她会有不同的头衔,由不同的国家授予。澳大利亚的澳大利亚女王,加拿大的加拿大女王,等等。

鲍威尔看到的是,这不仅标志着女王,而且标志着英国本身的一个巨大变化。曾经的单一帝国和单一君主不再是--甚至不是一个英联邦。取而代之的只是一个由不同民族组成的英联邦,每个民族都与其他民族平等,包括老家的民族,无论他们是否以女王为君主。

1947年,伊丽莎白公主宣布,她将把自己的一生都献给英国这个伟大的帝国家族。当她成为女王时,这句话的真正含义已经不清楚了。

1972年3月,英国王室成员对马来西亚进行英联邦访问期间,伊丽莎白二世女王与马六甲州的当地儿童和居民见面的照片
1972年3月,英国王室成员对马来西亚进行英联邦访问期间,伊丽莎白二世女王与马六甲州的当地儿童和居民会面。(Rolls Press / Popperfoto / Getty)
3. 革命
对女王头衔的改变,实际上只是在一条已经走过的道路上迈出的另一个合乎逻辑的步骤。1948年,议会通过立法,彻底改变了英国国籍本身的性质,在帝国内部建立了几个独立的公民身份。世界各地的大英国,单一的、不可分割的、忠于国王和帝国的,已经不复存在。它已经缩小了,为加拿大、澳大利亚和新西兰的民族主义留下了空间,使其作为独立的身份蓬勃发展,就像今天的苏格兰人也可以是英国人一样。

因此,女王的头衔是一个时代到来的标志,是20世纪50年代迷雾中的一盏明灯,照亮了通往今天的后帝国世界的道路。

对于在家的普通英国人来说,盯着电视看女王的加冕仪式,这一切大部分都没有被注意到。正如弗农-博格达诺(Vernon Bogdanor)在《君主制与宪法》一书中写道,在新西兰和加拿大等英国前属地,对英国的依恋之情被认为是理所当然。1953年,澳大利亚总理孟席斯(R. G. Menzies)谈到女王传下的 "一顶皇冠将永远是一个标志和证明,无论我们在世界何处,我们都是一个民族"。孟席斯在1948年甚至说,"英国的边界并不在肯特海岸,而是在约克角和因韦卡吉尔。"

摘自1943年12月的期刊。女王的教育

事实上,在伊丽莎白二世女王的加冕仪式上,似乎没有什么理由怀疑这个伟大的全球国家的力量。前一天,新西兰人埃德蒙-希拉里与夏尔巴人丹增-诺尔盖一起征服了珠穆朗玛峰,将国旗插在了峰顶。新西兰总理对这一消息表示欢迎,并宣布他对英国人成为第一个登上世界最高峰的人感到非常自豪。在1953年至1954年女王的第一次英联邦皇家之旅中,她访问了13个国家,包括百慕大、牙买加、斯里兰卡、澳大利亚和新西兰,在六个月内行程超过了4万英里。在澳大利亚,有六七百万人去看她,相当于该国人口的75%左右。

直到现在,我们才有可能看到伊丽莎白时代这种大英国身份的缓慢展开。早期的一瞥是在1961年她作为女王首次访问印度和巴基斯坦时看到的。尽管女王是英联邦的首脑,而印度是英联邦的成员,但她只是以英国女王的身份受邀。菲利普-墨菲在《君主制与帝国的终结》中指出,不这样做可能意味着 "女王陛下对印度共和国存在某种程度的权威"。当英联邦遇到英国在后帝国时代的艰难现实时,毫无疑问,英联邦必须靠边站。

当时人们几乎没有意识到这一点,但女王的加冕礼--英国在其权力顶峰的伟大胜利--标志着退却。对旧国家来说,一个深刻的连续性的时刻实际上是一个安静的革命时刻,它使英国向内转,并确定了英国在她统治的其余时间内的路线,在她去世时,对英国的未来构成了威胁,苏格兰、威尔士和北爱尔兰对分离的支持在不断增加。

英国人在她登基时并不知道,但他们再次成为了一个岛国人民。只有他们的女王是全球性的。

4. 4.统治
现在回想起来,认为女王既是英国人,又是全球人,在她的各个王国中平等地分享自己,是很荒谬的。一个人怎么可能一会儿是英国女王,一会儿是澳大利亚女王,同时又是英联邦的领导人?随着时间的推移,实际的现实显露出来--女王主要是英国的女王。

从1952年到她去世,她将会见当时当选的14位美国总统中的13位(林登-B-约翰逊是例外)。她是以英国国家元首的身份这样做的,实际上,她是披着帝国外衣的旧国家的女王,代表一个国家,用美国国务卿迪安-艾奇逊(Dean Acheson)臭名昭著的说法,就是失去了一个帝国但还没有找到一个角色。

阅读。太后的奇特信件

在20世纪60年代和70年代初,继英国在苏伊士的耻辱之后,英国试图从帝国向其与美国的特殊关系和新欧洲共同体的成员身份倾斜。在全球范围内,这种优先事项的转变意味着要牺牲帝国的力量来换取对取代英国的新帝国--美国的想象中的影响力。在欧洲,这意味着要牺牲与英联邦的贸易来换取其门口的市场。对英国的许多人来说,这是一个艰难的选择,因为他们支持旧的帝国关系,特别是对大英帝国的领地(或者更冷酷地说是对白色的英联邦),如澳大利亚、新西兰和加拿大。

然而,历届英国政府都知道他们想往哪个方向走。例如,在非洲,英国与法国不同,鼓励其前殖民地不仅独立,而且成为共和国。帝国的损失被视为值得为更大影响力付出的代价,女王支持承认非洲民族主义。1960年,当英国首相哈罗德-麦克米伦在南非的一次演讲中说,"变革之风正吹过这片大陆",预示着非殖民化的不可避免,伊丽莎白 "采取了不寻常的步骤,表示她个人赞同麦克米伦的话",墨菲记录道。演讲结束后不久,麦克米伦就收到了一封来自伦敦的电报,上面写着 "女王对首相的演讲非常感兴趣,印象深刻"。四年后,东非、西非和中非的非殖民化进程已基本完成。

然而,她作为全球女王和国家女王的角色之间的紧张关系是不可避免的,并且适当地到来。因为女王所处的位置既不是一个帝国,也不是一个像欧盟那样有宪法的国际机构,她作为英联邦元首的头衔是不明确的、不成文的,而且关键是与她作为英国或其他地方的国家元首的地位没有联系。如果她的两个角色发生冲突会怎样?

1954年,英国女王伊丽莎白二世和菲利普亲王在对澳大利亚进行英联邦访问时向人群挥手。(Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1954年,伊丽莎白二世女王和菲利普亲王在对澳大利亚进行英联邦访问时向人群挥手。(Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty)
1952年,当英国领地是想象中的大英国的一部分,或者在印度次大陆之外是一个仍然庞大的帝国的臣民时,这种冲突的范围很小。到了20世纪60年代,随着帝国的不断被扫除,出现了非常真实的摩擦前景。

正如鲍威尔所指出的那样,危险在于,在创造英联邦的虚构中,女王有可能因为出现分裂的忠诚而失去国内人民的支持。随着20世纪60年代进入70年代和80年代,这一预言似乎正在实现。在1964年的一篇文章中,鲍威尔谈到了英国人民看到他们的君主 "作为英联邦戏法中的一个角色,扮演着一个陌生的角色 "而产生的怨恨。女王为之奉献一生的帝国君主制似乎正在威胁着国家的君主制。

当英国保守党选出玛格丽特-撒切尔(Margaret Thatcher)作为其领导人时,人们真正开始感受到了紧张的气氛,她似乎对英联邦没有什么兴趣,甚至对英联邦一些更激进的成员的政策也没有什么同情心。根据墨菲的《君主制与帝国的终结》,撒切尔和她最亲密的顾问们开玩笑说,英联邦政府首脑会议(CHOGM)的缩写是 "为贪婪的泯灭者提供强制性的援助"。

在撒切尔上台四年后的1983年女王圣诞致辞中,她似乎支持印度总理英迪拉-甘地的政策,而不是她自己政府的政策,并补充说,尽管在次大陆取得了进展,"今天世界上最大的问题仍然是富国和穷国之间的差距,除非我们少听民族主义,多听相互依存,否则我们不会开始缩小这一差距。"

来自该杂志。如何写好皇室的事

这不是撒切尔派的剧本及其冷战心态的信息。鲍威尔说,这次干预表明女王 "对其他大洲其他国家的利益和事务的关心程度不亚于,甚至超过她自己的人民"。

全球女王和国家女王之间的另一次冲突发生在1986年,当时一些国家威胁要抵制英联邦运动会,以抗议撒切尔反对制裁种族隔离的南非。英国在这个问题上一直处于孤立状态,女王明显地避免站在英国一边。圭亚那的英联邦秘书长桑尼-拉姆法尔(Sonny Ramphal)后来回忆说,"如果女王不在那里,我们可能就会陷入困境。"

当年晚些时候,一系列文章开始出现在英国媒体上,揭示了女王和她的首相在英联邦问题上的裂痕。经济学人》杂志对查尔斯王子的介绍表明,他的观点与撒切尔的观点相差甚远。随后,《今日报》的一篇文章指出,女王担心在制裁问题上的分歧会使英联邦解体,甚至敦促撒切尔改变她的观点。类似的文章也出现在《泰晤士报》和《每日电讯报》上。最后,《星期日泰晤士报》在头版以 "女王对'不关心'的撒切尔感到失望 "为标题,称她为 "非洲女王"。

这种接近宪法危机领域的披露集中在女王对英联邦和国家的忠诚度的分裂上。鲍威尔曾警告说,这种分裂将使她看起来更关心英联邦而不是英国。女王已经成为国内外全球多元文化主义的倡导者。几乎是在偶然的情况下,她已经变得很现代了。

5. 遗产
从某种意义上说,伊丽莎白二世女王留下的遗产是模糊的。她的地位几乎高于英国所有的君主,但也是监督君主制的权力、威望和影响力急剧萎缩的人。然而,这样的遗产对女王来说并不公平。

在2016年以色列前领导人西蒙-佩雷斯的葬礼上,当时的美国总统巴拉克-奥巴马将他比作一些 "20世纪的其他巨人"。奥巴马的父亲是一名肯尼亚政府官员,出生在当时属于大英帝国的地区,他选择了两个人物的名字。纳尔逊-曼德拉和英国女王伊丽莎白二世。

女王在英联邦中的角色可能是一种掩盖大英帝国衰落现实的手段,但她并不这么认为。具有讽刺意味的是,在以对英国尽责的方式对这个帝国的影子尽责时,她能更好地象征一个现代的、多文化的英国和21世纪的世界,而不是逻辑上可能认为一个贵族欧洲公主可能做到的。事实上,她今天在许多非洲英联邦国家比以前的白人领地更受欢迎,这些国家可能很快就会选择成为共和国,而且早已不再把自己看作是英国人。

然而,她的死却引起了一种不安的感觉。她的长子查尔斯似乎不太可能成为围绕他母亲建立的英国神道教的人物。不管他有什么优点,他的生活就是这样,生活在现代世界的光芒下--戴安娜和卡米拉、王室和小报--看起来不可能重新创造出对女王的那种崇拜。

阅读。梅根-马克尔对王室意味着什么?

几代人都只知道女王。她几乎变得无可指责,成为墙上的一个图标,一个符号。相比之下,查尔斯是人,有缺陷,明显可以指责。随着女王的离去,君主制的保护罩也随之消失。下一代人能否摆脱哈里和梅根的种族主义污点,或安德鲁王子的丑闻?

在英国之外,澳大利亚、新西兰和加拿大是否会像1952年伊丽莎白那样接受查尔斯为他们的国王?女王的另一个最爱--英联邦又是什么呢?它已经同意让查尔斯继承他母亲的领导地位。但是,这样一个机构究竟能生存多久?在一个 "黑人命重要 "和 "帝国内疚 "的时代,一个非洲孩子能否再次被拍到跪在某个遥远的欧洲君主面前,就像2012年女王的钻石庆典那样?

这些问题目前都无法回答。大部分问题都取决于查尔斯本人。他能否表现出他母亲那种终生的克制、尊严和责任、矜持和谨慎的计算?事件会使他偏离方向吗?

当乔治六世国王去世时,温斯顿-丘吉尔在下议院向他表示敬意,然后转向他的新女王。"到目前为止,我一直在谈论过去,但随着新的统治,我们都必须感受到我们与未来的联系,"这位首相说。"她是在一个饱受折磨的人类不确定地站在世界灾难和一个黄金时代之间的时候登上王位的。" 对丘吉尔来说,这样一个黄金时代只有在 "真正和持久的和平 "下才有可能。他接着总结道。"让我们希望并祈祷,伊丽莎白二世女王登上我们古老的王位,可能成为人类舞台上这种光明的救赎的信号。"

回顾她的统治,很明显,伊丽莎白的时代真的是金色的:一个异常繁荣、欧洲和平、人权和苏联暴政崩溃的时代。伊丽莎白二世女王是那个时代的伟大象征之一,尽管她不是这个时代的创造者,是仆人而不是主人。但是,如果她的遗产是什么的话,那就是象征和服务很重要,即使它们所象征和服务的东西为迎接新的现实而弯曲和鞠躬。
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