Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – 2022) - A Homage and Reflection

September 11, 2022 8:26 AM
By Dr Yeow Poon
Originally published by Chinese Liberal Democrats

QEII (Nils Jorgensen)

As the Honorary President, on behalf of the Chinese, East and Southeast constituency that the Chinese Liberal Democrats represents, I wish to honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, convey our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and welcome His Majesty King Charles III.

Although knowing that the Queen cannot live forever, like many others, I felt sadness watching news of her passing. I was born in 1956 when Malaya was a British colony. Independence came in 1957. I was educated in English and my secondary school was Victoria Institution. One of my teachers was English and another waxed lyrical about his days in Oxford. We all had dreams about going to the UK to further our studies.

I came to the UK in 1975 to study at Leeds University, stayed and eventually became a citizen. When asked about my identity, I would say I am British Malaysian Chinese. I am neither monarchist nor republican but I do know that the Queen and the Monarchy have a quintessential role in British public life.

I have not met the Queen and my knowledge and feelings are based on what I read and heard in the press and media. For me, the highlights were her walk to see the flowers and meet the public mourning Princess Diana's death, her asking "Why did nobody notice it?" during the 2008 financial crisis and, more recently, sitting alone at Prince Phillip's funeral without family and friends due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Like many others, I have great respect and affection for the Queen. Crowned in 1953, she reigned over a period of decline for the British empire. As former colonies became independent, some violently and some peacefully, the Commonwealth expanded. As a Constitutional Monarch, she had no power over Her Majesty Government and much wrong were committed in her name.

I believe that her representation of the best of British values, such as humility, compassion and dedication to public service has helped to hold both the nation and Commonwealth together. Also, her symbolism as a constant in British public life, has soothed over some of the underlying fractures in British society and political discourse, as we grapple with the challenges of economic inequality, climate change and our role in a changing multi-polar world.

Her Majesty's passing marks the end of an era for the United Kingdom and the beginning of another with King Charles III. It is my hope that we in the British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities can help shape and contribute to the further development and wellbeing of our country, our home.

Dr Yeow Poon circa 2022

Editor: "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.." RIP (quoting King Charles III quoting Shakespeare)