The Queen has died: what happens now?

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, died on Thursday aged 96. She passed away surrounded by her family at Balmoral, her country estate in Scotland. Only three months ago she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. Europe's press pays tribute to the monarch, but also examines her reign and her successor, Charles III.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Her reassuring presence will be missed

The death of Elizabeth II came as no surprise but it will nonetheless unsettle the nation, writes The Guardian:

“And never more so, perhaps, than when it coincides with the arrival of a new prime minister amid an emerging economic crisis. There was something terribly poignant about her insistence, even in what we know now were her dying days, on personally ushering Liz Truss into office. The Queen has been a constant, steadying presence in the background of millions of lives for 70 years, a reassuring voice in troubled times. But it is the depth of knowledge accumulated over decades that may perhaps only be fully appreciated now.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

She captured the hearts of the Irish

The Irish people also mourn the Queen's passing, the Irish Independent stresses:

“Her visit to Ireland in 2011 was a watershed in Anglo-Irish relations. She was the first British monarch to break the ice of 100 years of fraught relations. Speeches in which she acknowledged mistakes and a 'sad and regrettable history' were compassionate and honest. Her open expression of a 'wish that things had been done differently or not at all' was a message of healing and hope. For these reasons, she will be held in the affections of Irish people. The country will empathise with the great sense of sadness of her family and that of the people of the UK.”

Avvenire (IT) /

Silent on too many subjects

The queen should have been far clearer in denouncing the negative repercussions of colonialism, Avvenire says:

“Elizabeth saw everything - and on almost everything she avoided passing judgement. She adhered to a protocol she had imposed on herself since her coronation: to remain silent. And she kept silent on many subjects - too many - or perhaps only whispered to her prime ministers. Many times, too many, she turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of a country that found it hard to renounce the colonialism that had embellished the world map with pink-coloured crown colonies: from India, to Suez and the Middle East - where the borders of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine had been ruthlessly drawn in with a pencil and ruler.”

Denik (CZ) /

Big shoes to fill

Deník hopes that the representatives of the monarchy will continue to act as mediating and unifying forces:

“Elizabeth's successors to the throne will not have it easy, because the Queen has set the bar very high. But just as Elizabeth II managed to successfully transform the relationship with the former colonies into a functioning Commonwealth, Britain's new monarch could attempt a similar feat: helping to establish a good new partnership between his kingdom and the European Union. Both Britain and the EU desperately need that in these times we live in.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

New king will set new priorities

Rzeczpospolita wonders how high environmental policy will be on Charles III's agenda:

“A keen observer of the gigantic civilisational changes that have taken place over his lifetime, for years he has spoken openly about the challenges facing present and future generations. ... Is Britain on the verge of a great green revolution with Charles' accession to the throne? It's hard to say, because not all of his projects will be greeted with enthusiasm by his future subjects. However, we can safely assume that Charles, as king, will keep an eye on whether large-scale investments are in stark contrast to the ideas he promotes and is guided by.”