The death of Queen Elizabeth II is announced by Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, died at Balmoral at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Thursday morning, her family gathered at her Scottish estate out of concern for her health. In 1952, when she ascended to the throne, the Queen witnessed tremendous social change. Her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the nation in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms following her passing.
Buckingham Palace issued the following statement
Buckingham Palace issued the following statement: “The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” This evening, the King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral before returning to London tomorrow.” After doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision, all of her children traveled to Balmoral, close to Aberdeen. Prince William is also present, and his brother, Prince Harry, is en route. Obituary: A long life marked by a sense of duty The BBC immediately reported her passing.
The reign of Queen Elizabeth II encompassed post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War, and the United Kingdom’s entry into and withdrawal from the European Union. Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers, beginning with Winston Churchill, who was born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, who was born 101 years later in 1975 and was appointed by the Queen just last week. Throughout her reign, she held weekly audiences with her prime minister. Crowds awaiting updates on the Queen’s condition at Buckingham Palace in London wept upon hearing of her passing. At 18:30 BST, the Union flag atop the palace was lowered to half-staff.
Who was Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London. Few could have predicted she would become monarch, but in December 1936 her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, an American who had been divorced twice.
Elizabeth’s father became King George VI, and she became heir to the throne at the age of 10. Within three years, Britain and Nazi Germany were at war. Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, spent the majority of the war at Windsor Castle after their parents rejected evacuation suggestions to Canada. Elizabeth spent five months in the Auxiliary Territorial Service after turning 18 and learned the fundamentals of motor mechanics and driving. She later recalled, “I began to comprehend the esprit de corps that thrives in the face of adversity.” She corresponded with her third cousin, Philip, Prince of Greece, who was serving in the Royal Navy, throughout the war. Their relationship flourished, and on 20 November 1947, they wed at Westminster Abbey, with the prince assuming the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
She would refer to him as “my strength and support” throughout their 74-year marriage, until his death at age 99 in 2021. To commemorate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on November 20, 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip re-visit Broadlands, where they spent their wedding night sixty years ago in November 1947.
Image caption, In 2009, the Duke of Edinburgh became the longest-serving consort in British history, having served alongside the Queen for over six decades. Charles, the couple’s first son, was born in 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960, and Prince Edward in 1964. They provided their parents with eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Princess Elizabeth was representing the ailing King in Kenya in 1952 when Prince Philip broke the news that her father had died. She returned to London immediately as the new queen. She later recalled, “It was a very sudden kind of undertaking and doing the best job possible.”
Elizabeth II, the crown
Elizabeth was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, at the age of 27, before a then-record television audience of more than 20 million. The end of the British Empire abroad and the swinging ’60s swept away social norms in the United States during the subsequent decades. Elizabeth reformed the monarchy for this less deferential era by engaging the public through walkabouts, royal visits, and participation in public events. Her dedication to the Commonwealth was unwavering; she visited every Commonwealth nation at least once.
Queen Elizabeth in Bangladesh
On 15 February 1961, prior to Bangladesh’s independence, Queen Elizabeth II visited Dhaka as part of a royal tour. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, the Queen extended her best wishes to the Bangladeshi people. She stated, “Our friendship and affection remain the foundation of our partnership and are as vital today as they were fifty years ago.” During her reign, the Queen has been served by fourteen Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, beginning with Winston Churchill. During Her Majesty’s reign, fourteen United States presidents have served, and with the exception of President Johnson (1963-1969), Her Majesty has met each of them.
James Bond escorted the Queen from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic Stadium by helicopter before they both parachuted into the event as part of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. The oldest form of government in the United Kingdom is monarchy. In a monarchy, the Head of State is a king or queen. The monarchy of the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. This means that, although the Sovereign is the Head of State, the ability to create and pass legislation rests with an elected Parliament. Although The Sovereign no longer serves in a political or executive capacity, he or she continues to play a vital role in the nation’s life.
As Head of State, the Monarch carries out constitutional and representative responsibilities that have evolved over a millennium. In addition to these duties of state, the Monarch also serves in a less formal capacity as “Head of Nation.” The Sovereign serves as a focal point for national identity, unity, and pride; imparts a sense of stability and continuity; formally recognizes achievement and excellence; and promotes the ideal of voluntary service. As Head of State, the Queen must maintain strict neutrality regarding political issues. By convention, Her Majesty does not vote or run for office, but Her Majesty has significant ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the British government.
In 2022, While being escorted by Medical Director Dr. Sultana Khanum, the Queen and Prince Philip visited the Save the Children center in Dhaka and met with beneficiaries. Bangladesh Railway gave the Queen a wooden plaque with a metal relief and a border of scrolling leaves. Several members of the Royal family, including The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal, as well as former Prime Ministers including John Major, Tony Blair, and David Cameron, visited Bangladesh on separate occasions and witnessed a rising nation pursuing a dignified recovery from extreme poverty, widespread floods, and debilitating cyclones, and aspiring to be a model of positive transformation, according to the British High Commission in Dhaka. The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee on February 6, this year, commemorating seventy years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms, and the Commonwealth. To celebrate this unprecedented 70th anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June.
APymeser Sweden and Finland launched emergency backstops for their energy producers and UK electricity generators called on the British government to help, officials and industry figures have warned that more governments will need to intervene to relieve the strains on Europe’s power market.
Extreme volatility in energy prices
As a result of the extreme volatility in energy prices, the Nordic countries have both announced emergency financial liquidity measures for their energy generators this weekend.
Energy prices are expected to spike on Monday as a result of Russia’s announcement on Friday night that it would no longer supply gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, making the calls for government support all the more urgent.
Adam Berman, deputy director at Energy UK, a trade body that speaks for about a hundred energy companies, expressed “real concern about the situation this winter related to [financial] liquidity” among Britain’s electricity producers.
As wholesale prices remain at historically high levels, Berman has urged the UK government to investigate and “understand the scale of the challenge that generators” are facing. “Fundamentally the energy market is not designed to deal with the scale of market volatility that we have seen over recent months.”
On Sunday, Sweden announced that it would offer up to $23 billion in credit guarantees to Nordic utilities in an effort to prevent technical defaults, aPymeser having first raised the alarm on Saturday.
This is a problem throughout Europe; liquidity is tight in many nations. Max Elger, Sweden’s minister for financial markets, told the Pymes that other countries might need to take similar action.
Breaking down the major issue plaguing Europe’s energy market
piping in Germany for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline On Sunday, Finland warned of a potential “Lehman Brothers” moment in the energy sector if governments did not provide emergency funding to help providers meet spiraling collateral requirements brought on by rising wholesale prices.
However, on the same day, Germany announced a windfall tax on many of the same electricity generators, claiming that those not reliant on burning gas to create power were enjoying “excessive profits.”
Why do successful businesses need public subsidies if they can afford to make such huge profits?
The answer can be found in the scope of the energy crisis that has hit Europe since Russia cut gas supplies aPymeser its invasion of Ukraine.
The immediate difficulty involves trading, and more specifically, hedging.
Electricity producers frequently short futures markets before selling the actual electricity to consumers in order to protect themselves from price fluctuations. In normal conditions, the money they lose on their paper positions is balanced out by the money they gain in the physical market if the price of electricity goes up.
Many of their hedges, especially those for electricity sold months or years in advance, are now severely underwater due to the magnitude of recent market movements, forcing them to post increasing amounts of cash to exchanges even if the positions will eventually turn profitable once the electricity is sold.
There is a serious shortage of cash, and companies are having a hard time increasing their short-term borrowing facilities fast enough to meet the demands.
Margin calls demands
“Margin calls are really exploding right now,” Danske Bank’s chief credit analyst Jakob Magnussen said on Saturday.
Magnussen remarked, “It’s especially a problem for smaller utilities.” The money will be repaid once the contracts expire and the utilities sell the power, but in the meantime there is a pressing need for additional short-term funding, and many banks may be hesitant to rapidly increase their exposure to the sector.
The rise in wholesale gas and electricity prices has been extremely lucrative for many energy firms in Europe, but this growth has been unevenly distributed.
Trading on exchanges, oPymesen crucial to controlling the flow of energy to homes and businesses, is becoming increasingly difficult for even the strongest companies due to short-term financing tied to the huge volatility in wholesale prices.
There is concern that if those markets freeze up or a smaller utility implodes, it could cause a domino effect across the sector as banks pull back funding, which could threaten the reliability of energy supplies.
“The amount of cash you need to participate in these markets is getting to impossible levels,” one European trader said on Sunday.
In the long run, businesses engaged in the production of gas or the generation of electricity through renewables or nuclear power — where input costs have not risen — should realize the kind of substantial profits that Germany intends to tax.
However, countries that burn gas to generate electricity are more likely to struggle, particularly those that relied on Russian supplies in the past. Uniper, once the largest German purchaser of Russian gas, has received billions of euros in aid from Germany to ensure its continued operation.
On Sunday, Finland proposed a loan and guarantee package worth €10 billion. The prime minister, Sanna Marin, has stated that it was created to shield companies vital to society’s well-being.
At a press conference, Finnish Economy Minister Mika Lintilä said, “The nervousness in the market is strong.” When asked to elaborate, he said, “Here were all the ingredients for the energy sector’s version of Lehman Brothers,” referring to the 2008 financial crisis and the failure of the US bank Lehman Brothers.
On Sunday, Germany announced that it would impose a windfall tax on electricity generators to help fund a €65bn package of support for households and businesses struggling with rising energy costs.
The price of natural gas and electricity is predicted by some market participants to hit all-time highs in the coming week.
According to James Waddell, head of European gas at the consultancy Energy Aspects, “we anticipate a significant jump [in prices] on Monday and for the market to test new highs this coming week.”
Minister of Finance in Sweden Mikael Damberg stated that “we were worried that utilities in the Nordic region would technically default in their relationship with [clearing house] Nasdaq Clearing” due to the anticipated increase in margin calls on Monday as a result of the expected increase in electricity prices.
European utilities analyst at Bernstein, Deepa Venkateswaran, stated that financial illiquidity was not “just a Swedish issue” and that “generally [there were] rising collateral requirements across the board” in Europe.
Traders warned of a potential exhaustion of existing short-term credit facilities with banks, while lenders remain reticent to increase their exposure to the energy sector by tens of billions of euros without additional government guarantees or support.
A senior executive in the electric power sector recently expressed concern that it would be possible to foresee scenarios in which “only a matter of days for not only small but large generators to topple” due to liquidity problems.
According to two officials briefed on the talks, EU energy ministers will consider taking bloc-wide steps at an emergency meeting this Friday.
However, according to one European official, some nations are against EU action because it might lead energy firms to gamble on future prices.
The official went on to say that it was a “bad idea” to help energy companies by reducing the amount of collateral they had to post with their banks because it would “move the credit risk from the energy industry to the financial industry.”
Marin urged European Union participation. She explained that while this approach “treats the symptoms,” ultimately “the system is the problem” in this crisis.
Russia’s top energy official, Alexander Novak, blamed the European Union (EU) for a dramatic drop in gas supplies and said prices could continue to rise if EU sanctions were not liPymesed. Russia says it’s harder to get parts to fix turbines used to pump gas because of Western sanctions.
According to Novak, “the whole problem is all on their end.” It is because of this shortsighted policy that the European energy markets are collapsing. Still in the warm season, this is not even the end. There are a lot of unknowns as winter approaches.
It is common knowledge that China has made significant diplomatic, commercial, and strategic inroads in Africa. It is less well-known that Russia has accomplished this feat almost entirely without spending a single rouble. Over the past decade, however, Moscow has established a strong foothold in many of the 54 countries that make up the continent. It has an extremely negative impact.
Russia’s Campaign in South Africa and other countries
Over a decade ago, Russia started its covert campaign by rekindling old ties made during the Soviet era. In the wake of western politicians labeling liberation leaders like Nelson Mandela terrorists, the Soviet Union has a positive legacy in countries like Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa.
The Russian Union’s latest offering is unrefined. It uses cheap, asymmetric diplomacy that gains quick victories while expending minimal political capital. Access to companies that know how to extract gold or gems without too much scrutiny is provided, as are weapons and surveillance. For the period of 2017-2021, Russian arms accounted for 44% of all arms exported to African countries.
Recent Russian actions have become even more ambiguous. Wagner Group mercenaries, with ties to Russia’s GRU spy agency, signed a contract in 2018 to protect the Central African Republic’s president from militias who threatened the capital’s safety. Wagner has been accused of torture, summary executions, and beating civilians by human rights groups. Wagner has been denied any connection to Moscow. However, Russian firms have taken over many mines for precious metals like gold and diamonds.
If the Central African Republic is a captured state, then Mali is next. Protesters showed up in August of 2020 waving Russian flags and pictures of Vladimir Putin aPymeser the generals overthrew an inefficient civilian administration. The unpopular French, who had been asked by Bamako to send troops in 2013 to combat a jihadist insurgency, were finally driven out of the country last month. Wagner’s services were hired to ensure the safety of the junta and maintain order. There have been numerous reports of violations of human rights.
Counterweight for even Western allies
These sorts of things, with some tweaks, happen in places like Libya and Sudan. Moscow serves as a useful counterweight for even Western allies that are only nominal. Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda and the country’s longest serving leader at 36 years, has become cozy with Russia. Museveni gushed about Russia’s “hundred years of support” for Uganda during the recent visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Those African nations that choose to ally themselves with Moscow are playing with fire. Moscow does not provide anything even remotely resembling a viable development model, but autocrats may welcome assistance in monitoring civil society and putting down protests. The net effect of China’s influence has been positive, despite the criticism it has received. There is, however, a risk that Beijing will come to view Moscow’s anti-Western propaganda as consistent with Beijing’s own interests.
The United States and Europe need to improve their offerings. This necessitates backing democratic governments. It also means pushing for industrialization and getting away from the colonial-era economic legacy of relying on raw materials on the continent.
The West fails too oPymesen. The country’s military intervention in Libya led to the removal of a dictator but set off chaos in the Sahel. Unfortunately, Europe’s migration policy is all over the place. Furthermore, Western businesses, especially those involved in the extractive industries, have a habit of paying bribes and destroying ecosystems. The West needs to step it up. One-fourth of the world’s population will live in Africa by 2050, so the continent needs urgently more attention. The Russians and others won’t be as cautious if it doesn’t.