LONDON — The passing of Queen Elizabeth II ushers in a new era for the United Kingdom. — but one that is rife with waning national morale and economic insecurity.
At 96, the queen was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She passed away “peacefully” on Thursday at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle, hours after medical professionals had raised alarm about her failing health.
Following the news, tens of thousands of Britons gathered outside Buckingham Palace in the pouring rain to pay their condolences.
The queen had come to represent rare stability in a world of continual change over her 70-year reign, which saw the aftermath of World War II, the dissolution of Britain’s huge empire, the Brexit vote in 2016, and a pandemic. Her eldest son, who was named King Charles III hours after she passed away, will succeed her.
No government statements will be made until after her funeral, which will be observed with a public holiday in about 10 days. Her passing will be commemorated by a time of mournful ceremony.
regular politics are suspended
Just a few days after the U.K., routine political activity has been suspended. In her final act of public duty, the queen herself named Liz Truss as the country’s new prime minister on Tuesday.
Truss takes office at 10 Downing Street as Britain experiences a period of unprecedented change. He inherits a nation with the worst economic outlook in years, a worsening energy crisis, and rising inequality.
Hours before the queen passed away, Truss got to work revealing her strategies for addressing the U.K.’s cost-of-living crisis. She unveiled a significant stimulus plan meant to assist Britons with their rising energy costs as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
It follows the growth of a petition in the UK calling for a boycott of energy bills.
The Treasury estimates that the over £100 billion package will reduce peak inflation by 4-5 percentage points. However, experts have cautioned that by encouraging spending on goods and wages, the measure could make the Bank of England’s already difficult mission of containing record-high prices even more difficult.
The U.K. In an effort to lower inflation, which is currently the highest among the G-7 countries at 10.1%, the central bank raised the benchmark rate by the most in 27 years last month, to 1.75%. When the BoE meets the following week, investors had largely anticipated another rate increase of 50 basis points; however, some now believe that the BoE will be obliged to raise rates higher and faster.
increasing risks of a recession
The bleak picture coincides with mounting recessionary dangers for the nation. In line with earlier predictions from the Bank of England, Goldman Sachs issued a warning this week that the United Kingdom would experience a recession in the fourth quarter of this year.
Brits are currently preparing for a difficult winter for both households and companies.
The British pound has been falling over the previous few months and dropped to a 37-year low on Wednesday of $1.1469.
It puts additional strain on King Charles and Truss, the two new leaders of Britain, who will be tasked with mobilising the populace during a moment of crisis. Later on Friday, the two are scheduled to meet in London.
The monarchy is also consistently criticised for consuming public funds and being out-of-date. A nation experiencing a problem with the cost of living will not be blind to the expense and pomp of the queen’s funeral, in fact.
King Charles has already made preparations to reduce the size of the Royal Family, according to Andrew Roberts, a historian and lecturer at King’s College London, who spoke with CNBC on Friday
“The Royal Family should reflect the tremendous cost-of-living issue that the U.K. is experiencing, clearly,” he added, adding that there might be fewer royals attending high-profile events in the future.
Truss urged the British people to “come together as a people” and support their new head of state on Thursday.
In a speech delivered outside No. 10, Truss stated that “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was founded.” “We enter a new period in the glorious history of our great country with the passage of the second Elizabethan age.”
She went on to say that Charles III should have support from the British people in order to “assist him to shoulder the great responsibility that he now carries for us all.” God protect the King,