051_G19_Arena

Global

Arena Governance Queen and country Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in 16 countries. But what do the citizens of these nations think about having a foreign national, from a far away land, reign over them? Kylie Field Crowds of people line the streets hoping for a glimpse of the VIP in town. Flags wave frantically, merging together in a sea of red, white and blue. Bouquets of flowers are thrust forward from small hands vying for a polite smile or brief acknowledgment. The excitement is building on the faces in the crowd as television crews and photographers get ready to beam images across the globe. It’s another day of record crowds. A car pulls up and out steps the visitor. The crowds erupt into cheers. But this is not a celebrity or movie star, it’s Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. As it stands, the Queen is the head of state for 16 of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth. Her portrait hangs in council chambers, schools and public buildings across the globe. She appoints a governor-general to represent her in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Jamaica, but has no political influence or power over these countries. She is one of the longestserving monarchs in the world and many would say one of the hardest working. It’s been reported that she is au fait with most matters directly relating to the Commonwealth and opens the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting with a speech she has composed without any briefing or assistance. It has been suggested that she brings stability and unity to the Commonwealth, but how do the citizens of countries that lie across the seas feel about a foreign royal being their head of state? Do many believe that one day a citizen of their country should be president? Or is it felt that the Queen has been a benign force for good for their country? www.global global four th quar ter 2014 -br ief ing.org l 51  © PMO/Jason Ransom


Global
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