Queen Elizabeth II and the World
From the Commonwealth country of Canada, to the fifth republic of France, we reflect on how the world remembers Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen had to negotiate the ever-evolving relationship with its member states as they declared independence and as Britain’s relationship to its former colonies underwent profound change. The British Monarch remains head of state of 14 countries, from Canada to the Solomon Islands. Lyse Doucet is in Ottawa where Canada’s leaders have made warm tributes and reflects back on her own encounters with the Queen.
Despite its anti-monarchist history, one of the more powerful tributes to the Queen emerged from French President Emmanuel Macron. He spoke fondly of her as a ‘great head of state’ and a ‘kind-hearted queen.’ So what was the Queen’s relationship to France? In 1972 Queen Elizabeth famously told former President Georges Pompidou 'we are not driving on the same side of the road, but we are going in the same direction', when he lifted the veto to Britain entering the Common Market. Hugh Schofield reflects on a unique relationship.
The Oscar-winning film Parasite portrays the story of a low-income South Korean family living in a basement apartment. In one memorable scene, the heavens open and floodwater fills the family home. Last month, in a cruel example of life imitating art, Seoul experienced its heaviest flooding in 100 years. Water rushed into homes, trapping residents inside – four people were killed. The city government has since promised to get rid of the basement apartments and create more social housing. But as Jean Mackenzie has been finding out, this offers little comfort to those who live there.
The Gambia is Africa’s smallest nation, where the process of reconciliation is proving arduous, five years after the end of a murderous dictatorship. Former President Yahya Jammeh, who fled to Equatorial Guinea in 2017 after losing a re-election bid, is wanted internationally for crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and sexual violence. Because he still enjoys a measure of loyalty back home, the nation he left behind is divided. Most of Jammeh’s hit men fled when he did, and many Gambians say reconciliation is impossible until they are all brought to justice. When Alexa Dvorson visited the country she witnessed a rare act of contrition.
The Republic of Moldova sits on a fault line of geo-politics, with warring Ukraine on one side and Romania, firmly ensconced in the EU and Nato, on the other. Within its borders, is Transnistria, where a Russian-backed separatist war broke out thirty years ago. Today the area is a frozen conflict zone, but Russia still has a military presence. Piggy-in-the-middle between East and West, perhaps nothing tells Moldova’s complicated story more clearly than its main industry – wine - as Tessa Dunlop finds.
Presenter: Kate Adie
Producer: Serena Tarling
Production coordinator: Iona Hammond
Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith