A new United Kingdom?
The passing of Elizabeth II and the accession of Charles III have coincided with the appointment of a new Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
It is the end of an era, and therefore a new one for Britain.
The 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reign marked a special page in British history. The undisputed victor in the fight against Nazism, Britain emerged from the Second World War weakened and in debt, and had to deconstruct the world's largest empire, which then numbered 400 million people. Its tenacity and openness to the world enabled it to recover and rise to the rank of 5th world economic power. Then came the divisions, those of Brexit, of its increasingly disunited nations, the antics of some of the junior members of the royal family, its isolation just a stone's throw from Europe, the costly buffoonery of some whimsical elected officials.
She who, in the 1940s, was a rescuer in the bombings of London and whom Winston Churchill introduced to the convoluted rules of constitutional monarchy, was able to embody the unity of the Kingdom on all these occasions because Her Majesty symbolised the glorious history of her country and a link with its present. She was the monarch of nostalgia wrapped in great finesse and intelligence, draped in eloquent silences.
Thanks to her, the British monarchy will continue to reign over these globalized islands through her son, who has had time to acquire immense experience in international affairs. He will modernise it at a time when the country has appointed a new Prime Minister, who is also determined to act on her own and in a pragmatic rather than ideological manner.
She has just demonstrated this by announcing, despite her previous statements, a massive support plan for her citizens and businesses to contain soaring energy costs by mobilising more than £100 billion of public funds.
It is also likely that the government will not want to embarrass itself with a conflict with the European Union, which it has fuelled by reneging on the commitments it made to Ireland when it signed the treaty of separation from the continent.
On the contrary, we can hope that it will discreetly normalise its relations with the 27, which will not ask for confessions, without challenging the Brexit vote, which is now favoured by a minority in the country. It is in its interest and that of its fellow citizens to face the crisis and Putin.
For the British, in addition to the sadness and emotion, it is therefore a clear, hard shift that is taking place.
The post-war period, which coincided with the reign of its late sovereign, has ended abruptly. The British used to pride themselves on being the only ones in Europe to be on the winning side of the Second World War, looking down on the 'coalition of losers' that the European Union represented in their eyes. That era is over; that chapter closed. And their current economic and social difficulties are all the more daunting because they have chosen to face them alone.
The country has all the assets to take up the challenge if it recaptures the pragmatism that has long characterised it and breaks with the dogmatism of a populism that has worn it down. The pomp and circumstance surrounding the tributes to the Queen must not mask or delude us, but the United Kingdom is perfectly able to offer us a new face.