Elisabetta, the real soft power between crisis and challenges

That of Elizabeth II (THE LIVEBLOG – THE SPECIAL) was a silent diplomacy, strict in its duties of impartiality, made up of travels, bows, receptions, more or less evident sympathies and more or less hidden dislikes. Her political messages almost always came through the wrong way.

The diplomacy of details

A classic example of how the queen used hers soft power it is that sort of out-of-the-box of 2021 in which Elizabeth complained about world leaders “who talk so much but do little against climate change”, words that officially she could never have uttered. For a woman who has never left anything to chance, accessories also made a difference. In 2017, for example, in the midst of Brexit chaos, his blue hat with yellow buttons that so much resembled the European flag did not go unnoticed in Westminster. The following year, receiving President Trump, she alternated a brooch given to her by Barack Obama (as if to make it clear which side she was on) with the one worn by the Queen Mother for King George VI’s funeral, certainly not a happy memory. .

Relations with the United States

Trump aside, relations with the United States have always been solid: with Reagan, in particular, a deep friendship, but also with George W. Bush, the first American president hosted directly at Buckingham Palace, despite the background (never confirmed) they told of a sovereign not at all in agreement with the military interventions in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003, supported by the then Prime Minister Blair.

The great international crises

It was instead on the occasion of the first Gulf War, in 1991, that Elizabeth addressed her subjects directly to explain the reasons for the British intervention, in one of her very rare messages to the nation. However, she experienced her first major international crisis in 1956, with the lightning conflict in the Suez Canal, and at the time she was not spared criticism for her lack of empathy. Very different attitude with which in 1982 followed the Falklands war, in which her son Andrea di lei was personally involved.

The Head of State who has traveled the most

However, it is thanks to her travels that Elizabeth has carved out a leading role in representing the interests of her country abroad. Up to now there has not been a head of state in the world who has traveled more. Her attention has mainly turned to the former colonies and members of the Commonwealth, of which she has been the true glue. In 2011 she too became the first British monarch to pay a state visit to the Republic of Ireland, helping to improve relations between the two countries. Four, however, the trips to Italy by Regina: the last time in 2014, welcomed by the then president Giorgio Napolitano.