The soft power (and sense of duty) of a queen. And a president

from Enrica Roddolo

Seven years ago, elected for 4 months, Mattarella met Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The second term of office of the president, and on February 6 the record 70 years of reign of Elizabeth II

Seven years ago, in May 2015 – at the beginning of Mattarella’s first presidential term – when Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the president at Buckingham Palace, the agreement appeared immediate. Her Majesty showed him the wonder of the art collection kept at the Queen’s Gallery, mostly made up of a masterpiece by the great Italian masters: it was King George III who started the Royal collection.

Then Mattarella gave a speech at the London School of Economics in London and did not forget to lay a wreath on the grave of the British Unknown Soldier.. L, at Westminster Abbey, where royal brides have traditionally placed their bouquets. Bond of past and present. Bond between two personalities who now – after a week in this early 2022 – are crossing two important milestones.

In fact, the queen is approaching the turning point of the 70 years of reign: February 6, 2022. Never before her had reached the Platinum Jubilee finish. Vittoria celebrated only the Gold and Diamond Jubilee, 50 and 60 years on the throne.

For Mattarella, the second mandate is now fulfilled, loudly requested to strengthen the relationship of trust and stability with the institutions. In a still fragile moment for the pandemic, for the political and economic context of Italy. Two personalities, two heads of state.

A president and a queen. United to play a crucial role in their respective countries in 2022. A soft power exercised gracefully and effectively, in the difficulties of the pandemic moment. Personalities that have been confirmed as a guarantee of stability, consistency, constancy. Respect for the sense of institutions. The revenge of wisdom, of balance, in a world where youthfulness often wins at any cost.

And even more – for Mattarella as for the queen – a common demonstration of dedication to duty that goes beyond personal desires, personal aspirations. For Mattarella, the duty to make himself available again. Despite the different plans cultivated for the future. And that sense of duty that the Queen knows well, faithful to the Coronation Oath pronounced in June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. And confirmed in every historical moment of his long reign. In 1977 – at his first Jubilee, the silver one – he said. When I was 21 I dedicated my life to the service of our people … and although I made that promise in the green years, I do not regret nor intend to retract a single word. So much so that she immediately got back to work, even after the farewell of her beloved husband Filippo a year ago.

On the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Mattarella wrote a heartfelt message to the queen. Which went beyond formal words of circumstance, remembering Philip his exemplary loyalty to the Crown and the country but also his open mind. In fact, the Quirinale’s link with Buckingham Palace intensified after the earthquake that hit Central Italy in 2016, followed closely by the Windsors.


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