After ruling the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II of England passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday, September 8, 2022. His popularity went far beyond the borders of his country. The Queen of England has established herself as an essential character on the planetary scale over the decades as she marked the history of the world and embodied an entire era. Queen Elizabeth II set foot on Polynesian soil on February 21, 2002, during the technical stop of her plane in the company of her husband, Prince Philip. He was received by the then Vice President of the Government, President Edouard Frich. She evoked elegance and an unwavering sense of duty.
Edouard Frich asked Father Christoph, the archer of the Church of Papeete, to hold a mass meeting in honor of the late sovereign on Sunday evening, 18 September. This solemn service will be held at 6 pm on Monday morning, or Sunday evening (Polynesia time) a few hours before the scheduled funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II is echoing loudly in many Pacific countries. Half of the member states of the Pacific Forum to which French Polynesia belongs are still part of the British Commonwealth and thus recognize the Queen of England as the head of state. This is the case for Australia, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Zealand and Association, Niue and our neighbors the Cook Islands. In addition, our second neighbour, Pitcairn, is directly integrated into the United Kingdom. Several Pacific states have declared national mourning because of this.
By lowering the flag at half-mast over the country’s buildings on that day and handing over Polynesian prayers to the late Queen Elizabeth II through this mass, the President intended to express the respect and compassion of the Polynesian people to the British people. and Commonwealth peoples in the Pacific.