Gloria Li and William Langley in Hong Kong and Maiqi Ding and Nian Liu in Beijing
Chinese internet users reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth II by expressing sympathy, with many lamenting “the end of an era” even as they turned to humor and political frustration with their own leadership.
“She had a legendary and glorious life,” one Weibo user commented. “Hope she can rest in peace.”
“In my memory, she was still a lovely grandma who always wore colorful suits and umbrellas,” another post read.
The Queen’s death has also offered Chinese internet users a chance to vent their political views.
“The empire on which the sun never sets finally saw the sun set. She was the last symbol of colonialism,” a Weibo user said.
Others called upon Chinese compatriots to commemorate Mao Zedong, who passed away on September 9, 1976.
Not long after the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death broke, hundreds of internet users posted a sentence reading “The one who should die hasn’t died,” an implicit criticism of Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Censors quickly deleted similar posts, including some mentioning a song by Malaysian singer Fish Leong named “It’s a shame that it’s not you”.
Netflix series The Crownwhich follows the Queen’s life, was trending on Douban, a media database similar to film listing platform IMDb, ranking as the second most popular TV programme.
Hu Xijin, the former editor and columnist at nationalist tabloid Global Times, took to Twitter to pay his respects to the former monarch.
“I want to pay my respects to the late Queen Elizabeth. Wish her rest in peace. She is friendly to China, and in my opinion, she maintained Britain’s last dignity,” he wrote, adding that, to his memory, the Queen never “said or did anything to upset the Chinese”.