‘A widely admired and beloved queen’: President Jokowi mourns death of Queen Elizabeth II

Photomosaic image of Queen Elizabeth II at Gatwick airport, London, UK. Photo: Unsplash/Tomas Martinez.
Photomosaic image of Queen Elizabeth II at Gatwick airport, London, UK. Photo: Unsplash/Tomas Martinez.

As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo took to social media to express his condolences to the family of the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, whose coronation took place when Indonesia was still led by founding father President Sukarno.

On both his Instagram and Twitter accounts, President Jokowi said that he was “deeply saddened” by the queen’s passing.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, a widely admired and beloved queen,” Jokowi wrote.

“My deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, the government, and the people of the UK.”

Jokowi’s social media posts came just two days after he congratulated new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who had just been appointed by the queen, and expressed “best wishes” to his “good friend” Boris Johnson.

The news of the queen’s passing broke yesterday and heads of state from across the globe have also expressed their condolences. 

Queen Elizabeth II began her reign when President Sukarno had already been in office for seven years. During the Queen’s reign, Indonesia has had seven presidents, the current one being Jokowi.

Local news outlets pointed out some of the momentous events between Queen Elizabeth II and Indonesia, including a royal visit in 1974  with the late Prince Phillip to Jakarta, where they were welcomed by popular Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin and later met the late President Suharto and First Wife Tien Suharto.

In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II invited Indonesia’s president at the time, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the late First Wife Ani Yudhoyono to a royal banquet at Buckingham Palace where, in her speech, the Queen commended the two nations and their partnership.

Interestingly, in her speech, the Queen mentioned Stamford Raffles and his “affection” for Indonesia.

Queen Elizabeth II is also remembered as being among the world leaders who pleaded for a death row pardon for Dr. Soebandrio, who was Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs under Sukarno as well as former Indonesia’s Ambassador to the U.K. Dr. Soebandrio was arrested and sentenced to death in 1966 after being accused of having been involved with the Indonesian Communist Party.

Dr. Soebandrio’s sentence was reduced to lifetime imprisonment, but he was eventually released from prison in 1995 due to health reasons. He later died in 2004 at the age of 89.

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