The king is dead, long live the king. Do you know what this expression means? It is an expression that puzzles (confuses) many people because it contradicts itself. If the king is already dead, how can he live long? Actually, the expression“the king is dead, long live the king”does not contradict itself. To“contradict”means to say the opposite of what has been said. The expression is not a contradiction because it doesn’t mean that the dead king can live long. It simply means the current king is dead, long live the new king who will replace the dead king. The phrase is a proclamation used in Britain but it originated in France. A proclamation is an important official announcement.
When a king dies, a proclamation is made that the king is dead, and expresses the hope the new king will live long. Britain allows a woman to be the monarch (king or queen). Therefore, when Queen Elizabeth II dies, the proclamation will say“the queen is dead, long live the king”because her son Prince Charles is next in line to become the monarch. The proclamation originated in France when Charles VI died in 1422 and his son Charles VII became the new king. I learned this expression a long time ago in school but suddenly remembered it when Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said last week“the bill is dead＂.
She was referring to the proposed extradition agreement with mainland China, which she has now suspended. The word“bill” used this way is a proposed law to be discussed and voted on in a legislature. After huge protests to oppose the bill, Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said last week“the bill is dead＂. But most people who opposed the bill said she has to withdraw the bill instead of just suspending it and saying it is dead. I laughingly said to myself“the bill is dead, long live the bill”. This means the existing bill is dead but will be replaced with a new one with a long life！
「The king is dead, long live the king」，你可知道這個習語是甚麼意思？它是一個令許多人困惑（puzzles）的習語，因為它自相矛盾（contradicts itself）。若國王已經駕崩，他又怎能長壽？事實上，習語The king is dead, long live the king並不自相矛盾（contradict itself）。To“contradict”即與前述的事互相矛盾。這個習語並不自相矛盾（contradiction），因為它不是說死了的國王還可以延年益壽。這句話簡單而言是指，現任的國王駕崩了，願那替任死去國王的新國王萬歲。這句短語是英國所用的文告（proclamation），但它其實源自法國。A proclamation就是官方正式的公告。
她當時是指原先提出將罪犯引渡至內地的修例，而她現在已經暫緩了修例。Bill在這裏是指條例草案，要經過立法機關的審議和表決。在大型示威抗議條例草案（bill）後，林鄭月娥上星期說條例草案（bill）已壽終正寢。然而，大部份反對條例草案（bill）的人士說她需要撤回草案（bill）而非只是暫緩及說它已壽終正寢。我開玩笑地跟自己說：「the bill is dead, long live the bill」，即是說現有的草案（bill）已壽終正寢，但將會有一個新的法案取代之，而且千秋萬歲！