Princess Elizabeth ascended the throne at 25 and since then she has endured several crises, including the post-World War II reconstruction, the crippling labor unrest, and the scandals that plagued her family. She is one of the most traveled monarchs and was known for wearing bright clothes that made her stand out amidst the crowd. During her reign, Elizabeth met more people than any other ruler in history. Her image was widely reproduced around the world, but her opinions and inner life remained a mystery.
The longest-reigning monarch in Britain died at the age of 96 on Thursday at her summer home in Scotland. She had led a steady and significant social change within the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth beyond her royal duties
The public rarely saw much of Elizabeth’s personality. She was known for her fondness for horse racing and for being with her Welsh corgi’s dogs. However, royal historian Robert Lacey said that she had an innate understanding of her subjects’ perspectives, which she used to her advantage throughout her reign. She also maintained a low public profile.
U.S. President Joe Biden called her a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy.”
The universe conspired to make Queen Elizabeth ace the line of loyal succession when her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated to marry American Wallis Simpson, leaving the crown to her father George VI.
Her sister, Princess Margaret, said that Elizabeth was asked whether this meant that she would eventually become queen. She said that Elizabeth was sure it would happen. Like many of her generation, she was affected by the Second World War. During the war, she was only a teenager.
During the war, she spent her nights with sister Margaret in the underground shelter of Windsor Castle, west of the capital, as 300 bombs fell in the adjacent parks. Her first public broadcast was made in 1940, when she was 14. It was a message to children who were being evacuated to the countryside. She used a combination of stoicism and hope to make the message uplifting.
After urging her parents to support the war effort, she became a Second Subaltern of the British Army in 1945. On May 8, 1945, the day the war ended, she and her sister managed to mingle with the celebrating crowd in London unrecognized, she once said in a public interview.
She married Prince Philip in 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Philip was a Royal Navy officer who has abandoned his titles from Denmark and Greece to become a British subject.
During the post-war period, the country was experiencing severe rationing and austerity. However, the wedding was still allowed to take place, with the bride receiving additional ration coupons for her dress. They were married for seven decades. Their first child, Prince Charles, was born on November 14, 1948.
The following year, Princess Anne married Prince Philip. Prince Andrew followed in 1960, and Prince Edward in 1964. Elizabeth is survived by eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandkids, and a slew of other family members. During their time in Malta, where Philip was stationed, the couple enjoyed an almost-normal life as a married couple.
Her coronation took place over a year later after King George’s death at Westminster Abbey. A grand spectacle was held for millions of people through the use of new technology. Prime Minister Winston Churchill initially thought that the new queen was only a child, but he quickly changed his mind. The queen is the head of state of the United Kingdom, but she has little direct power. In her official actions, she acts according to the government’s orders.
Her views on various subjects, such as the environment and architecture, could prove controversial. The queen was expected to regularly meet with the prime minister. She was also up to date with the latest developments in the world of technology.
That year, Windsor Castle, where she preferred to stay, was seriously damaged by fire. The public split between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, which was caused by his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, was followed by the sudden death of Diana in a car crash in 1997.
During this period of unprecedented national mourning, the queen appeared out of touch with the people. Her failure to show her grief was also met with unfeeling reactions.
After a few days, the queen delivered a televised address to the nation. Her popularity had not diminished, as she was still regarded as a national grandmother. She modernized the monarchy and was a cautious modernizer. During this period, she also wore brightly colored outfits and was known for her smile.
How Elizabeth mordernised the monarchy
The queen ended the rituals of presentation of debutantes to the court. She also started holding garden parties, and her children were sent to school instead of being tutored at home She was the first monarch to use a Twitter and email account, and she delivered her annual Christmas message on television. Due to the financial crisis, the royal yacht was removed from active service.
During the 1990s, the queen agreed to pay taxes. Her financial situation was not considered a major concern, and she was still able to carry out her duties without increasing her income. She was also known for being frugal.
Her imperturbability was not affected by an attempted assassination in 1981. In 1982, she was riding on a horse when a man pointed a gun at her, and in 1982, she found an armed man in her room at Buckingham Palace.
Although she maintained robust health as the queen all her life, she was not able to do so post-90s. Her public appearances lessened, In April 2020 the queen recorded a video message urging the people of the UK to stick together during the country’s lockdown. The queen was also admitted to hospital in October of last year for “preliminary investigations.”
The queen’s health took a “turn for the worse” on September 8th before she breathed her last, reports said. The cause of death has not yet been announced