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Queen Elizabeth II, who passed on recently at the age of ninety-six, was a noblewoman who ruled with wisdom. She had ruled the British monarch longer than any other monarch in Great Britain. Elizabeth Mary Windsor was born in Mayfair on the 21st of April, 1926 (History.com Editors, 2022). She became monarch at the age of 25 after the death of her father, King George VI, on the 6th of February 1952 (People, n.d.). Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 at Westminster Abbey. Before her death, she played an essential role globally and in Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth is also associated with several achievements during her lifetime. She was a significant political figure in the UK and globally, with many people eulogizing her as a uniting figure.
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Political Figure of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II has been serving as the monarch of the Commonwealth realms since she was crowned back in 1953, and she’s been actively involved with Britain’s government from the very beginning of her reign. Moreover, she was the longest-reigning Queen. She was the daughter of George VI and sister to Edward VIII and George VI; she became heir presumptive when her father ascended the throne in 1936 (History.com Editors, 2022). She became Queen when her father died on 6th February 1952. Her coronation took place on the 2nd of June 1953 and was televised, a first at the time (History.com Editors, 2022). In the decades since then, the Queen has witnessed dramatic social and political upheaval during a tumultuous period of global change. In all these, Queen Elizabeth remained a constant in an ever-changing world (Bush, 2022). Her reign has seen great events: world wars; technological innovations; independence movements across Africa, Asia, and South America; more than one pope resigning from office; and the dismantling of some colonial empires while other countries remained colonies or transitioned into republics. Through it all, she has maintained her dignity and strength. She continued to be very popular with the people of Great Britain, who appreciated her values.
Queen Elizabeth II brought a lot of stability to her monarch from an early age till her death. There had been instability when she ascended to the throne. King George’s Kingdom was drawn into World War II, where London was bombed, and at the time, there was a lot of fear that Germany would take over England. However, after reigning in power, she provided exactly what was necessary for this post-war period. Her bold and tranquil approach to her new role gave the nation stability it needed.
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Queen Elizabeth II further guided the transfiguration of a Commonwealth. The British Empire held 57 colonies across the globe. She played her role as the head of the Commonwealth to keep Britain’s Image alive (The Royal Family, n.d.). At the Commonwealth’s start, the association had only eight member states. However, Queen Elizabeth II brought fifty-four countries under the Commonwealth through her effort. Queen Elizabeth II also brought equality in succession. It was expected that the Queen does not participate in voting or the introduction of legislation; she was expected to be neutral in politics. However, her influence was indisputable. She represented a continuous line of experience since the 1950s (Queen Elizabeth II Biography, 2018). The bottom line is that through her influence, the 2013 Crown Act was approved to end the system of male primogeniture. The Queen`s decisions ended the history in Britain of having the eldest son in the monarch as the ultimate heir to the throne, even if there was an elder sister, which had lasted throughout history.
All in all, she proved to be the best woman ruler as an example to others. This fact eliminated the belief that only men were the best rulers. She also defended the traditions of the monarch.
Major Achievements of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth tirelessly contributed to charity. She supported many charities and did more for charity than any other monarch in history. In addition, the Queen was a great supporter of charity work across the globe. According to the Borgen Newspaper, the Queen supported more than six hundred charities across Britain and nearly three thousand more worldwide (Brodie, 2010). She had a particular focus on diminishing poverty. Furthermore, she was the royal patron of charities, which enabled royal families to participate in the contribution.
The Queen was at the forefront of racial justice support among the Commonwealth countries. She condemned racism. As posted in the New York Times Magazine, the Queen danced with Kwame Nkrumah, the then-black president of Ghana, in 1961 (Booth, 2021). This behavior angered many racists in Britain and even the larger Commonwealth community. Nevertheless, she was pioneering the support of equality. The Queen worked behind in condemning the Apartheid system in South Africa. Furthermore, as recorded by the Washington Post, she supported BLM.
It is hard to imagine a world without Queen Elizabeth II. She has ruled for more than six decades, making her the longest-reigning sovereign in the History of Britain. In 1957, after seventeen years as crown princess and queen consort, she became Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her father, George VI. And now, nearly 65 years later, it is hard to imagine the world without her. Her Majesty has been praised for her steadfast devotion to duty over so many years and her sense of humor in maintaining stoic dignity amid moments that must have been extremely challenging. She has seen twelve British Prime Ministers, including Winston Churchill, come and go during her reign. In addition, Queen Elizabeth II gave royal assent to many pieces of legislation during this time and personally created or established a lot of charities globally.
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- Booth, W. (2021). Queen Elizabeth II ’saddened’ by Harry and Meghan’s descriptions of rejection and racism; family will address it privately, palace says. The Washington Post. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA654375036&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=01908286&p=AONE&sw=w
- Brodie, S. (2010). The charity commission–politicized and politicizing. Economic Affairs, 30(3), 9-13. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0270.2010.02038.x
- Bush, S. (2022, September 9). Queen Elizabeth II: Astute in the world of politics. Financial Times. https://www.ft.com/content/1fb11fc2-7884-40af-a6e9-e68382f07c3f
- History.com Editors. (2022). Queen Elizabeth II. https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/queen-elizabeth
- People. (n.d.). Queen Elizabeth. https://people.com/tag/queen-elizabeth/
- Queen Elizabeth II Biography. (2018, January 12). Queen Elizabeth II. https://www.biography.com/royalty/queen-elizabeth-ii
- The Royal Family. (n.d.). The Queen and the Commonwealth. https://www.royal.uk/the-queen-and-commonwealth#:~:text=As%20Head%20of%20the%20Commonwealth,geographical%20regions%2C%20religions%20and%20cultures