By: Advika Rajeev
Queen Elizabeth II, who was the face of the British monarchy for 70 years, has passed at the age of 96. Succeeded by her oldest son––now King Charles III––Queen Elizabeth left behind a substantial legacy that forever changed the makeup of the United Kingdom.
Her Role in History
Queen Elizabeth was crowned less than a decade after the Second World War, but she held leadership roles even before she officially accepted the throne. At the age of 19, she joined the British Armed Forces as a part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and she was the first female royal to be a full-time active member.
The Queen was also part of the generation that ushered in the rise of technology and the subsequent far reach of information. In fact, she was the first British monarch to have a broadcasted coronation. Although Queen Elizabeth needed to be neutral on political beliefs, she did have a role in acting as a face of the nation. Meeting dignitaries, awarding citizens, providing approval on Parliament’s legislation, and overseeing national projects are just a couple of her duties.
Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.Queen Elizabeth
Throughout her reign, the Queen faced a multitude of crises—both personal and national. The divorces of 3 of her children in a year caused her to dub 1992 as Annus Horribilis. Followed by the death of the beloved Princess Diana, along with increasing questions of the continued establishment and role of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth remained staunch in her belief in the Crown’s role. With several hundred engagements in a year, even leading into her 90s, the Queen held up with her responsibilities for the longest reign of any monarch.
When facing criticism about her response to a crisis, Queen Elizabeth explained “Criticism is good for people and institutions that are part of public life… No institution––city, monarchy, whatever––should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support, not to mention those who don’t.”
Just two days before her passing, the Queen met with Liz Truss, the latest British Prime Minister, making her the 15th PM during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Leaders all over the globe have expressed their condolences to the family and nation over the loss of the monarch. With King Charles III now the head of the royal family and William, Prince of Wales as the heir, a new era of the monarchy has arrived.