Queen Elizabeth II was an extraordinary woman. She had so many roles and titles to a variety of people in her life as well as the country she was in control of. She was the embodiment of “Girl Power” by reigning over Great Britain as Queen for just over seventy years. She never thought she would have the title for so long though. Queen Elizabeth was not even expecting to become queen at such a young age. She was only 25 years old when she had to take over the roles and responsibilities of being the Queen of England. She had to accept the role due to the untimely death of her father, King George VI, who passed away on February 6, 1952. She was officially crowned the Queen on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey and her official title became Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. That is a rather lengthy title for such a young woman who was never meant to be in charge in the first place. She accepted it with grace and took her job extremely seriously. She upheld the rules that were in place long before she was even born and made sure they were followed strictly.
She recently celebrated her Platinum Jubilee for her loyal service to the crown for 70 years, which makes her the longest-serving monarch in British history. She had many accomplishments and achievements in her long reign over a country that loved and adored her. She attempted, and succeeded, to reign with the ever-changing times. She was modern with her reign as well as accepting of the way things had changed over the years, mostly. She still made sure to hold on to the traditions of the Royal family though. There are just some things that she would not change or let go of. She had an enormous family that was by her side from the beginning of her royal reign right up until her dying day. Sadly, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle located in Scotland. She was surrounded by her loved ones. She was 96 years old.
Queen Elizabeth was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London to the Duke of York (later known as King George VI) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Duchess of York). She has a younger sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. At the time of her birth, no one had expected or anticipated that she would become the Queen since her uncle, Edward, was the next in line. He was a young, attractive gentleman who was looking forward to getting married and having a family. He succeeded her grandfather in 1936 and became Edward VIII. However, he did not choose an “acceptable” spouse when he asked to marry Wallis Simpson. Since she was not accepted by the family, he relinquished his title as King. By doing this, the Duke of York was now known as King George VI of England. He remained loyal to his country and did not leave it even during the war. His family stayed by his side as well.
When Queen Elizabeth was a child, she was nicknamed Lilibet. She enjoyed her “normal” childhood with her younger sister, Princess Margaret. They had a home in London and one in Royal Lodge which is located in Windsor Great Park. They were homeschooled by tutors who taught them both French, math, history, dance, art, and singing lessons. They had a typical childhood as far as royals were concerned. When World War 2 began in 1939, the girls stayed out of London for their safety. They stayed in Windsor Castle where she started her famous radio broadcasts. Her speech was mainly to the children of Britain. She reassured them “that in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace.” Shortly after, she was assigned more public duties. She was appointed by her father to be colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards. Her first public appearance was in 1942 when she inspected the troops.
In 1945, Queen Elizabeth decided she wanted to help out in the war effort. She joined the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service where she trained side by side with other women to become mechanics as well as drivers. She was a volunteer only for a few short months, but she learned a lot during that short time.
Queen Elizabeth fell in love with her husband who was also her distant cousin, Prince Phillip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark, at the very young age of 13 in July of 1939 when he was 18 years old. Their love began when they were both at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. They were engaged eight years later when she was 21 years old. They were married on November 20, 1947. Even though it seemed that they were not matched equally, they spent a whirlwind number of years together that was filled with love, romance, power, and scandal. It was said that Prince Philip did not possess much wealth and supposedly had a rough personality. This did not matter to Elizabeth. She was smitten by him and made the marriage work. Instead of taking his last name, the family took Windsor as their family name. Prince Philip did not like this since it was his last name they did away with. However, any royal that was descendants with no royal title would have the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor. Together, they had four children. Prince Charles now King Charles III, born in 1948, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, born in 1950, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, born in 1960, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, born in 1964.
Prince Charles was granted the Prince of Wales in 1969 which made him Queen Elizabeth’s successor. This meant, that upon her death, he would take over her role and become King Charles. (We all know this recently happened since the Queen passed away on September 8, 2022). Prince Charles married Princess Diana when he was 32 years old, and she was only 19 years old. They had a rocky marriage that was filled with scandal based on his love for Camilla Parker-Bowles. Prince Charles and Princess Diana had two sons, Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984. Queen Elizabeth was a devoted grandmother to her first grandsons whom she offered advice about royal life and relationships. Both of her grandsons married and had children of their own. Prince William married Catherine Middleton and had three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and had two children, Archie and Lilibet who are now eligible to become Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet if they choose to.
Queen Elizabeth has left behind a very large and loving family. Along with Prince Charles’s (now King Charles III) sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, whom he had with Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth had more grandchildren than her other children. Princess Anne, her daughter, has two children with her then-husband, Mark Phillips. They are Peter Phillips and Zara Tindell. They both married and had children of their own now. Prince Andrew, who was married to Sarah Ferguson, has two children. They are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Both princesses are married and have children of their own. Prince Edward, who married Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also has two children. They are Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. All of the family has come together to mourn the loss of their matriarch, their mother, their grandmother, and their great-grandmother. Some of the family is still mourning the passing of Prince Philip, who just passed away at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. Some say that Queen Elizabeth is happier now because she is reunited with her true love, her husband.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth accomplished many great things. She met with every United States of America president except for one. Lyndon B. Johnson never met with the Queen and the blame lies with Prince Edward. It was not a scandal or anything bad, but it was because she was pregnant with Prince Edward at the time and could not travel. She was also unable to attend the funeral of President John F. Kennedy at the time.
During her reign as Queen, it is noted that she never let her political stance be known. She was the longest-ruling monarch and never let her political view play a part in any decisions she made. She saw many wars during her lifetime. They were World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Falkland Islands War, the Iraq War, and the Brexit crisis. She made sure that she was a solid, levelheaded woman that made sure her country and all of its citizens made it through the wars. She was able to keep up with all of the changing times over her seven decades on the throne. Everyone praised her from all over the world since she was such a positive role model to so many people everywhere.
When the Queen passed away, she was head of state of fourteen states that fall under the Commonwealth realm. Some of those countries are Jamaica, Grenada, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan, the Bahamas, and Canada all of which are also members of the Commonwealth of Nations that the Queen was the head of. The Commonwealth of Nations has 54 independent countries that work together to promote cultural ties between them. All of these countries combined account for a third of the world’s population with the majority of them being in Africa. The Queen did everything in her power to bring socio-economic benefits to all of those countries. During her early years in power, she assisted many of these countries in gaining their independence, especially in Africa since nearly all of Britain’s colonies gained their independence during her reign.
Even though she was one woman with a lot of wealth and power, she made sure she did for those that were less fortunate. She was extremely dedicated to her role as the Queen and was very passionate about it as well. She was responsible for ensuring that the monarch was relevant to modern ideas and aspirations of the next generation to come. She kept up with trends on social media. In 1997, she had a website established for everyone to keep up with the charities the royal family was involved in. She even posted on Twitter in 2014, and on Instagram in 2019. Queen Elizabeth enjoyed communicating in modern ways, especially online.
Queen Elizabeth was a stickler when it came to the rules that the royal family must abide by. Even if she did not fully agree with the rules, she still followed them anyway and enforced them with her family as well. I believe that was the push behind the Crown Act of 2013 that she made sure passed in the British Parliament. Before the Act was passed, the succession to the crown favored princes over princesses. This meant that a prince would be closer in line to the crown than their older sisters. Once the Act passed, the gender of the next heir no longer mattered. When the Queen did this, it showed the people that she was for gender equality as well as equal opportunities within her country. This means that in the future, Princess Charlotte can become the Queen before her little brother, Prince Louis could be the King.
Queen Elizabeth has survived many trials, tribulations, and even attempted assassinations during her seventy years in power. The first attempted assassination happened in June of 1981 during the Trooping the Color ceremony in London. Thankfully, the shots were blank, and no harm happened to her. The 17-year-old who fired the shots was tried under the 1842 Treason Act and was sent to prison for five years. Then, in October of 1981, another attempt was made on her life in New Zealand. Another 17-year-old fired one shot from the bathroom of a building the Queen was passing by in her convoy. Thankfully, he missed and was caught by the police. He was found to be deranged at the time and was sentenced to three years in a psychiatric prison where he would later take his own life.
Needless to say, the queen has been through a lot in her 96 years of life here on this planet. She has been all over the world, survived assassination attempts, raised four children in the spotlight, saw her fair share of triumph and heartache, made it to the other side of numerous scandals, and left behind an extended family to carry on her missions and the family name.
Since Queen Elizabeth passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her body was set in the ballroom there so all of her staff had a chance to pay their final respects and say goodbye to the only Queen they have known. After, her body was then transferred to Holyrood which is located in Edinburgh where she was received by her royal family in the throne room. The Queen was then carried up the Royal Mile to Saint Giles’s cathedral before she was put on to the Royal Train at Waverley station. Crowds were expected all along the way to throw flowers onto the train. Her body will remain at Buckingham Palace, surrounded by an altar, the pall, the royal standard, as well as four Grenadier Guards standing watch, so the family can be together to mourn their loss. Her coffin will then be moved from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster where a service will proceed after her arrival. She will then lay in state for three days in the middle of Westminster Hall where the public will get to pay their last respects to their Queen and say goodbye. The Hall will be open for twenty-three hours a day. The last day for her viewing will be on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be held on Monday, September 19, 2022. It will begin at 11:00 a.m. and last for about an hour. After the service, her body will then be brought to Windsor Castle where she will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel. Here, she will once again be reunited with her mother, father, and her husband so they can rule the heavens together as one family.
The people of England now must familiarize themselves with no longer having the Queen of England. They now have a new ruler. King Charles III is now the reigning monarch. His future Queen Consort, Camila, the Duchess of Cornwall, will be by his side all the way until the end. Even though there was a lot of scandal surrounding his relationship with Camila while he was married to Princess Diana, they did not give up on each other. After the death of the beloved Princess Diana, Camila made sure she found her way back into his life and there is where she has stayed ever since. I truly hope everything works out well for the people of England under this new ruler and that everyone adjusts well to their new King. I hope the people of England adjust well to him in power. I hope the entire royal family adjusts to him being in power. Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch we have all known for the past seventy years. Let’s see how well the new King Charles does after his mother set the pace for him to follow. From what we have seen in the press so far, it is not off to a great start. Let us hope that things smooth out, everyone gets along, and no one gets hurt (physically, emotionally, or mentally). God help them.
Watch the live video below to follow the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.