“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”
-Queen Elizabeth II
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
-Queen Elizabeth II
God Save the Queen. Wow, today Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 years old! Happy Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen! Aside from my mother (whom always inspires me) I see Queen Elizabeth II as the most inspirational woman in the world. At the age of 90, she still does more in her daily lives than any of us can even fathom. As the oldest reigning monarch, and most successful, closing in on 64 years, she has been through so much from war and rebellion to modern society. With unwavering support and devotion for her country and the people she represents, she has been extremely successful. The epitome of grace, charm and leadership, the Queen is the ideal role model for women all around the world. Queen Elizabeth II transcends race, gender, class and even religion. Bringing together people from all over the world, she is the prime example of a timeless leader.
Many ask, why do you love the Queen so much? Why do you place so much pride and interest into an outdated figure head that isn’t even American? The answer is simple. I love America and take great pride in being an American. However, as great as our country is, we do not have that rich history and tradition found in other parts of the world. To some, the Queen and Royal family may be outdated and antiquated, but to me, they are a symbol of tradition, perseverance and elegance. With women like Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus being front and center in American culture, it is not surprising American society is heading in the direction it is. For a sense of balance, grace and history, a young woman must turn to the British to gain understanding of tradition and history. Plus, she is a timeless figure. In her 90 years she has never had a fashion mistake or wardrobe malfunction. She has aged gracefully and elegantly. Her smile, wave and those colorful hats are autonomous with her character and persona. Yes, she has designers and aides who help her pick out these outfits, but so do the famous women in America, and most of them are lacking in class. Queen Elizabeth II is more than a Queen. She is an example of a strong woman in what was a man’s world. She did not campaign and win this role on her own merit, she was born into it. In my opinion, that is harder because she had to assume the role even though it originally was not to be hers. Becoming Queen is hard work but she has done it with grace, elegance and a strong hand.
“The upward course of a nation’s history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women”
-Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen is an exceptional role model and inspiration to many. The commonwealth is large and the outpouring for her has been vast in recent years. Yes, the Queen lives in a palace and has servants who take care of her. She does not pay for her own things and probably never wants for anything. She has a dozen or more castles and palaces open to her whenever she likes. She also has the endless job of being the figure head of Great Britain and the Common Wealth as well as the Head of the Church of England. She is very much the people’s Queen. At her age, she still takes on a large amount of public duties and attends many public ceremonies and events. I only hope to age as well as her and be half as active as she is at 90 years old. Queen Elizabeth also understands her place. She understands the tax payers fund her way of life. She is known to be pretty thrifty at times and works hard every day to help maintain the country, even though she has no “real power.”
Born in 1926, Queen Elizabeth did not expect to be Queen. Her grandfather King George V passed his crown to her uncle Edward when he died. However, King Edward abdicated the throne after he married an American woman who had been divorced. Elizabeth’s father George VI became the King of England thrusting Elizabeth into the position to be heir to the United Kingdom.
Taking on public duties and service at a young age, Elizabeth held her first public broadcast in 1940 at the age of 14. This was during World War II. She addressed the children of Britain, giving them hope and support. Queen Elizabeth also served in the military. At the age of 18 she begged her father to allow her to be of help during World War II. As a princess, she joined the Women’s Territorial Service and trained as a mechanic and military truck driver. To this day, she is the only female member of the royal family to have served in the armed forces and the only head of state who served in World War II still living. At the end of the war Queen Elizabeth and her sister Mary convinced their parents to let them mingle anonymously among the people celebrating VE (Victory in Europe Day) on May 8, 1945. She remembers that day saying it is one of her most vivid and cherished memories.
“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”
-Queen Elizabeth II
After the death of her father, Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth at the age of 25. Can you imagine being the Queen of England at the age of 25? I can barely imagine being responsible for my own life at 25, never mind the lives of millions of other people. As the times were changing, Queen Elizabeth had to adapt. She became the first monarch to have a publicly televised coronation. Throughout her life, she has been a pioneer for change and has proved that history and tradition can mesh with modern society. Throughout her reign she has worked with 12 prime ministers and still meets with David Cameron weekly to offer counsel and understand the happenings of Parliament. She has also reigned during the term of 12 U.S. Presidents and 7 Popes. Needless to say, she has experienced much change.
“Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendor that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God’s Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.”
-Queen Elizabeth II
During her reign, the Queen has had gun shots fired at her while on horseback and has had a man break into her bedroom due to a security breach. She has been the head of a family plagued by scandal and unpopularity and has helped to weather these storms. She brought the royal family back from the brink of extinction many times.
As a heavily involved Queen, she has never been described as lazy or neglectful. She has assented over 3,500 acts of Parliament and is patron to over 600 charities among many other things. The queen believes she must still be visible to the people, even at her age, because they are the ones who support her and the reason she is still the reigning monarch. She is also known to be the most widely traveled head of state, having visited more than 116 countries.
1992 was a rough year for the Queen and the royal family. The year was tainted by scandal with the divorce of her son, Prince Andrew and daughter, Princess Anne. A tell all, best seller book was released about Princess Dianna’s unhappiness and the breakdown of her marriage to Charles. Among all of this, there was a fire at Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world and a residence of Her Majesty. After the family began to bounce back from all of this, a new scandal and tragedy arose.
In 1996 Princess Dianna and Prince Charles’ marriage ended in divorce. This crushed the nation because Dianna was very much the people’s princess. Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles caused the marriage to end and led to a high disapproval rating of the royal family. A year later, Princess Dianna was killed in a traffic accident in Paris. A state of mourning fell over the country. Many thought the royal family would not survive this tragic event but they weathered the storm fervently.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
Not much has happened after that in the way of scandal, aside from Prince Harry’s antics. However the Queen endured more loss in 2002 when her mother and sister passed away just two months apart. This was a very difficult time for the Queen, but she still held to her duties. This is something that is so inspiring about her. In the years following, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee and filmed a teaser for the Olympics with James Bond in 2012. But before all of that, the royal wedding of the century took place. Prince William married Kate Middleton and catapulted the royal family’s popularity into new heights. Kate Middleton has taken on the role well and is also an inspiration; however that topic is for another time. In 2013 with the help of William and Kate, the Queen and Parliament agreed to change the ascension law acknowledging the first born to be the heir to the throne, no matter of gender.
On September 9, 2015 Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch and many would say the most successful. Today, April 21, 2016 Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 years old. I am proud to be alive for this moment and to be old enough to understand the impact she has made on the world. She may not be the Queen of my country, but she is the Queen in my heart and I will continue to look up to her, even after she has left this earth. Her impact will live on long after all of us are gone. This is only a glimpse into the wonderful woman Queen Elizabeth II is. If I were to tell you everything she has done, seen and been through, we would be here until she turns 100. Once again, Happy 90th birthday to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.