Imagine being born again, learning how to eat, walk talk again, and then going to nursery, primary school, and high school, having to make new friends and find yourself, your thing and finally choosing something to study and painstakingly achieve your degree. That would take ages, wouldn’t it? Now imagine doing those 3 times over! The Queen has reigned longer than those three mini lifetimes (Mind blown).
Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest reigning Monarch in the world who has witnessed 6 major wars in the world and has worked with 15 Prime Ministers, including Winston Churchill (Credited with winning World War 2) – The Queen was just 25 years old at this point. Apparently, Churchill said, “she was too young, she was just a child” and he wasn’t the only person who thought that. But she soon proved the skeptics wrong, and Churchill began to enjoy his weekly meetings with the Queen. When Winston Churchill died in 1965, the Queen broke Royal Protocol and made an appearance at his wedding. If that doesn’t display what type of person the Queen was then I don’t know what will, but I’ve put together a few lessons that we might want to take away following Her Majesty’s passing on 8th September 2022.
I’m not a ‘Royalist’, and far from political, but I know this topic carries a weight of controversy with it. I just want to remind everyone that the Queen was human, so from that perspective, I want to recognise her achievements as a human being, because she would have had to deal with a tremendous amount of pressure, but she never wavered and managed to stay in flight at the most turbulent times. I think we could all learn a thing or two from such a strong character.
1. Step up and face your problems
In 1992, the Public saw the breakdown of three Royal Marriages and at the end of the year, Windsor Castle caught fire. The largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the Queens official residences. In the Queens 40th assession of the throne speech the Queen faced the music and stated “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis.” This means ‘Horrible Year’ – and shows awareness, honesty, and strength to admit that things don’t always go the way you want in life. It’s better to face these problems rather than bury your head in the sand because they will not go away, and the longer you hold a worry in your head, the heavier it gets on your heart. Remember that 99% of the things we fear and worry about never happen.
2. Know your style and stick
The Queen said, “If I wore Beige, nobody would know who I am.” I think you would agree that, although the Queen was not particularly a trendsetter, she was Iconic. The statement Hats, Scarfs and undeniable choice of vibrant colours that just reminded you of flowers each time bringing joy to whoever met her. She loved her handbags and would be rarely seen without one but would usually be seen with her staple black handbag and matching shoes. Remember that the Queen was a county girl at heart and possibly wanted to walk around in her tweed jackets and wellies most of the time, but she knew the importance and impact of her attire, which became somewhat of a symbol. It would also be good to mention that the Queen inherited the crown in a very patriarchal era of the 1950’s and could have easily dressed to under the pressure to be perceived as powerful, but instead she was unapologetically feminine, bringing a sense of empowerment to her personality and character.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously
There are times when you must be serious but times it’s not always necessary, you have to lighten up sometimes, for your own sake, and for others! The Queen displayed such humour when she jumped out the plane with Daniel Craig for the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games 2012. Yes, I know it was just a stunt double! But still…
In another instance, when her home, the Winsor Castle suffered all that damage in the fire of 1992 she came into a room where her advisors were all saying how sorry they were, the Queen cracked a big smile and said, “Well at least we managed to save some of the pictures.”
4. Strength and sense of duty
Last year, the Queen said goodbye to her husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip. In the picture below, the Queen is seen in St Georges Chapel, alone, waiting for the funeral procession carrying the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin to arrive. This was when the COVID-19 restrictions were still strict, and many of the Parliament members couldn’t even stick to the rules. This single moment shows unbelievable strength and commitment to her duty.
5. Stay committed to your core values
- Quoted from The Carousel – “For seven decades, the Queen has seen scores of world leaders come and go, there have been visits to, or from the 14 other commonwealth countries, five Popes, and, closer to home, Elizabeth has witnessed the troubles in Northern Ireland and seen the United Kingdom join, and subsequently withdraw from the European Economic Community. Through all these transitions, some more difficult than others, the Queen has offered a kind of continuity of care, she has been our mainstay, a gentle reminder of our core values.”
The five British Values are:
- The rule of law.
- Individual liberty.
- Mutual respect.
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
All the above I believe the Queen has upheld but as for her personal presence, I feel she has been a symbol of continuity, care, and acceptance.