Queen Elizabeth II: Remembering Her Life And Legacy

Queen Elizabeth leaves behind a remarkable legacy and a life filled with wisdom.


Archives New Zealnd/ Flickr

Queen Elizabeth II gives a public address during her tour of New Zealand in 1954.

Elle Simon, Web Editor in Chief

It feels as if there is a gaping hole in the world. Queen Elizabeth II, the only British monarch the majority of the world knows, passed away on Sept. 8, 2022 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland; her state funeral was held on Sept. 19, 2022. She leaves behind a remarkable legacy and many lessons we could all learn from.

Queen Elizabeth’s death brought the end of a 70 year era. Coronated in 1952, after the passing of her father King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning British monarch in history. During her time on the throne, she has seen 15 British prime ministers, 14 US presidents, and the expansion of the Commonwealth to 56 different nations. Her reign was not always smooth sailing, such as 1992 which she called “annus horribilis”; a year filled with numerous scandals for the Mountbatten-Windsor family. 

“Elizabeth’s long years as sovereign were a time of enormous upheaval, in which she sought to project and protect the royal family as a rare bastion of permanence in a world of shifting values,” said Alan Cowell in his written obituary for the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II places a buoy on a suspended piece of cement during her tour of New Zealand in 1954. (Archives New Zealand/Flickr)

From 70 years on the throne, the Queen has left a remarkable legacy. She was known for her grace and incredible public speaking skills, but she was also intelligent and witty. Never afraid to make a humorous remark or cut a cake with a sword or take a selfie with unsuspecting American tourists. She recognized the conflict of the world and called for everyone to treat others with kindness. But beyond the person she was in the public eye, the Queen is someone we could all learn from; leadership, others before ourselves, and always be gracious to name a few. 

“The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference,” Queen Elizabeth II once said. 

Besides being the head of state, Queen Elizabeth II was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Being a grandmother was one of the most treasured aspects of her life, she was as “normal” of a grandmother as the Queen could be. Often photographed bending the rules of royal public policy to cater to her grandchildren. Perhaps one of her most notable moments of grandmotherhood was when she temporarily moved to Balmoral Castle in 1997 to support Prince William and Prince Harry, as they grieved their mother, Princess Diana.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with other members of their family. (Damon Mitchell/Flickr)

“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” Prince William said in a statement about his grandmother. 

In her 96 years of life, Queen Elizabeth showed the world what it meant to be a leader but to also be human. To have authority and the respect of others, but to never put yourself before those you serve. To have grace and to speak up for what is right. A public figure that was a constant in an ever changing world, childishly, we may have thought the Queen might be immortal. A beloved woman who gave her whole life to public service, Queen Elizabeth II was truly a remarkable woman and someone we could all learn a thing or two from.

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service,” Queen Elizabeth said in her 21st birthday speech.


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