For the month of March, the world celebrates Women’s History Month. I am devoting a week each in March to one woman I am inspired by.
For this week, I am devoting the week to Queen Elizabeth II.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born 21st April 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) in Mayfair, London. Elizabeth had one sister, Margaret.
Elizabeth was never meant to be Queen. Her uncle abdicated the throne in favour of love and therefore, his brother took over. She went on to be the longest reigning British monarch and had the longest verified reign of any female monarch in history. She reigned for 70 years and 214 days.
In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark. Their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in 2021. They had four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
She was known as Lilibet by her loved ones, such as her father, mother, sister and husband.
She had a love for corgis and horses, having many horses on her properties and a keen interest in horse racing and polo.
Elizabeth became queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries when her father died in 1952, she was just 25 and a mother of two.
Upon becoming queen, her duty became paramount and she dedicated her entire life to serving her country and the commonwealth. This was shown when her sister was not able to marry the man she loved who happened to be a divorce and senior to her young age, and keeping silent when the media would hound the family for answers to scandals and the like. She kept her life private.
Elizabeth endured much in her tenure as the monarch, a lot of scandal, a lot of painful media headlines especially when her former daughter-in-law, Diana, was killed in an accident. She continued to be hounded for decades with multiple scandals, and being called cold due to her inability to speak publicly on private matters.
Her duty never wavered, even through illness, tragedy. The week of her husband’s death, she returned to work, serving her people as she promised to do. At his funeral, she abided by COVID-19 protocols and sat alone, grieving and saying a final goodbye to her beloved husband. I’m not afraid to admit, I shed a lot of tears seeing her sitting there, frail, and alone. This woman I so adored, so admired, and she was steadfast in her duty.
In the week of her own death, she met with the new prime minister and was all smiles. She looked frail, and thin. I think we all knew she wasn’t long for this world. Even still, a few days later, when I heard the news. I wept. We’d lost a symbol of womanhood, of inspiration for young girls, an icon.
Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 2022 at the age of 96. Her son, Charles, took over as King.