Whether you are a fan of the monarchy or not, it’s hard not to agree that Queen Elizabeth was a very extraordinary person in every sense of the word, beginning with the fact that she was the longest-serving British monarch on record and the second longest-serving head of state in history behind on Louis XIV who served for 72 years.
She succeeded her father, King George VI in February, 1952, at the tender age of 25 and served for 70 years and 214 days until her death earlier this month.
During her reign she saw conflict and then peace in Northern Island and a number of former British colonies were able to peacefully gain their independence including the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Kenya, Uganda, Fiji, Nigeria, Jamaica, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
No fewer than 12 Canadian Prime Ministers served under her reign starting with Louis St. Laurent.
And while the institution of the British monarchy has often come under attack she seldom has.
Her biggest challenges, especially in the latter half of her reign, were more on the personal side of her life rather than the public. I am hesitant to say private, because the royals don’t really have a private life.
Two of her sons’ marriages ended in divorce, but not before the tabloid press had a field day covering their trials and tribulations. Her handling of Diana’s tragic death was one of the lowest moments in her reign. And then came the grandchildren. Prince William has been a model royal and will make a fine king one day, but Harry and his various escapades must have caused her no end of sleepless nights. Not to mention his marriage to Meghan Markle and the couple’s decision to step back from public life and relinquish their roles as part of the royal family.
Those controversies and the constant scrutiny of the tabloid press resulted in the Queen spending most of her time holding the institution she represented together.
The institution of the monarchy has always been subject to criticism and for good reason, but the Queen herself was beyond reproach. The love and devotion she shared with her husband Prince Philip was a model to many.
Now King Charles III must follow in her footsteps. His will not be an easy task. Most people already see him as a caretaker king, filling in until William can takeover. Until that day comes, Charles has one heck of a legacy to live up to. We wish him well. Long live the King..