The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon once referred to the Queen as "an anchor for our age” but did you know that she once was also referred to as the most memorable Bond girl yet? She remained the third most admired women in the world as of 2021 (Gallup poll) She appeared 52 times on that same list and is said to have been on the top ten of that list more times than any woman in the poll’s history.
One of the lists that featured Queen Elizabeth II
About Queen Elizabeth II
A lesser-known fact about Queen Elizabeth II is that she experienced two assassination attempts in her lifetime. The first attempt was in 1981 during the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The Queen was praised for her composure as she controlled her mount while six shots were fired at her during the Trooping the Color ceremony. It was a lucky escape as the police later discovered that the shots were blank. The next incident took place in the same year when she was in England. But this time the assassin missed his shot. The Queen, however, lived on to reign for 70 years and 214 days, the longest reign of any British monarch, even surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
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Her dedication was exemplary
Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to the welfare of the commonwealth nations. It was in 1947 when she made her first overseas tour with her parents through Southern Africa. It was then that she made her first pledge to dedicate her life to the service of the nations and the great imperial family. Her exemplary devotion continued through her lifetime leaving in her wake a legacy larger than life. Her reign is considered the longest record for any female head of state in history. Her reign is also considered the second-longest reigning sovereign in world history, only behind Louis XIV of France. In 2002, she crossed the first milestone when she completed 50 years on the throne.
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Her ascension to the throne
Queen Elizabeth’s father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII which made Elizabeth as the heir presumptive. It was in 1952 when her father died and Elizabeth was just 25 years old that she became queen of seven Independent Commonwealth countries: The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), as well as the Head of the Commonwealth. Although some events like the death of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, drew sharp criticism, the monarchy received immense support from the United Kingdom for most of her rule. Her succession to the throne was unexpected and was accelerated by the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII.
She played a role in political situations whenever she chose to
In 1991, her royal highness became the first British monarch to address a joint meeting of the United States, due to the victory of the coalition forces during the gulf war. Her speech made a lasting impact on the cooperation between Britain and the United States during the Persian Gulf War.
During the second world war, 14 yr old Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during BBC’s Children’s House addressing other children who had been evacuated: “We are trying to do all we can to help out gallant sailors, soldiers, and airmen and we are trying, too,, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well.”
It is the Queen’s legacy and unexpected coronation that led to a landmark change in the long-standing royal succession law of ‘male primogenitor’. An act in parliament in the year 2013 also sealed the centuries-old practice of a younger son superseding an elder daughter in the line of succession. The act approved by the Queen, also paved the way for ending practices like disqualifying royals from marrying Roman Catholics.
The Queen is said to have broken many royal rules, defying traditions and paving the way for change. The palace for the first time leveraged the use of technology to reach out to people during festivals like Christmas or other important events. The launch of a twitter account also brought the Queen closer to the masses, thereby encouraging the royals to keep up with the times.
The Queen had many firsts during her reign. The first royal to visit China, the first royal to visit Russia, the first royal to visit a communist nation, the first Head of State to open two Olympic games in two countries. In 2013, she received an honorary BAFTA for her patronage of the film industry, and it was then that she was called as the most memorable Bond girl yet at the award ceremony. She played a short role alongside Daniel Craig in a short film played at the London Olympics.
Leaders, royalty, and Heads of State the world over admired the queen and her dedication to the post she held won many hearts. We have learned many things from her and her reign made many lasting changes around the world.