Queen Elizabeth II served the United Kingdom for longer than any British monarch had before, and left a legacy that featured a long list of accolades, accomplishments, and defining moments.
Elizabeth was, for many people, the absolute embodiment of what a leader should be, and although she had so many responsibilities, the people who adored her always felt that they could relate to her as someone more than their ceremonial leader, that she also represented everything that people loved about the UK.
Queen Elizabeth stood strong when tragedy struck, and showed a sweeter, almost sensitive side to her at other times. So, stick around to the very end to find out some of the reasons why so many people simply connected to Elizabeth in a way that we rarely see today.
Number 8: She loved being queen.
While there’s a chance that less fortunate people can become a bit cynical, when they see someone living literally the best possible life, that kind of thing never really came into play when it came to Queen Elizabeth. Throughout her multi-decade reign as the guiding light of England, it was rare for people to hurl insults in her direction or criticize her, especially those from the UK.
This is a result of several factors, many of which we will get into shortly, but most important of them all is that everyone could see how much she enjoyed the life that she had inherited. Queen Elizabeth never seemed to take her position for granted, and she always seemed like she had thought that she had hit the lottery, being able to fly across the world to speak to other world leaders and establish new relationships.
She knew exactly how lucky she was, but she was constantly trying to improve things instead of just coasting on her family’s legacy. It’s hard not to appreciate someone so comfortable in their own skin, and who knew exactly how important her role was in making sure that the UK thrived?
Number 7: She always found the right things to say.
Human beings often strive to be seen as individuals, which is why it’s not uncommon to see someone stick their foot in their mouth by stating an opinion that might not have been needed or wanted by anyone.
As much as our world leaders desire to keep order and peace, they can often create tension instead when they make statements, or when they are asked an opinion on a hot-bed issue. That’s why the way that Queen Elizabeth went about her public appearances was so rare, as she never seemed to overstep her boundaries or say anything that could be considered controversial.
She was not robotic, and would often speak from the heart when asked about sensitive topics, but she knew, as all great leaders do, that it is sometimes more important to say what is necessary and nothing more. Because she did this, she was usually able to keep a united front amongst her followers, and was able to avoid conflict as a result.
Number 6: She reminds British people of their past.
It’s incredible to consider that Queen Elizabeth came of age during World War II, and that she was the face of a nation for so many important events and world-altering moments. She is, to many, a lot like our grandparents in the way that they remind us of things that otherwise would seem from the distant past.
For many Brits, Queen Elizabeth reminds them of an entirely different era in history, and of times so different from today. That is not to say that the Queen didn’t adapt or change with the times, as she definitely did, but she also knew that nostalgia was important to many, especially older people. Many of us simply want to think back on moments that made us happy sometimes, and because she was there for all of the good and bad moments, the Queen was able to calm a lot of people down with her presence alone.
Number 5: She let people take a closer look at the royal family.
The Queen was incredibly savvy throughout her life, and also knew that letting people relate to her was incredibly important in earning the trust of those around her. Queen Elizabeth famously overruled parliament to allow cameras to film her coronation, something that had never been done before. “The cabinet is not being crowned, I am,” she reportedly said in response to their protests.
Queen Elizabeth may have grown up before social media and even the meteoric rise of television, but she definitely saw its importance in making people feel comfortable. She became so much more recognizable than other world leaders, and instead of seeming like an ultra-rich member of the ruling class she instead came across as someone who was willing to hear out and even fight for the working class.
This only became more and more true as she got older, and the royal family became beloved by many throughout the world. Queen Elizabeth may very well have been the most media-savvy monarch in the world’s history, since instead of pushing them away she invited them in so that people could get a look at the person and not just the face they see during national addresses and press events.
Number 4: She did her job and was loyal till her very last breath.
In 1947, she made a radio broadcast on her 21st birthday pledging her life for service saying: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” And she stuck to that promise till the very end.
Queen Elizabeth famously worked as a mechanic during World War II, a few years before she would become the Queen. That moment is so important to her legacy, as it was always clear that the Queen was going to do what needed to be done. Of course, it’s important to be charismatic if you want to be likable, but there is so much more that needs to be done when you are the face of a nation.
The Queen would work very hard throughout her life, establishing connections throughout the world and even becoming a pop culture icon in the United States, a country she had great fondness for. Queen Elizabeth always appeared to be on top of things, though, which earned her the favor of many that saw her as a hard worker and someone who understood the importance of putting in a little extra effort. She had a reputation of dedication and for putting in extra hours so that millions can live happier and healthier lives.
Number 3: She was vulnerable as she got older.
Most of us struggle to be vulnerable with those that we love, but Queen Elizabeth was able to be vulnerable with the entire world. Father time is undefeated, the saying goes, and eventually, it came for Elizabeth.
Many people, especially those that saw her regularly in the UK on television, would discuss how she had begun to look small recently, a huge figure no longer occupying that same physical space as she once did. This, however, did very little to affect the country’s reputation, as she was very brave in showing herself at all.
Although she began to reduce her public appearances, probably to help protect her against deadly viral disease like COVID-19, she would still make a point to appear as often as she could, and was still a major figure in society. While most of us struggle to appear weak or less than our best in front of people, Queen Elizabeth again earned the respect of many for taking it on the chin and showing the world that although she was getting older, she was still with everyone all the same.
In fact, during the COVID-19 lockdowns, people from the government broke their own rules and held parties, whereas the Queen followed everything that was asked of her and showed respect to the everyday people who were asked to do the same. She never considered herself above the law or better than others.
Number 2: She understood that everything must change.
Despite the fact that her wardrobe remained largely the same throughout her life, Queen Elizabeth was never stuck in the past. She was a champion for tolerance, and accepted that as she got older there would be shifts in what was important to the public. Because of this, people grew to love her even more as she aged, since she was able to accept people for who they are, and not simply force them into what she expected them to be.
Number 1: She reminded us of what good people should be like.
This following point may come across as a backhanded compliment, but we promise it’s completely the opposite. Queen Elizabeth was a lot more like a normal person than we expect from a monarch, especially one with the wealth and influence that she possessed.
Instead of draping herself in jewels and trying to wow crowds, she instead appeared more wholesome, even when she was a young woman. Elizabeth spoke often to crowds, and although she always said the right thing, she didn’t try to amaze onlookers with some elegant or poetic speech.
She spoke from the heart, and seemed honest about everything relating to herself. Queen Elizabeth didn’t try to convince the world that she was someone that she wasn’t, and it felt like she became more relatable as a result. She may have been one of the most important people in the world, but she had a relatability to her that made people love her even more.
She didn’t try to force her image onto the world, avoiding book tours and media circuits. To many, Queen Elizabeth felt like a real person, and reminded citizens everyday to act in their best interests and not to chase superficial emotions and accomplishments. Queen Elizabeth was many things, but the thing that she exuded most was a sort of goodness, that she was always going to try to do the right thing, and it’s probably what she will be remembered for.
we will end with her words to mark the way she served her country till the very end: “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”
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