Story by Ellie Youngs, News Editor
Graphic design by Sidney Stablein
Since her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth has served seven decades, seen 15 different British prime ministers in office, as well as 14 U.S. presidents. She was the longest living monarch that the United Kingdom has ever had.
Over the course of her life, Queen Elizabeth saw Britain through the Cold War, the Korean War, the War in the Falkland Islands, as well as through Britain’s exit from the European Union. While her role as Queen was more ceremonial, it still played a crucial role in keeping the spirits of the British people high, especially during times of extreme strife.
In fact, her poise and her serenity were two major factors ensuring the monarchy still remained relevant. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that Queen Elizabeth “was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the commonwealth.”
During her reign, Britain was subject to the most change the nation had ever seen, and the Queen was Britain’s source of stability throughout the process of these changes. Ishaan Tharoor, a reporter for the Washington Post, explained how her main duty was to remain as a force of stability for the British people.
70 years ago, after her father’s death, Elizabeth rose to the throne as the head of an empire that spanned around the globe. Now, 14 of these territories remain under British influence. It is known that the British Empire did not expand without casualties, and it did not expand under completely consensual terms. Queen Elizabeth took the first step in recognizing this and assumed the role as head of the Commonwealth, which is an association of various countries around the world that were once a part of the British Empire and has a goal of supporting these governments and to improve the well being of the citizens there.
Since the Queen’s passing, her son, Charles, has ascended to the throne. The immense impact that Queen Elizabeth has had on not only Britain, but on the whole world has put an even greater spotlight on King Charles. Taking into consideration that Queen Elizabeth had ruled longer than a great majority of the British people have been alive, and she the only monarch that most of the British people have known, it will be interesting to see how King Charles maintains his mother’s legacy, and how he will continue to make a legacy of his own as king.