Queen Elizabeth’s unique voice has been heard during her 70 years on the British throne. Is there a time when her voice wasn’t there? She has earned her place as a cultural icon, much loved and respected across the globe.
An Earnest Pledge
Princess Elizabeth was an honorary colonel of the Grenadier guards, where she trained as a driver and mechanic. War-torn Britain was a time when people’s lives were in utter chaos. It was the start of her interaction with ordinary people. The foundation of her long reign and the beginning of hearing Queen Elizabeth’s unique voice.
Princess Elizabeth made an earnest pledge on her 21st birthday, “I declare before you all, my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” The date was the 21st April, 1947. Her entire life can be summed up in one word – service.
At the death of her father she became Queen of the British Isles, Head-of-State of 14 nations and head of the Commonwealth. Following a lung operation, King George VI died on February 1952. Elizabeth was just 26-years old.
Queen Elizabeth has celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. She is both a brand and a National Treasure.
Elizabeth is the only British monarch to achieve the milestone of reigning for 70 years. Queen Victoria reigned for only 63 years. It was Victoria who instigated the first Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.
Elizabeth’s Unique Voice As A Record Breaker
Queen Elizabeth is a record breaker. Millions saw her coronation, when cameras were permitted inside Westminster Abbey. Royal ceremonies were no longer the privilege of the elite.
She is also the longest reigning Head-of-State. Queen Elizabeth’s unique voice has been heard by millions. Thousands around the globe tune in to listen to her Christmas message.
Elizabeth does not hold the record as the longest reigning monarch. French King Louis XIV holds that record. He reigned for 72 years, 200 days. Queen Elizabeth could best that record, as she is the oldest reigning, living monarch.
When her uncle abdicated, Princess Elizabeth became heir presumptive, as she had no brothers. Elizabeth established equal rights for women in the line of succession. The queen refused to accept women’s limitations.
The Queen interacts with the public through the royal walkabout. She instigated this in Australia in 1970. Royalty is no longer an unseen figurehead, available only to officials and high-ranking dignitaries.
Queen Elizabeth holds a Guinness World Record for the most currencies featuring the same individual. They display her face on 35 different currencies. She is the most recognizable person in the world.
Queen Elizabeth’s Unique Voice In Travel
Queen Elizabeth is the most travelled royal in recorded history. She has visited over 100 countries, physically seen by millions. Elizabeth has visited several nations multiple times.
The Queen has sat for around 200 portraits, as part of her cultural and official duty. That demands a lot of formal dressing up.
The Queen’s Constancy
Elizabeth’s hallmarks are constancy and stability. Queen Victoria mourned a full decade following the death of Prince Albert, who died at 42-years of age. Queen Elizabeth returned to work four days after Prince Philip’s death. Philip was two months off his 100th birthday.
Elizabeth and Philip hold the record of being the longest married, reigning couple. Their marriage lasted 73 years. Today the majority of children are raised by a single-parent.
Prince Philip holds the record as the longest-serving royal consort. Prince Charles is the longest and oldest heir apparent. If Queen Elizabeth follows her mother’s example, 73-years-old Charles may never reach the throne. The Queen Mother died at 101-years-of-age.
The Queen’s daily schedule is gruelling. She spends three hours each morning meeting with people, five days a week. Each meeting lasting for 15 minutes.
The Queen attends over 430 official engagements per year. There are also around 25 investitures. She daily attends to the official red government dispatch box.
The Queen has met over 650,000 people, shaking hands with most of them. Such is her unmatched dedication to duty. The queen’s marathon never ends.
The Queen is an accomplished equestrian. Her knowledge of breeding and bloodlines is extensive. Elizabeth missed attending the Gold Cup at Ascot, for the first time in 2022, because of mobility issues.
The Queen takes time to daily walk her beloved corgis.
Queen’s Unique Voice As A Modernizer
Queen Elizabeth’s unique voice has pulled ‘The Firm’ into the modern century. She has modernized the monarchy, assisted by Prince Philip, doing away with many pointless traditions.
The queen reduced the burden on the public purse. During the Platinum Jubilee flyover, only working royals stood on the palace balcony, instead of basking in the Queen’s glory.
Queen Elizabeth encourages the participation of the younger generation. The popular Prince William and Kate make the monarchy more relevant to a new generation.
The queen has advised 14 Prime Ministers, though her role is mainly ceremonial. She can dismiss a prime minister in extreme circumstances. To date, she has not used that power.
The Queen can declare war or peace, in concert with parliament. She can commit troops to an area of armed conflict. The Queen also granted a royal pardon in 2020, using special legal powers.
Queen Elizabeth cannot vote, or state a political opinion. She has opened 70 parliaments and is the overarching figure of the British government.
Queen Elizabeth’s Unique Voice
Princess Elizabeth said in a Christmas broadcast, “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat. Instead, they are even more determined to struggle for a better future.”
The statement reflected the horror of her uncle’s abdication. A statement which has remained true throughout her reign. In her heart, she has never allowed tragedy to define who she is.
1992 was the Queen’s ‘annus horribilis’. There were two public estrangements, plus a divorce in her family. That same year, a devastating fire ripped through her childhood home, Windsor Castle.
The Queen faced a unique crisis in 1977. It was one that almost brought the monarchy to its knees. Public opinion was turned against them, as one in four people wanted the monarchy abolished. They objected to the way the family handled the death of Princess Diana.
Queen Elizabeth faced the crisis with stoicism, decorum and quiet dignity. When the Queen agreed to a public funeral for Diana, she was once again favoured by the public.
King George I made it law that the monarchy is the official guardian of the grandchildren. That is a law which has never been retracted. It applies to the queen’s eight grandchildren and her twelve great-grandchildren. The law ensures the line of succession.
The first six family members in the line of succession have to seek the Queen’s permission before they can marry.
Sense Of Humour
The queen is a brilliant mimic in private. Her wonderful sense of humour and sharp wit are also well known.
The queen met two American tourists while walking on one of her vast estates. They did not know who they were talking to. One of them asked, “Have you met the queen?” Turning to the man accompanying her, she replied, “No, but he has”.
The tourists handed the queen a camera and asked to take their photo. Who expects to see the Queen of England strolling in gumboots, thick coat and scarf-covered head? What a shock the tourists would have received when they showed the photographs to their friends.
Queen Elizabeth’s voices teaches us how to cope graciously with disappointment and the constant pressure of duty. The Queen considers her role as her ‘job’. How many people hold a job for 70 years? That is an historical record.
Queen Elizabeth’s unique voice and heart have served her nation well. She will be remembered for her unparalleled graciousness, dignity, and poise.
The queen is not swayed by war, politics, social unrest, tragedy, or family disappointments. She is a woman with a quiet, unique and powerful voice. One that will be heard long after the crown has passed on to the next generation. She is a brand and National Treasure. As CEOP of the firm, the Queen is the epitome of of womanomics.
Queen Elizabeth is the most well-known woman in the world. Most women are unnamed and unsung. Hidden in obscurity. They are the glue that binds society together. Like the Queen, they have a unique voice in their own sphere of influence. A voice that is highly valued. Tragedy does not define who they are.
Check out more posts at Whispering Encouragement