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Treasured monarch Queen Elizabeth II has passed aged 96

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth was a pillar on which our nation was built, looking back on the longest reigning monarch’s life and service, it simply cannot be overstated the loss for her subjects in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth as well as for her admirers around the world. The essence of duty, strength, and determination; Queen Elizabeth II came to be the most cherished symbol of our identity and the noble inspiration for our patriotism. 

The early years of Queen Elizabeth’s life 

Queen Elizabeth was at the tender age of 26 when she assumed the most difficult role at a time in which she was mourning the loss of her father, King George VI. She boldly and unwaveringly pledged herself to the nations service and served her country for 70 years. Queen Elizabeth became the central symbol of stability over the years, an island of consistency in a changing world. 

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926, both her and her sister, Margaret Rose, who was born in 1930, were educated at home and brought up in a loving family atmosphere. Elizabeth was extremely close to both her father and her grandfather, George V. Yet, at such a young age it she was said to have exhibited a remarkable sense of responsibility. Winston Churchill, the future prime minister, was quoted as saying that she possessed “an air of authority that was astonishing in an infant”.

In the earliest stages of her life, despite not attending school, Elizabeth proved adept at languages and made a detailed study of constitutional history. The young princess met her future husband Prince Philip at the age of 13 at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Prince Philip called on his royal relatives when on leave from the navy, and by 1944, when she was 18, Elizabeth was clearly in love with him. She kept his picture in her room and they exchanged letters. After the war in 1947 the couple married in Westminster Abbey. 

Queen Elizabeth ascends to duty 

News of the death of her father teacher her while she was away in Kenya, she immediately returned to London to begin her new duties. Her Coronation in June 1953 was the first to be televise. Millions gathered around to watch as Queen Elizabeth II made her oath. 

While Britain continued to recover from post-war austerity and most colonies started to gain their independence, the new Queen with the courage beyond her years set off on a lengthy tour of the growing Commonwealth. Queen Elizbeth continued to celebrate the role of the Commonwealth and pledged her service to the direction of advancement of the nations whilst promising to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the member countries. 

Queen Elizabeth’s legacy 

In so many facets of national life, the Queen was there, driven by faith and duty, surrounded by ceremony and yet remarkably humble. Queen Elizabeth focused her role on winning the trust and respect of the nation. Queen Elizabeth mourned when the nation mourned during tragedies such as the Aberfan disaster in 1944 and sent messages of comfort to troops during the Gulf War in 1991.

In recent years, Queen Elizabeth was one of the first notable public figures to mourn and offer comfort and guidance to the grieving families and community after the Grenfell Tower figure tragedy in 2017. 

Never shying away from duty, Queen Elizabeth directly comforted the people on the ground, signed the condolence wall and listened to survivors for hours on end. In this, the Queen was able to be a figurehead for a very diverse nation, she encouraged politicians to be the best of what they could be, she was someone who unified people and taught the nation what true heroism looks like. To assume responsibility, to conduct herself according to her role, to quietly serve for the betterment of all, Queen Elizabeth is a figure that inspired many.

Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time and our thanks to Her Majesty The Queen for a lifetime of service.

Image: Chris Levine / Jersey Heritage Trust

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