Admittedly, this writer is no British Monarchy historian. However, history, generations, and politics are commonplace on this blog. One cannot discuss the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II without referencing those three subjects.
She received The Crown in 1952. The woman was a visible figure of leadership and strength through WWII. She remained in England throughout the war. This, despite the fact that she and her family were in clear and present danger through years of Nazi attacks on their land. Winston Churchill was still Prime Minister when she assumed the role of Queen. Churchill was working closely with President Truman to rebuild his country and the rest of Europe following years of destruction committed by Hitler and the Axis Powers. She was thrown into a period of incredible adversity after that. All this for a woman in her mid-twenties.
Queen Elizabeth oversaw England through a remarkable transition. The British Empire had been officially dismembered. Her colonies were rapidly becoming their own democracies. But, this didn’t cause her to sway. She watched as England moved into a smaller and less powerful version of the one she was born into. She then went on to watch the Western World go from one tumultuous time to another. The end of WWII gave way to the rise of the Cold War. She, a staunch dissident of communism, remained Queen as half of her continent fell prey to the disease. She watched her nation’s PM join forces with Reagan to try to defeat the tyranny of Soviet Communism. It’s remarkable to think that she, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II all remained steadfast in their disdain of communism, united in their determination to destroy it. She presided over the monarchy as the Iron Curtain crumbled.
While the Queen of England is largely ceremonial, her importance cannot be understated. She presided over the free world as its leader for seven decades. No one comes close to her. The British, the Americans, and the rest of the world didn’t just lose a Queen. We all lost the last leader that represented decades of difficult times across our planet. A leader that not only embodied the hard times, but one that was our last surviving leader of its triumph over evil. She oversaw the Allies defeat Nazism and Hitler. She watched Soviet Communism crumble. She was the last surviving figure who led generations of free people to victory against tyranny.
The woman was a symbol for all of us. A symbol we should revere and cherish. She put country over self. She showed it with her last deed as Queen. She fought to stay alive to appoint her nation’s third female Prime Minister. This was her duty, and it’s no coincidence she passed away hours after she checked this last task off her list. She clearly wanted to be there to do this, and that exemplifies how much this woman cared for her nation. We should all realize how important that is. A love and passion for one’s nation at its finest.
She was the end of an era. Historically speaking, the world can close a book on some of the most turbulent moments it ever faced. While not all soldiers who bravely came ashore the French beaches on D-Day in 1945 have left us yet, she was the last of the heads of state. It’s important that surviving free men and women, especially the younger ones, realize the significance of those moments in time. The horrible atrocities of WWII. The difficulties the world faced rebuilding and reuniting soon after. The fight of Western Democracies to rid the world of communism that spread around the globe. The ability to lead a triumphant fight over so much evil. The ability to love one’s nation, feel proud of what it represents, and unite others above petty differences. She connected generations. Historically, she personifies what all men and women strive for – freedom. May she, and the generations of men and women she represents, never be forgotten.