After the queen’s passing on September 8, I’ve thought of paying a homage to her. As a Canadian, she’s always been significant to me and my country, and as a person I find her fascinating. I’m not a royalist by any means, but I want to take an opportunity to talk about a woman who did a lot of good for the world. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.
She Was Heavily Involved In The War Effort
Determined to do her bit for the war effort, princess Elizabeth was the first woman in the royal family to serve under the British Armed Forces. Against her father’s wishes, she trained as a mechanic and a driver and within 5 months she was promoted to a junior commander. As queen, she became commander in chief of the British Armed Forces. Even in her 90s she was found fixing faulty engines in the same way she was trained during her military days.
She Changed With The Modern World
Being a young female monarch, she was an excellent person to lead the ancient monarchy into a new one. She brought about change quietly and eloquently. While not officially a feminist, she was a woman who could lead from a very young age and she frequently supported women’s efforts in other fields such as in the arts, sciences, etc. She was someone who was willing to move with a changing world rather than fight against it.
She Dedicated A Memorial To WW 2 Code Breakers
It was wonderful that Queen Elizabeth remembered the code breakers during the second world war with a memorial. It is said that their ability to break through secret messages between the Nazis was what shortened the war by two years, saving thousands of lives. This also goes along with Alan Turing’s rare mercy pardon where Queen Elizabeth approved a post-humous royal pardon for the young code breaker (He was the father of computer science) who was charged with “gross indecency” for being gay. He committed suicide at only 41 years old after being subject to defamation and chemical castration. Queen Elizabeth said he was “an exceptional man” when giving the pardon (Only 3 have been given in modern times). It was given much too late unfortunately, but it was an important step in reconciliation between the UK and those who were mistreated by the government because of their sexual orientation.
She Went Fur-Free In 2019
To keep up with modern fashion trends (And maybe after learning about the horror of fur farming?), the queen opted to only wear faux fur from 2019 onward, even replacing the real furs in her other coats. The one catch was that her ceremonial robes would still contain real fur so they would not be replaced. PETA commended the queen for her forward thinking.
She Was A Horsewoman
Many people know about Elizabeth’s love of corgis, but few may know how much of a horsewoman she was. She was known to attend many races and she frequently bred her own race horses who often won. She was quoted saying that she liked breeding horses that were faster than other people’s horses. She inherited her father’s stock when she became queen and it was her true passion in life. It’s wonderful she was able to be involved in the horse racing world despite her duties as queen and she was a great influence on the sport itself.
She Was An Introvert
I noticed while watching The Crown that Elizabeth was portrayed as an introvert who much preferred her own company and she would often seek refuge in her quaint getaway, Balmoral Castle. I did more research and it seems that the queen was indeed more on the introverted spectrum, which was all the more amazing with all of the events and ceremonies she was required to attend. She did have some tricks that would help her escape if a visit became a little overwhelming for her – such as when she set her purse on the floor, it was a signal to her lady in waiting to help her exit the situation promptly.
She Avoided Personal Scandal
While she was born into a role she did not choose, she took it very seriously even from a young age. She was quoted as a teenager saying she would serve her country whether her life was long or short – and long it was. While some members of her family were often caught in the act of questionable activities and dragged for it in the media, Elizabeth herself remained classy and elusive until the very end. When there was a scandal involving her family, she remained wordless, riding it out without a single comment to the press. During her younger years, her younger sister Margaret was often caught in various scandals – being the younger sister who wasn’t in line for the throne it was easier for her to rebel and experiment with different things. It would be redundant to point out what other members of her family did – from her children to her extended family. Elizabeth remained devoted to the crown all her life as she promised, and her influence on the modern world won’t be forgotten.
She Was Anti-Racist
The queen danced with the president of Ghana in 1961, a black man, which infuriated racists all over the world, including in her own kingdom, but she was determined to fight for equality. In addition to this, she worked behind the scenes to convince the Commonwealth to end the apartheid system in South Africa (Which was sadly stopped by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for personal and political reasons). Her quiet work to fight racism should not be forgotten.
Thank you for reading today. ❤ Do you have any other cool facts to add about our late queen of England? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below.