Monday, September 19, 2022

The Legacy of Elizabeth II

From the Queen

Though I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about Great Britain’s monarchy, as someone with an interest in history and political intrigue, as well as tradition and pomp and circumstance, I must admit an appreciation for Queen Elizabeth as a historical figure and fodder for some great drama (and comedy).

Elizabeth’s passing put me in mind to recently re-watch the film, the Queen and the Crown series on Netflix. I’ve watched both before (the former multiple times) and find them immensely watchable—they're very well done. They provide glimpses into tradition, protocol and backroom politics (both institutional and personal) of not just a monarch but a constitutional head of state who of course wields great influence but not absolute power—and must inspire and earn fealty from his or her subjects for legitimacy and to remain in power.

That said, I felt one of the best tributes to Elizabeth was the observation that she remained on the throne not for power but rather duty. She served her country with great dignity through transition and crisis, from a World War when she was still a princess and a Cold War as Queen, and the continued evolution of Great Britain as a colonial power to a commonwealth. As the longest-reigning English monarch, she leaves behind a strong legacy—and big shoes to fill.


No comments: