I felt compelled to pay a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history. This woman has served as a Constitutional monarch, head of state for 70 years. She was coronated reigning Queen at the age of 25 years old in 1953 after her father George VI died in 1952, as the eldest heir to the throne. She was the longest reigning monarch of 70 years, and the only one who has reigned during my lifetime. Only Queen Victoria came closest serving almost 64 years on the throne. To this day, Canada still celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24th – affectionately known as ‘May 2-4’, first long weekend of summer.
Elizabeth lived and reigned through decades of change, far from the times of her ancestors who’d previously reigned. As a teenager during WWII, she became the first royal to join the active war efforts in the women’s British army as a truck mechanic. As Queen, her family had gone through numerous scandals, starting with the one that gave her own father the title of King with the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII’s reign, stepping down to marry a divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson. Power was passed over to his brother George, and following through, the Queen lived through plenty more scandals from her own family – sister Princess Margaret and her sordid affairs, down to her own sons, Charles marrying and divorcing Lady Diana and his ongoing affair with Camilla, and Andrew, recently having some of his royal duties and perks taken from him for his current shenanigans in the Jeffrey Epstein pornography scandal, even grandson Harry and the racist issues that came about with his marrying bi-racial Megan. Queen Elizabeth modernized the monarchy like no other royal.
The Canadian Connection to the Monarchy:
Although my country, Canada, is an independent country, the Queen remained our nation’s head of state, despite no active role in our Canadian politics, and despite our Canadian government legislative and parliament, run in similar fashion to the United Kingdom’s. She was our Consitituional monarch, who remained politically neutral. Our parliamentary system began from the British, Westminster system. Canada was originally a colony of the United Kingdom, thus, our Constitution was created by the United Kingdom in 1867, beginning our federal system of government, and is still one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world. Our Governor General is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation to the UK’s Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister and each provincial Premiere (equivalent to the American governor of American states), hold office only as long as our House of Commons (legislative branch), support them. Our government acts in the name of the Crown but our authority is derived by the Canadian people. The face of Queen Elizabeth has been on our Canadian currency since she was eight years old. She was also the Queen of Canada.
Not surprisingly, in this last year of the Queen’s life, she lost her husband who stood by and supported her for almost all of her 70 years reign. Despite her getting Covid and adding to her body’s immune response, and her age, 96 years old, as one myself who lost her own husband last year, only two days before the Queen lost her own beloved, and knowing how my loss took such a toll on my own health, it isn’t surprising to feel that the glorious monarch has taken too much on in the last year of her life between grief and illness to add to her 96 years on earth.
As a Canadian who grew up in her school years singing, God Save the Queen, I have always felt she was my Queen too. Perhaps as I grew up and my curiosities grew, became my fascination with the monarchy and its lineage of British history.
My heart is heavy for such a grand loss. As a personal note, I’d like to add my opinion about the fact that Prince Charles will now become King. Personally, I truly wish he would have abstained as the Queen’s uncle Edward did when her own father inherited the kingdom. I would have wished the kingdom would go directly to William, and can’t help but wonder how many others think the same way. But traditions remain, and now Charles will be the oldest monarch ever to take the throne. My heart goes out to the royal family.
God bless the Queen. My heart is heavy with this great loss of a reigning monarch, for myself, my country, and for the United Kingdom, and all the royals left behind. May she rest in peace with her beloved husband, and be remembered for centuries to come for her glorious reign. Amen.
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Note: There was a heavy rainfall in London before the Queen passed, and shortly before her death was announced, a double rainbow was formed over Buckingham Palace: