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In memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, Downton Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II: all of them filled the walls of my Irish-Italian household. What was it that made Queen Elizabeth so important to us? What made her the one who led me to be named Rose Elizabeth Androwich and my younger sister to almost be named Elizabeth instead of Emily?

Queen Elizabeth was the person who inspired her country of England and stood as a figure of stability for 70 years.  Her father was King George V’s second son and became King when his brother abdicated the title to marry an American divorcee. It was then that Queen Elizabeth II became the next in line for the throne. On the Buckingham Palace balcony, she greeted them with her royal wave. During World War II, she was the one who delivered a public address.

Queen Elizabeth II showed a commitment to her country throughout her life even as her family life changed drastically overnight. Her life changed forever when her father passed away in his sleep at the age of 56. Queen Elizabeth II was with her husband Philip, who was formerly the Prince of Greece before he relinquished his title.

It was then that Princess Elizabeth became the woman we know today as Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch. Her address to the nation showed how she wanted to be a person that the people of England trusted in. As a monarch of 70 years, her importance to England makes her loss even more difficult.

After her death, England entered a mourning period that would last ten days. Elizabeth II’s reign relates to American politics due to the considerable amount of presidents she met. From Truman to Biden, she met with 13 successive Presidents. When she met Truman, she was still Princess Elizabeth, as she was crowned Queen a few months later.

Queen Elizabeth, even after having met with several politicians, never shared her own political stances aside from two comments interpreted to be about Brexit. This stance is in accordance with the rule that royals must be apolitical. Queen Elizabeth encouraged civility and respect in the first speech. In the second speech, she reaffirmed the idea of respecting someone who is different from you.

Queen Elizabeth was more than just a figure of stability. She was involved in hundreds of British charities and helped raise 1.4 billion pounds. She was the patron of 510 charities including Cancer Research UK and the British Red Cross. The Queen promoted a culture of supporting charities with time and money.

The impact of Queen Elizabeth extends to her role in England, other countries and charities. There is also the cultural significance of her life. The television show “The Crown” follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II with some apparent dramatization.

Outside of the show, there is a discussion regarding Queen Elizabeth as a style icon. Most have reached the conclusion that she was a style icon through her use of bright colors. Additionally, she would wear one color every day from head to toe. She shows there is a connection between the royal family and style.

Take Johnnie Boden, an English designer who ships overseas to America and the owner of the place where I got a rugby dress with a British flag on the collar. The website mentions royal figures who have worn pieces from him. It is also overwhelmingly seen that clothes the royal family wears will almost instantly sell out. Queen Elizabeth reflects the everyday connections in the world.

The love for this woman is apparent in the public fascination with her life. Even the Welsh Corgis show how her life touched the world in a number of ways.

Contact Rose at randrowich01@saintmarys.edu