Elizabeth Al Samed: The Queen celebrates 70 years of the throne | Entertainment news

By Danica Kirka, The Associated Press

LONDON (AFP) – Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was not born to wear the crown. But fate intervened.

The woman who became Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate 70 years on the throne on Sunday, an unprecedented era that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigates an era of uncertainty.

From her early days as a glamorous young royal in sparkling crowns to her latest incarnation as a grandmother of the nation, the Queen has witnessed the end of the British Empire, the rise of multiculturalism, the rise of international terrorism, and the challenges posed by Brexit. The Covid-19 pandemic. In a world filled with relentless change, she has been constant – representing the UK’s interests abroad, saluting the nation’s successes and sympathizing with its failures, and always remaining above the fray of politics.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers said that this constancy should earn Elizabeth a royal title like her predecessors such as William the Conqueror, Edward the Confessor and Alfred the Great.

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“I’ve always thought she should be called a resilient Elizabeth, I think it’s a perfect way to describe her,” Vickers told the Associated Press. “She didn’t necessarily expect to be a queen, and she embraced that duty.”

As the eldest daughter of King George V’s second son, Elizabeth, 95, was expected to live the life of a minor king when she was born on April 21, 1926. Dogs and horses, a country house, a proper match — a comfortable but quiet life — seemed to her a future.

But everything changed a decade later when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father became King George VI, making the young princess heir.

George VI, whose struggle with overcoming a stutter was portrayed in the 2010 film The King’s Speech, made himself the darling of the nation when he refused to leave London as bombs fell during the early months of World War II.

Elizabeth followed her father’s lead by example, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in early 1945, becoming the first female member of the Royal Family to join the armed forces as a full-time active member. On her 21st birthday, she dedicated her life to the nation and the Commonwealth, the voluntary association of nations that arose out of the British Empire.

“I declare before all of you that my whole life, long or short, will be devoted to your service and that of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” she said in a radio address broadcast around the world.

In 1952, the young princess embarked on a tour of the Commonwealth in the place of her ailing father. She was in a remote Kenyan inn, where she and her husband Prince Philip were watching baboons from the treetops, when she heard her father had died.

She immediately returned to London, disembarking from the plane in black mourning clothes, to begin her life as queen. She has ruled ever since, with the crown and sceptre on the big occasions, but she wore a wide-brimmed hat and carried a simple handbag.

In the seven decades that followed, the Queen shared a trust with 14 prime ministers and met 13 US presidents.

Once a year, she travels about a mile from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament. And when world leaders come to call, she hosts state banquets during which diamonds twinkle under the TV lights and presidents and prime ministers dread about bowing and when to toast.

But it is the less generous events that give the Queen a link to the audience.

At garden parties honoring the service of everyone from soldiers and charitable workers to school librarians and crossing guards, guests wear festive hats and drink tea as they try to catch a glimpse of the Queen on the lawn outside Buckingham Palace. Honorees can see it from a distance, as it is said that it prefers bright colors so that the public can see it in a crowd.

Then there’s the annual wreath that is laid at the memorial to those who died during conflicts around the world, as well as the many school openings, aged care visits, and maternity ward tours that filled her days.

Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the only sovereign most Britons have ever known, has been a constant presence since the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Egypt’s takeover of the Suez Canal highlighted Britain’s waning power, through labor strife in the 1980s and the terror of 2005. Attacks in London..

When Prince Philip died during the pandemic, she donned a black face mask and sat alone during his out-of-community funeral, silently proving that the rules apply to everyone – especially her.

“It’s not beholden to voters. It’s just there,” Emily Nash, royal editor at HELLO! magazine said. She does what she does. She performs her duties without complaining or making any personal drama. And people respect her for that.”

Not that there were no disagreements.

In the early 1990s, criticism of the monarchy grew amid reports of the Queen’s private wealth and concerns about the monarchy’s reckoning. In 1992 the Queen agreed to pay the expenses of most of her family and became the first queen to pay income taxes since the 1930s.

Tensions flared up again in 1997 when the royal family’s silence following the death of Princess Diana, the ex-wife of Prince Charles, upset many Diana fans.

So far, the monarchy has struggled to distance itself from the scandal sparked by a sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son, and the fallout after the abandonment of two of the royals’ most famous members, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. their royal duties and left for California.

Kelly Beaver, chief executive of polling firm Ipsos UK, which has tracked her popularity for decades, said the Queen was over the scandal and remained popular throughout.

“Part of that is because it’s so synonymous… for the monarchy, and it’s something the British people are very proud of,” Beaver said.

However, Tewa Adebayo, the social media commentator and writer who inherited a fascination with the monarchy from her grandmother, believes young people want “more transparency” – to see the royal family go beyond the old saying “never complain, never explain” a symbol of the Queen’s reign.

For the Queen, Sunday will likely be bittersweet, marking her long reign and the 70th anniversary of her father’s death.

“I always thought one of her philosophies was really, you know, she just wanted to be a really good daughter to her dad and have all his hopes come true for her,” Vickers said. “And you know, assuming there’s another life and they meet again, my God, he’d be able to thank her for doing exactly that.”

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