The lengthy and impressive reign of Queen Elizabeth II carries on with no end in sight. But will her age and demanding position prompt changes in the future?
At 92 years old, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in world history. But will her age coupled with the grueling schedule of a working royal force her to pass on the crown?
When Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth in 1952, it goes without saying that the world was a very different place. Take a moment to ponder the fact that the Queen has remained a stable and revered head of state from the time families gathered in their living rooms to hear world leaders address nations over the radio, to today, where the actions of politicians and presidents play out immediately on all the latest social media apps 24/7.
In her 67 year reign, 13 British Prime Ministers have come and gone, divorce, scandal and death has plagued her family, she has birthed four children, welcomed eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and has never once appeared anything short of poised to perfection and fiercely dedicated to her duties. And a big part of those duties has been supporting her people through charitable work. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II is considered the most charitable monarch in history as well as patron of well over 500 charities throughout her reign including Cancer Research UK and the British Red Cross.
“The Queen has set an amazing example when it comes to her charitable support making an enormous difference to millions of people up and down the country; doing more for charity in the last sixty years than probably any other monarch in history,” says Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) chief executive John Lowe. “The Queen’s work for charities of all types is an example to all of us.”
A Royal decree
And while the role of Queen was initially unexpected, and came at the tender age of only 25, her vow to serve came even before that. On her 21st birthday while on a tour of South Africa with her parents and sister, then Princess Elizabeth addressed the commonwealth.
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share it in,” the future Queen so eloquently declared.
Her wise words and humble approach to the job she had inherited continued to shine through during her address to the British people following her coronation in 1953, where she referred to the coronation ceremony not as a symbol of power and splendour but rather “a declaration of our hopes for the future.”
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