The Queen’s reign sadly came to an end today as she passed away at the age of 96. To honor her, here are the accomplishments of Queen Elizabeth II. She had an incredible 70 years on Britain’s throne.
The longest-reigning monarch in Britain
She was the longest-serving monarch. At age 25, she took the throne… for seven decades!
Most people are still figuring themselves out at that young age, not preparing to rule. I cannot imagine how scary and overwhelming that experience must have been for the young Elizabeth. Also, it was likely an exciting time and brought hope for the future.
Over her time as Queen, she saw the Cold War and the Korean War. She was there through the Brexit crisis too.
Elizabeth took the throne after her father King George IV. The year was 1953. Her reign is longer than her great-grandmother Queen Victoria (63 years on the throne).
Queen Elizabeth II’s stable presence
The stability she brought as a monarch cannot be underestimated. The Queen took her title at a very disruptive time. Her uncle, King Edward VIII, had abdicated the throne at age 10. That had brought disarray. When Elizabeth’s father took the seat (King George VI), he did not feel ready to do so and was reluctant, as per Vanity Fair.
Furthermore, following World War II, Britain found itself struggling to maintain power as former colonies began leaving and declaring independence. She was key in guiding the British Empire into the Commonwealth, a voluntary group of sovereign nations. While it was not a fast process, it was done with reliability and stability, with the Queen at the helm.
She was the head of the Commonwealth of Nations, comprised of 54 independent countries. Her ability to steer compromise between them and visit the different countries to help maintain peace is huge. She has been instrumental to brining benefits like the Commonwealth Games to the 54 nations.
The Queen also was able to keep the royal family of interest to the younger generation. For instance, she kept up with online trends by launching a website in 1997 to show the acts of charity of the family.
She even got on social media. Her first Tweet was in 2014, and her first Instagram post was in 2019.
Featured on the most currencies
The Queen also holds the Guinness World Record for being featured on the most currencies. She has been on 33 international currencies across her lifetime. Wow.
That is more than Queen Victoria (21 currencies). It also exceeds King George V, who appeared on 19.
Longest marriage in the royal family
She was married to Prince Phillip for 74 years. They wed in 1947 and remained married until Philip’s passing in 2021.
On the topic of marriage… Some online sources describe Queen Elizabeth II as being strongly against divorce. When she first took the throne, divorce was scandelous. Today, three of her four children have divorced.
Queen Elizabeth II was highly educated
Did you know the Queen had multiple degrees? Between 1948-51, she got four degrees. Four!
They are quite varied. There is the Doctor of Music (University of Wales). Then there are the two Doctor of Law degrees (University of London and University of Edinburgh). And don’t forget about the Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford.
She pursued education during a time when it was not the norm for women to do so. Teaching and clerical work were examples of jobs for many women at that time.
I also don’t know anyone who has four degrees! She was highly educated by the time she took the throne.
A lot of time, energy, and money was put toward charity work. She was one of the most passionate monarchs in this regard.
She reportedly sponsored over 600 charities in Britain, serving some of them for 60 years. The family itself is close to 3,000 charities around the world.
Her efforts in particular were to reduce poverty. From bringing public focus to issues to holding fundraisers and donating money, there were a lot of ways she impacted organizations.
Addressed the US congress: The first monarch to do so
Her address to US Congress on May 16, 1991, made history. She was the first British monarch to do that.
Her speech focused on maintaining peace and cooperation between America and Europe. While they were on different sides of the Atlantic, they were to work together to create beneficial change for the future.
A few more words on Queen Elizabeth II
These are not all of the Queen’s achievements and cannot fully describe her legacy. But it is a good starting point. Her long life was incredible, and she will be dearly missed around the world.