Queen Elizabeth’s Reign: Golden Age or Ember of Bygone Ages?

Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday, shattered record after monarch and became an enduring icon for the country she ruled for 70 years. Did.

Some commentators have described her reign as a “Golden Age”, reminiscent of Elizabeth I, who ruled England 400 years ago during a period of power and cultural prosperity.

“I think we are partly seen through the Queen’s prism. The consistency, the wisdom, all of which she has shown is evident in the way people look at Britain. From the King to the ancient ‘Knights of the Garter’ A black man appointed to

Others said the 96-year-old’s influence on the nation was less severe than that of her illustrious ancestor, and the monarch’s power had dwindled since the first Elizabethan era.

Some critics say she leaves no tangible mark and is an institution unfit for purpose in a world of egalitarian aspirations, irreverent social media comments, and round-the-clock media scrutiny. I’m claiming

However, her legacy is still notable. It ensured that the monarchy would survive a period of rapid change.

Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of 25, following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, as Britain was recovering from the devastation of World War II. Her rations were still in effect and Winston Churchill was Prime Minister.

Since then, presidents, popes, and prime ministers have come and gone, the Soviet Union has collapsed, and the British Empire has gone, replaced by the 56-nation Commonwealth that Elizabeth helped create.

Professor Vernon Bogdanner, an expert on British constitutional history, said, “No other empire has achieved that…and in Britain, large-scale social and economic change has, as a whole, been peaceful and consensual.” “It’s quite amazing.”

Second Elizabethan era?

Elizabeth I ruled for 44 years in the 16th century. This period was considered England’s golden age, when the economy grew, the country’s influence expanded, and William Shakespeare wrote his plays. in any language.

In her 1953 Christmas broadcast, the Queen said, “There are those who expect my reign to usher in a new Elizabethan era.” I don’t feel it.”

She has never been interviewed or disclosed her personal views on political issues, so it is difficult to confirm her own assessment of the longest reign in British history. He said he believes her legacy is a matter for others to judge.

Constitutional historian David Starkey said the Queen did not see her role as embodying the historical era, but merely doing her job.

“She didn’t do or say anything that no one remembers. She doesn’t put her name on her age. Or, perhaps, on something else,” he said in 2015. I am writing to

“I don’t say this as a criticism, but merely as a statement of fact. Even as a compliment. And I suspect the Queen took it that way. I had just one thought: to keep the royal show going.”

Other historians and biographers say Starkey’s views do not justify how she played her part and moved with the times.

Andrew Morton, whose biography of Princess Diana was published in 1992 and shook the royal family, said, “In an increasingly chaotic world, she provided stability.

The Queen’s determination to do her part as best she could and her refraining from voicing opinions that might offend her gave her moral authority beyond what she commanded merely through her position as queen. Some say they gave

“What the Queen has done is… bring the monarchy into the 21st century as best it can,” grandson Prince William said in a 2012 documentary.

“All organizations need to constantly reassess themselves, monarchies are machines in constant evolution, they want to reflect society. It’s important.”

gentle power

Constitutionally, Britain’s sovereigns have few practical powers and are expected to be non-partisan.

Historians, however, have warned that Elizabeth wielded “soft” power, exemplifying her broadcasts to reassure the public at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the monarchy amidst great social divisions. He said it was the focus of unification.

Although she herself is out of political fray, she still meets with the prime minister for private audiences once a week.

In a 1992 documentary, she said, “They can lighten their load, let you know what’s going on, if there’s anything wrong, and help you in that way.” increase.

“They know they can be fair, so to speak. I like the feeling of being a sponge.”

Former mentors say her years of experience have proven to be a great help, allowing her to speak openly without fear of the conversation becoming public.

John Major, who was Britain’s leader from 1990 to 1997, said, “You may be completely outspoken, even indiscreet with the Queen.

Tony Blair, who replaced the Major as prime minister for 10 years, said: Very amazing to see. ”

Some historians say that the Queen would be considered the last of her kind, the monarch of an age when the elite commanded unquestioning respect. would be one of those people.

Anna Whitelock, a professor of monarchical history at City University in London, said: “It is not only for her longevity, but also for the time of change she has witnessed, that she stands out as one of the greatest monarchs. There is no mistake.

“And like Elizabeth I … is equally influential for Britain and its place in the world.”

(Reuters) Queen Elizabeth’s Reign: Golden Age or Ember of Bygone Ages?

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