Here’s to You, Your Majesty

This week on Thursday the world received news that her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away. She reigned for 70 years of her 96 year long life, putting the welfare of the monarchy and empire above her own. I’ve always admired her fortitude, stoicism, dignified behavior, and dedication.

She spent most of her life in service to her country, carefully observing traditions while still making allowances for modern ideas when possible. Facing criticism from the international community regularly throughout her life gave her a thick skin and the determination to carry on.

Through several wars, scandals, controversies, and the like, she kept her head up and inspired many to do the same, much like her father had during WWII.

The years marched by, and with them came a multitude of changes, challenges, and celebrations. The Queen has labeled 1992 as her worst year because “…a series of setbacks befell her, including personal tribulations and divorces among her children, a fire at Windsor Castle, and increased oversight over royal finances by the government. By the end of the year, Prince Charles and Princess Diana had separated, but public scrutiny of their relationship only intensified.” Their divorce, followed by Diana’s death in Paris a year later, created an unprecedented media situation for the royal family.

Still, she kept going, reached out to her people, and worked to mend her image as well as that of her family. With the marriages of her children came grandchildren, and their marriages too eventually brought great-grandchildren. It was a large family which grew substantially, and with her as the matriarch for so many years, the vacancy she leaves is undoubtedly massive.

She was a great lady and will be greatly missed. Her descendants will carry on her legacy, and she’ll forever be remembered as the longest-reigning monarch and beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

By Gretchen Hendrick Gardella, MLIS

Gretchen Hendrick Gardella is a Librarian with administrative, research, and vast technical skills. Ms. Gardella brings over 16 years of experience working in academic and public libraries to the discussion.