With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of the late Queen of England, Elizabeth II, who died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family at the ripe old age of 96.
It was a sentence we’d never expected to hear so soon, yet when we reflect on the long life she led as the head of the royal family, we realise how lucky we were to have her for as long as we did. With her sitting on the throne from 1952 - 2022 with a long and glorious reign of over 70 years, most of us reading this post would’ve never known a world without this conduct head of stability.
However, now she rests in peace with her late husband. We now mourn her passing as we make way for the future of this world, where now the throne of England will son have a King, Charles III. But, before we welcome him to fill in his mother’s shoes, we thought we would look back on the female Queens of England as a tribute to her remarkable life.
Queen Elizabeth II: 1926 - 2022
Elizabeth II sat on the throne for 70 years through political scandals, the break up of the traditional British Empire around the world, the reduction in monarchal power, and the birth of the modern world. Yet, she kept the monarchy going in the wake of the war's end, falling unions, changing politicians, and all with a smile on her face and a little corgy at her side.
She was beyond simply a Queen; she was an iconic figurehead staple of British culture. From her bright dresses to her little doggies or yearly Christmas speeches, you didn’t need to see her know her calm voice as she told you to have a great holiday season. It will never be the same!
Queen Elizabeth I: 1533 - 1603
Known classically as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth ascended to the throne in the wake of a foul line of kings, most notably her infamous father, Henry VIII. However, she was a strong leader that helped England defend itself against Spanish invaders during the Spanish Armada and helped her dear land gain a noble reputation worldwide. Outside the trenches, she was an iconic fashion figure with her black-teeth, white complexion, red lips, and hair.
Queen Mary I: 1516 - 1558
She was often called ‘Bloody Mary’ for her ruthless attempts to revert the political decisions made by her father, Henry VIII, to split the state from the church. Being a Roman Catholic, she fought to turn her previous Protestant nation back to how it was before her father. She was triumphant until after her death, when Elizabeth I immediately took steps to reverse them.
Outside of her fight to save religion, she was the first woman to be named queen and rule in her own right. In addition, she came to the throne at forty and married her husband, King Philp II of Spain, not long after. Her hobbies included an insatiable thirst for gambling, fashion, dancing, and reading.
In several statements to her memory, when her successor, Elizabeth I died, she was buried on top of Mary I in Westminster Abbey. And we are all taught the nursery rhyme that goes ‘Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?’ about her nickname and often described as tyrannical reign.
Queen Mary II: 1662 - 1694
Mary II was the Queen of Britain’s first joined monarch with her marriage to William III. They both ruled as Queen and King at the death of James II, becoming a solid union of protestant values with a life full of drama and challenges.
Mary was an expert language learner who loved reading, studying, and playing music. These qualities encouraged her to be a wealthy patron of the arts and education of higher learning by establishing places for scholars to frequent.
There was a lot of drama regarding her succession to the throne. When she was 15 years old, she was betrothed to William against her wishes, but regardless she made her way across the sea to marry her husband. Then not long after he became king, he kicked her father from his throne, and they became co-rulers on the English and Scottish thrones. If that didn’t take the cake, Mary also had long-term affairs with women in their household, including Frances Aspley, who she wrote of often expressing her most profound love.
Queen Anne: 1665 - 1714
Queen Anne ascended to the throne at the death of her husband, King William III, in 1702. She was known for having two courtly women ‘ favourites’ as close advisors during her reign, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham. Their relationship with the queen was represented in the 2018 movie ‘The Favourite’, with some speculation historically as to whether they were beyond just friends. However, this turned into a toxic relationship with Churchill leading to her dismissal from the court in 1711, and after her death, a poisoning memoir of the late queen was written by Churchill.
Queen Anne was never able to carry a child in her earlier years, so by 1700 was resolute that she would never give her country an heir. She was also sick for most of her later life, suffering sore joints, which by 1713 had her unable to walk any longer. Yet, despite these physical disabilities, she threw herself headfirst into politics to improve her country and even unify Scotland and England.
Queen Victoria: 1819 - 1901
Did you know that Victoria’s first name isn’t even ‘Victoria’? She was born Alexandrina Victoria but preferred the latter, even if she was named directly after her godfather Tsar Alexander I. She was also fifth in line of succession, but as destiny would have it, she would become Queen in 1837.
As a Queen. She was the first to live in Buckingham palace and was well-loved by the British public. She was a young monarch and dressed elegantly, so she quickly became a staple of Victorian fashion for women in both manner and clothes. This is seen in how her wedding to Prince Albert inspired a new age in wedding traditions.
She is famous for many things, but perhaps her most were her marriage to Prince Albert, where she was the one to propose to him, and they equally loved each other. They had many children, attended state visits and events together and wrote of each other as if they were the only people on the planet. Unfortunately, however, he died too young in 1861, and for the rest of her forty years, she wore black as a constant reminder of heartbreak and mourning for a lost husband.
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Final Remarks: Long Live The King!
It is a sad moment in our history at the death of such a great Queen, for Elizabeth wasn’t just a monarch; she was a mother not just to a people but also to a royal family. But, at least, we can say she is at peace now with her husband. She can finally relax knowing she did her best work and her son, King Charles III, will carry on her long legacy.