Queen Elizabeth II: An icon in life, inspiration in death

Bradyn Johnson | Editor-in-Chief

Tanya Keskar | Managing Editor

Queen Elizabeth ll was alive for more than nine decades, ascending to the throne at only 25 years of age. On September 8th, 2022, she died at 96 years old. She lived for 35,040 days, 841,536 hours and 3,027,456,000 seconds. She met with 13 U.S. Presidents, dating back to the early 1950s. She was a dog-mum to over 30 corgis and dachshund-corgi mixes throughout her lifetime. She also had the longest reign in British history.

It is amazing to think she has participated in history that we have only read and watched about in books and documentaries. During World War II, she helped the war effort, including training as a driver and mechanic and effectively earning the equivalent of the rank of a captain.

People from all around the World were glued to their phones on Thursday when they heard the news that the Queen had passed on. It was almost as if a close relative had passed, though it was actually a person who served as a political figurehead in a country on a different continent. As a society, why is it that we idolize celebrities that we know so little about? Magazines and tabloids have followed every detail of her personal life – trying to get cameras in windows and reporting on rumors of a scandal.

The Queen has become an icon in American culture, featuring cameos in movies such as Paddington, James Bond and Minions. The people around her became famous for being the royal family, but as society follows the scandals, it takes away focus from the actual accomplishments and impacts these people have.

We idolize them to the extent that it becomes an obsession, where these celebrities become larger than life, but they are real people who should have the liberty to make mistakes and maintain their own privacy. Too many people have jumped on the bandwagon of following the Queen’s actions without understanding why.

One reason that Queen Elizabeth was popular was that she was around for so long – for some of us before our great grandparents were even alive. She had seen so much and watched society as it progressed. In a world dominated by male political leaders, she led the female voice and became a role model.

She was a beloved figure and created a sense of unity and tradition for her country, and was equally respected by all sides of the political spectrum. Thankfully, women who aspire to hold political positions from around the world look to her as an example of poise and grace. And while the Queen is not with us anymore, her legacy of service and hope will continue as she touched many hearts in countries all over the world.