Historian and author Amanda Foreman has this to say about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II:
Queen Elizabeth II was often said to be a living symbol of stability and tradition throughout her life. In part, this had to do with her incredible 70 years on the throne.
But more than that, Elizabeth embodied what could be called the national spirit. Her wife, mother, grandmother, her great-grandmother, she was indeed human. But as Queen, she embodied the essence and values of Britain.
This dual persona was actually created by Elizabeth’s 19th-century ancestor, Queen Victoria. In her view, she was both the mother of her family and the mother of the country. Victoria invented a new kind of leadership by calling herself the care-in chief of her nation. It goes beyond politics and focuses on national unity.
This is such a powerful ideal that dozens of countries, from Israel to Switzerland, have adopted similar models of government, separating civic and political roles.
In addition to devoting herself to public duties, Queen Elizabeth believed it was her solemn duty to maintain the monarchy. She always tried to maintain a balance between preserving ancient traditions while responding to social changes and the needs of the country.
Elizabeth showed how she intended to reign in 1953 when she allowed television cameras to broadcast her coronation. It was the biggest television event of its time. Millions of people, not just the privileged few, were able to see the 1,000-year-old ritual unfold.
And this is how the Queen continued for the next 70 years. She made the monarchy matter by making it part of the lives of her subjects. She celebrated with them in her joys, and mourned with them in times of crisis.
As families gather and commemorate important events in their lives, families in Britain and around the world will unite this week to pay tribute to Elizabeth.
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Story produced by Julie Krakoff. Editor: George Pozderek.
From “Sunday Morning”:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amanda-foreman-on-queen-elizabeth-and-why-the-monarchy-matters/ Commentary: Why Queen Elizabeth’s Magnificent Reign and Monarchy Matters