In 1935, Princess Elizabeth rode a pony for a ride, and equestrian became her lifelong hobby
On September 8, local time, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. In the order of British monarchy succession, Prince Charles, now 74, has succeeded as King of the United Kingdom.
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and she herself has gone through nearly a hundred years of history, feeling the tremors brought about by external upheaval in the silkworm chrysalis of the royal family.
She experienced World War II as a child and experienced the transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth during her reign. In the 21st century, the modern society she faces is completely different from the Britain her parents lived in.
Elizabeth has lived under various rules since she was a child. For example, after undressing, she must fold her clothes neatly; she can’t cry in public; no matter how many hours she sits, her back can never rest on the back of a chair.
No matter how the outside world changes, as head of state, Queen Elizabeth II always behaves dignified and decent. And the queen’s halo is like a veil, which often makes people forget to explore what kind of woman is under that noble crown.
In 1936, after World War I had stretched its territory to the limit, and before the guns of World War II had been fired, King Edward VIII, who had just taken office, was trying to marry an American woman who had been married twice.
The identity of the “new queen” caused strong opposition from both the political and religious circles in the UK. In order to marry the beloved, Edward VIII chose to give up the throne.
Without any preparation, Edward VIII’s younger brother, the Duke of York, became the new king. The eldest daughter of the Duke of York, ten-year-old Elizabeth, naturally became the first heir to the throne.
Before that, Elizabeth lived in Piccadilly, London, living a carefree life with her parents, sister, and servants.
VCRs at that time recorded many sweet and lovely family moments. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret always wore the same clothes; on sunny days, they went out with their father for afternoon tea, or sat on the grass and learned to sing songs taught by their grandmother.
Elizabeth likes to play role-playing games. She and her sister take turns playing the pony, pulling the other person forward. If someone called her name at this time, she would be silent, and after a while, she would say: I am a pony and can’t speak.
In Elizabeth’s time, noble girls were usually educated privately at home, so Elizabeth did not go to school and did not have to take exams. King George VI did not have many requirements for his daughter’s education. He only hoped that the tutor could teach her to write well.
However, after Elizabeth became the prospective crown prince, her schoolwork increased, and the provost of Eton began to teach her British constitution and history. At the age of 16, her parents hired a viscountess to teach her French literature, and even then, some felt that the Queen’s education was insufficient.
Whether as a princess or a future queen, Elizabeth has been living by rules since she was a child, such as having to fold her clothes neatly after taking off; not crying in public; no matter how many hours she sits, her back can never rest on the back of a chair .
Her mother herself taught her how to speak gracefully with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and how to walk unhurriedly in the face of the gazes of thousands. The nanny around Elizabeth was not more tolerant because she was a young princess. On the contrary, her tutor was quite strict, and she would be severely reprimanded if she accidentally put her elbow on the table.
Guided by her female elders, Elizabeth is diligent and taciturn, never breaking the rules and showing a strong sense of responsibility for her identity.
When Elizabeth was 13 years old, World War II broke out on the European continent. She assumed the role of a princess. King George VI opened the Balmoral estate to take in refugees. Sisters Elizabeth and Margaret brought tea and water to the refugees and accompanied the women. chat.
For safety reasons, the two princesses were sent to Windsor Castle in the second year of World War II, while their parents insisted on staying in London to continue working. During World War II, Elizabeth learned tenacity and bravery from her father. At Windsor Castle, she often entertained officers from various countries as the hostess.
During the war days, the governess Crawley tried her best to liven up the atmosphere. She organized the princess and the soldiers to sing and play together.
In 1943, when Elizabeth was 17 years old, she and her sister performed the pantomime “Aladdin” in front of more than 500 soldiers and people. In the audience was her future husband Philip, who had been dating for 18 months at the time.
Philip is a beautiful man who stands out, with pure noble blood. His father is a Greek prince, and his mother is the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He and Elizabeth are cousins. Although he was born noble, Philip was not wealthy and did not own a large territory like some British aristocrats. The Greek coup in 1922 made Philip wander around with his family since he was a child, living a life under the fence.
Elizabeth’s life has always been step-by-step, but when it came to choosing a husband, she showed a rebellious spirit. Unlike Elizabeth’s temperament, naval officer Philip was almost unrestrained, even a little reckless.
In the eyes of the British court aristocracy, Philip has a strong taste from the European continent. His four sisters all married German princes, which was obviously a little sensitive during World War II. However, Elizabeth turned a deaf ear to these objections.
After their marriage, Elizabeth and Philip showed their playful nature from time to time. She had dressed up as an Edwardian maid at American officials’ balls, while Philip played the barman.
But such a comfortable life could not be achieved after her father died.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoying their honeymoon walk in the Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire, November 24, 1947
George VI died of a heart attack in 1952 during Elizabeth’s visit to Kenya for her father. At the time, Elizabeth and Philip were living in a “tree hotel” – a hut on a huge fig tree. According to the British law of succession to the throne, the moment the king dies, the prospective crown prince will automatically become the next king. In this way, 25-year-old Elizabeth succeeds the throne on a tree in Africa.
The moment the king dies, the prospective crown prince will automatically become the next king, and just like that, 25-year-old Elizabeth takes the throne on a tree in Africa.
young queen of the commonwealth
After receiving the news of her father’s death, Elizabeth did not look very distressed, and she calmly sent a cable to the Prime Minister, canceling the following visit, and signing an order for black hats to be used when disembarking in London. use. When the inner court lady expressed her condolences to her, she only said, “I’m sorry for disrupting everyone’s plans.”
And sister Margaret was heartbroken by her father’s death and needed medication to sleep. King George VI used to call their family “the four of us” warmly, but with his death, the original family life is gone forever, her sister will enter Buckingham Palace as Queen, she and her mother you need to get out of here.
George VI was only 57 years old when he died, and the great and lonely responsibility of the monarch fell prematurely on Elizabeth’s shoulders. At the time, Britain’s Prime Minister was Churchill, and when he first met Elizabeth, who was only two years old, he was full of worries and doubts about the young monarch.
However, it is surprising that, thanks to the adequate training, Elizabeth’s performance after returning to London was impeccable. She did her due diligence and quickly fulfilled her responsibilities as a queen, and began to meet foreign leaders and domestic officials. During her first five years as king, Elizabeth behaved extremely solemnly and rarely smiled in public.
Family portrait of Queen Elizabeth with Prince Philip and all their children on April 21, 1968
Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, adopted her husband’s surname as the dynasty name after she ascended the throne. After Elizabeth took the throne, Philip and his uncle also insisted on changing the title to the Mountbatten dynasty.
However, Elizabeth listened to her mother and Churchill’s advice, and continued to use the “Windsor Dynasty” used by her grandfather and father – which caused Philip to suffer a lot at the time. In order to maintain balance in the family, Elizabeth left the decision-making power of all family affairs to Prince Philip, and devoted herself to the identity of the king.
As we all know, the British royal family does not hold real power, but the Queen’s work is busier than many people think.
In general, she needs to meet the audience each morning, who may be retiring diplomatic ambassadors, clergymen, military officers or celebrities.
In Charles’ description, the father is domineering and arrogant, and the mother is only a distant observer in childhood. After marriage, Diana ran to the Queen to cry, but Elizabeth just said: Charles is hopeless.
Every day, aside from Christmas and Easter, the Queen has to deal with official documents, which include foreign ministry cables, government budget documents, minutes of cabinet meetings and more.
At the same time, she also maintains a close relationship with government officials, meeting with the Prime Minister once a week and meeting with Privy Council officials once a month to keep abreast of the British government’s current actions.
Whether encouraging herself or admonishing others, Elizabeth always said, “you will get used to it gradually”, and she believes that there is nothing that cannot be done well through training. In the position of the king, there are ready-made templates for all affairs. In many cases, all she has to do is to meticulously imitate her predecessors.
But many challenges are also present.
In the last few years of George VI’s life, the empire on which the sun never sets showed irresistible signs of decline. India and Pakistan declared independence, Ireland restructured into a republic and left the Commonwealth. In the wave of national liberation movements after World War II, the disintegration of the British Empire has become a fact. Elizabeth realized that the country she took over from her father was no longer the same as the empire that once was, and that the “relic” of the empire, the Commonwealth of Nations, could also fall apart if she was not careful.
In 1961, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations. Ghana, which had just gained independence, was in turmoil under the leadership of President Nkrumah. He imprisoned hundreds of opponents and expelled former British officials. In the atmosphere of the Cold War, the Soviet Union more It was intended to win over the former British colony.
A few days before the Queen planned to visit Ghana, there was an explosion in the capital of Ghana. The former Prime Minister Churchill and the British media did not recommend the Queen to visit at this time, but Elizabeth was very firm about this. She was angry with the cowardly British officials, saying: “It would be stupid if I dared not go to Ghana and Khrushchev went and was welcomed.”
Elizabeth’s visit turned out to be quite useful, and unlike the rigid and shrewdness of politicians, the Queen was to some extent It represents the warmth of a country, and the people’s love for her has nothing to do with politics. The young and beautiful Elizabeth received a warm welcome in Ghana, and she danced with Nkrumah at the state banquet.
The Queen’s “heroic devotion”, in exchange for US President Kennedy’s funding for the construction of the Votel Dam in Ghana, has widened the distance between Ghana and Moscow, and greatly reduced the risk of its secession from the Commonwealth. In 1964, Zambia also chose to stay in the Commonwealth after declaring independence. Its first president, Kaunda, once said: “It’s all the charm of the Queen. Without this, we might have left long ago.”
Every time you ride a horse or take an open top When traveling by car, Elizabeth refused to take protective measures because she was worried that the public would not be able to see her face clearly. American author Sally Smith wrote in the Queen’s biography: “She sees the possibility of assassination as destiny, and because of the perfect order of succession to the throne, she doesn’t care.”
Danger is not never near . . In 1981, during the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Elizabeth rode to the corner of the parade grounds when six gunshots were heard in the crowd, and her horse was frightened and ran forward. While many people were still in a daze, Elizabeth had calmed the horses and continued to move forward calmly.
This scene was recorded by the camera, and the queen in the video did not look panicked at all. In this incident, people saw the courage of the Queen of England to face danger. Although it was later confirmed that the six shots were empty bullets, after that, two officers rode by the Queen’s side at the annual military parade. Once, Elizabeth said to them humorously: “You are the one who was shot, It’s not me.”
The English Rose Challenge
When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne, the young Margaret Thatcher wrote in a newspaper article: “The last bit of discrimination against women for so long, the prejudice that they can’t be alone, will all disappear with Elizabeth’s succession.” However, Elizabeth, who was on her own as a monarch, was somewhat helpless in the face of her family life.
Some media cast a shocking question-why does the queen not have to pay taxes? Ultimately, the Queen agreed to tax personal wealth. A court minister at the time said it would be better for the monarchy to do so.
No one could offer Elizabeth the experience of being a monarch, wife, and mother at the same time.
Members of the royal family have always been separated from their parents. In the description of Elizabeth’s eldest son, Charles, his father is domineering and arrogant, and his mother is just a distant observer in childhood.
Charles was introverted and shy by nature, and Philip wanted to change his son’s femininity and sent him to a strict boarding school when he was nine years old. Philip is a strict father who likes to teach his children in a critical way rather than encouragement. It turns out that the “iron fist” does not help children become stronger.
An introverted personality, a fear of parental majesty and the pressure of being a prospective crown prince seemed to determine the tragedy of Charles’ marriage. At the age of 30, he pursued Diana, an 18-year-old noble girl. After the girl was noticed by the media, Philip wrote to Charles to immediately engage or break up with Diana, otherwise it would affect her reputation. Charles felt stressed after receiving the letter, and soon he proposed to Diana.
The story of Prince Charles and Princess Diana of the United Kingdom is almost universally known, and the fantastic wedding of the century cannot hide the fact that the groom has another lover in his heart. After marriage, Diana was so indifferent to Charles that she suffered from depression for a time. She once ran to the Queen and cried to her, but Elizabeth was not good at helping others solve personal problems. Said: Charles is hopeless.
On June 2, 2022, the Platinum Jubilee Celebration to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne opened in London
1992, the 40th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, was a troubled year for the entire British royal family. This year, the extramarital affair between Charles and Camilla was exposed by the media, and the marriage scandal directly brought the future king of the United Kingdom down from the altar. In fact, the marriages of the Queen’s three married children have shown varying degrees of cracks, and their extravagant lives have also drawn criticism from the media.
Queen Elizabeth presents her 80th birthday card in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2006
Different from the obedience of the public to the royal family half a century ago, more people have begun to maintain an indifferent or critical attitude towards the royal family. The emergence of mass media can better show the royal family’s majesty to everyone, but it also makes them no longer mysterious.
Unemployment remained high in the UK in the early 1990s, and in 1992, a fire broke out at Windsor Castle, and the British Parliament had a heated debate over who should pay for the huge repair costs. The royal family’s wealth and income have been further questioned after the Queen’s decision to pay for it out of her own pocket.
Then, some media cast a shocking question-why does the queen not have to pay taxes? Ultimately, the Queen agreed to tax personal wealth. At the time, a court minister said that the queen valued the symbolism of the move more than the amount of tax paid, and it was more beneficial to the monarchy.
In order to better integrate the British royal family into modern society, Elizabeth needs to make changes. What troubled her most was the issue of her children. After Diana’s death, the silence of Buckingham Palace made the dissatisfaction of the British people piled up to the limit. The newspaper even directly typed the headline “Where is the Queen”. This time, they did not need the Queen. wealth, but need her sincerity and emotion.
In the post-Diana era, Elizabeth became more affectionate and gentle. Former British Prime Minister Major recalled: “The Queen’s way of doing things in those years saved the royal family. If it weren’t for her, the consequences would be unimaginable.”
Not expressing emotions at will, not expressing personal attitudes, is the education Elizabeth received as a crown prince since she was a child, which seems out of place today. Americans also don’t like the alienating tone, and Mrs. Kennedy once complained that the Queen only showed a touch of humanity for a brief moment.
Elizabeth was at Balmoral estate in Scotland when Diana died, and the journey back to London was unsettling for the Queen, wondering how the crowd would react. But luckily, there was applause from the kind crowd when Elizabeth got out of the car and leaned over to look at the flowers commemorating Princess Diana in front of Buckingham Palace.
That night, Elizabeth delivered a three-minute live speech on TV. She was wearing a black dress and said calmly and emotionally: “Personally, I believe that we can learn from her life, from I have learned a lot from the extraordinary and touching reactions of the world after she left. I miss her as deeply as everyone.”
Diana, the “common princess”, represents a new face of the royal family. The general royal family pays attention to dignity and always maintains a relationship with others. Distance, but she is easy-going, with a bright smile, able to embrace AIDS patients who were discriminated against at the time.
It was found that in the post-Diana era, Elizabeth became more affectionate and gentle. She would sit next to the children and watch them assemble toys when she was visiting, and when she visited the kitchen store that the British love to visit, she touched the kitchen utensils with her hands and felt their materials with great interest, and asked: “This is made of plastic. right?”
Before, none of this could have been imagined. Former British Prime Minister Major recalled: “The Queen’s way of doing things in those years saved the royal family. If it weren’t for her, the consequences would have been disastrous.”
Public support almost determines the survival of the monarchy. In 2021, a survey by the British polling agency YouGov showed that more than 80 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of Elizabeth II.
It’s just that no one knows where the future British monarchy will go. Can a completely pure and selfless monarch still exist in a modern society where sanctity is constantly being eliminated?
All people know is that Elizabeth did it.
Princess Margaret cried after watching her sister’s coronation 70 years ago. “I’ve lost my father and now my sister,” she said.
She knew that from now on, Elizabeth would carry out her duties until her death. As in her 21st birthday address, she said to the people of the Commonwealth in a crisp girly voice: “I swear to all of you that I will spend my whole life, long or short, in your service.”
Today , the Queen has passed away, it can be said that she has fulfilled her responsibilities well.