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The Queen: 1926-2022

The Queen: 1926-2022

October 19, 1957. College Park, Maryland. "British monarch Queen Elizabeth II on an official visit to the United States. The Queen attends a University of Maryland football game." (The Terrapins trounced the Tar Heels 21-7.) Kodachrome transparency for the Look magazine assignment "Elizabeth II: Her job, her income and wealth, her importance." View full size.

Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

        LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, whose broadly popular seven-decade reign survived tectonic shifts in her country’s post-imperial society and weathered successive challenges posed by the romantic choices, missteps and imbroglios of her descendants, died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her summer retreat. She was 96. -- New York Times

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Today’s Top 5

End of an Era

To think when Queen Elizabeth II's reign began, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and Harry Truman was President. Most of us have known no other Queen, and the coronation of the new UK monarch will be the very first in our lifetimes. She was a Queen, a Princess, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and a mechanic during the war. Now that's a life well-lived. God bless the Queen.

Princess Elizabeth

Our family had just moved from Toronto to Windsor, Ontario in 1951 when Princess Elizabeth visited Canada on a Royal Tour. Our next door neighbour worked in an office building downtown, and we were invited to watch her go by in a parade from his open windows. At the age of four I still remember that day.

Queen Elizabeth visited Vancouver in 1983, and my Dunbar neighbourhood was on the route of the Royal parade. I went to a corner where I knew the car she was in would slow down to make a turn, and joined crowds forming along the street. I stood beside two elderly ladies who held up a large Union Jack flag, and as the Queen's car went by she looked straight at us and gave the regal wave.

I grew up in Canada and Australia, and we sang God Save the Queen every day at school. After seventy years, it will be different with God Save the King.

This excellent film shows Princess Elizabeth on a Royal Tour of Canada in 1951 just before she became Queen.

Definitely one of the better ones.

And she definitely was a fixture. Her work ethic and self-restraint at 90+ would do many younger heads of state proud.

Monarchy, even a constitutional one, doesn't do anything for me. But I would rather have the consumers of my country's yellow press swoon over foreign royalty than over a domestic one. The latter I can easily do without.

To let my internal wag out, I'm sure we will see and hear the occasional goof until everybody got used to the idea that after 70 years it's no longer "Her Majesty The Queen".


At age 64, and a Canadian, I was, like jegan, a one-monarch person until two days ago. Queen Elizabeth II was my only crowned head until King Charles III. Her portrait was in every classroom when I was young, and we sang God Save the Queen every day at school. I frequently wished that she would smile more and that she would show some of the spontaneous joy she displayed when at horse races, but she was representative of a certain stability in my life. Even during unstable moments (e.g. the death of Diana), and even though she didn’t always behave quite as one might wish, she was never rude or untoward. I wouldn’t have wanted her to be my own grandmother, but I appreciated her steady presence on my money and during her Christmas addresses and at so many events where one saw people bowing and curtseying to her and giving her flowers. I don’t know want kind of future the British royal family has now that she’s gone, and I’ve always thought the new king was a bit of a mediocrity, but I’m intrigued to see what happens now in the UK and across the Commonwealth.

Remarkable life

I have no interest in the British monarchy, and as a group, they seem to be generally feckless idle rich -- Kardashians with a family crest. But there's something I have to admire about Queen Elizabeth, she went through absolutely everything, good or bad, that a person could, and never really changed or let it visibly get to her.

The sheer scope of her life is stunning, she was one who had almost literally seen it all, and she was right there, maybe not a big player in world events, but certainly a very close witness.

You also get the impression that she was *one tough old bird*, you sure wouldn't want to get on her bad side. She would almost have to be after dealing with what she did for 70+ years.


Today, I awoke to the first day of my 70 years of life when Elizabeth II was not the Queen of England. Of the many images and moments that people around the world have been sharing these past 24 hours, two stand out for me:

(1) She may have been the last surviving public figure with a direct link to the Second World War. She spoke to the British nation on radio in 1940 as a 14-year old, was a frequently visible volunteer in the war effort over the next several years, and was the pretty, 19-year old Princess waving happily from the Buckingham Palace balcony to the joyous, weeping throngs gathered below her on V-E Day, alongside the Queen Mum, King George, her sister Margaret and, of course, Prime Minister Winston Churchill. That was her - standing there, in that place, at that historic moment in time. The same dignified woman who remained with us, a living, unbroken connection to history, for the next three-quarters of a century.

(2) Queen Elizabeth's sense of duty was without peer. Three days ago, clearly in failing health, requiring a cane to stand, she carried out, once more, her Constitutional role of inviting a new Prime Minister to form a new government, greeting with a brave and hearty smile, Ms. Liz Truss, her 15th such PM. To the very end - THE VERY END, she stood tall and did her duty. Call it ceremonial if you will. It remains still a great statement of continuity and stability in our increasingly rattled, volatile world. We should all be so strong.

Second stop

Not well known: returning from the football game (which she left early), Queen Elizabeth stopped at a strip shopping center (still somewhat unusual) on Queens Chapel Road just north of the DC border. I had an account of this decades later from the owner of Fleischer's Jewelers, who remembered a flurry of excitement but not much else. (The Queen evidently didn't need any jewelry, so she passed by Fleischer's.)

The name Queens Chapel comes from the first Roman Catholic parish in the District of Columbia--though perhaps this wasn't pointed out to the head of the Church of England.

The strip center is still operating, as is Fleischer's (though elsewhere in the vicinity).

Rest In Power, QEII

I was overcome by emotion when I heard that she had passed away. Of course I was watching the headlines all day for the news, but apparently it was announced just as I set out for a walk with my one-year-old grandson, whom I was pushing in an umbrella stroller. Because it is our custom to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 on Spotify while we stroll, I did not check my phone for updates on the Queen's condition during our walk. When I got home, my daughter asked if I had heard of the Queen's passing. I will never forget that moment just as I will never forget other times when news of such import has reached my ears. I admired Queen Elizabeth a great deal -- even loved her, I think. Certainly I will miss her. Recently I heard that she ate a jam sandwich every day of her life and I knew then that we were soulmates. RIP QEII ... we will never see your equal again.

Elizabeth Regina

After the 63-year reign of Queen Victoria, Great Britain went through four relatively short-lived reigns. Edward VII was king for nine years. George V was king for 26. Edward VIII had the shortest reign in British history, only one year before he abdicated to marry an American divorcee. George VI was king for 16 years. And then came 26-year-old Elizabeth II. In addition to her longevity, she had a devotion to duty and discipline that many others in her royal family lacked, and lack. She was also not gaffe-prone like her husband of 73 years. She was smart and understood her life was more than just about her. Few others could have provided the stability and navigate the ever-changing landscape as well as she did for 70 years.

Thank you, Queen Elizabeth, for your Graceful Reign

For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth publicly represented the British monarchy with dignity and grace. There are people around the globe that experienced her cheerful smile first hand.

God Bless Queen Elizabeth

A truly remarkable woman

One cannot but be in awe at a sense of duty that never wavered for 70 years and allowed no contemplation of retirement. May her memory be eternal.

God save the King.

"This is London -- "

Sexy Monarch

I had a crush on the young Queen Elizabeth II. She was a very sexy monarch back in her day.

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