On September 9 Queen Elizabeth is set to become the country’s longest reigning monarch in British history.
The last Tudor monarch’s 44-year reign in the 16th century is heralded as one of triumph and success by historians for her charismatic leadership in an era when the government was in turmoil and monarchs across Europe faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
– “Annus horribilis” to revival -Despite the widespread respect she now commands, her reign has had plenty of ups and downs. She has played the role with a certain dignity. “On this touchy-feely age she has carried out… in a barely old style approach”.
On September 9, Queen Elizabeth II will overtake the length of time that Queen Victoria reigned on the British throne.
The kingdom has weathered economic collapse in the 1970s and revival in the 1980s, unrest in Northern Ireland, the emergence of a less deferential society and mass immigration changing the country’s make-up.
February 19, 1960: The queen becomes the first reigning monarch to give birth since Queen Victoria in 1857, with the arrival of third child Prince Andrew.
July 29, 1981: Marriage of the queen’s son and heir Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer seems to cement the monarchy’s popularity.
Britain was plunged into an unprecedented outpouring of public grief and the monarch was accused of lacking compassion and misreading the national mood in the aftermath.
After days of intense strain, she returned to London and addressed the nation on TV, starting a sluggish rehabilitation of the monarchy that noticed her golden jubilee warmly celebrated by the general public in 2002.
King George VI dies aged 56. “It is uncommon each to succeed younger and reside for a really very long time”, Gimson advised AFP. If the Queen places her bag on the dinner table it means: I want to leave in five minutes.
This is in stark contrast to Queen Victoria from whom Elizabeth will snatch the top spot, and who was a voluble character and epochal ruler.
She won’t hold that record for long – but in fact, the later queen may have outpaced the former in a more important way. The Queen hands her powers to the prime minister and he can then exercise them.
Carol Ludlam, a UK expat living in Dubai, said she is aware there are mixed feelings about the Queen but said the events of the monarchy are well noted by the public.