No. 57 - Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II Reigned 6th February 1952 – to date
With her father's deteriorating health leading to his death, Elizabeth became queen. Whilst also monarch of the United Kingdom Elizabeth was also Head of the Commonwealth, which has seen many changes during her long reign. As with her predecessors, Elizabeth fulfills her role in opening parliament in person and giving assent to legislation passed by Parliament. In the 1950s and 1960s, the conservative leader and prime ministers resigned and Elizabeth was called on to name successors. She received some criticism for her involvement. In 1965 the conservative party formalised a mechanism to replace its leader removing Elizabeth’s need to be involved.
Along with her non-political role in Parliament Elizabeth over her reign has carried out diplomatic relationships across the world. Her visits have been so numerous she is the most widely traveled head of state. After 25 years there were celebrations for the length of her reign in 1977 reinforcing her popularity with the public. In the 1980’s she was subject to two shots at her, both missed. The following decade saw an increase in popularity of Britain becoming a Republic, though it was still relatively low and the Queen remained popular. Her popularity hit a low point following the death of the Princess of Wales, Diana, however, she gave a TV broadcast five days after Diana’s death which helped restore her popularity.
Internationally she has been praised by leaders such as Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General in 2010, saying she was “an anchor for our age”.
In December 2007 she became the longest reigning British Monarch and is continuing to fulfill her monarchy role. In her early 90’s she passed on some of her duties to Prince Charles.
More to come.
This scene is based on her meeting with John F Kennedy, President of America, and their partners in June 1961