Queen Elizabeth II’s Lifetime & Legacy


Shannon Pharr, Staff Writer

When news of the beloved Queen of England’s death reached the United States this Thursday, September 8, shock and sadness was met by many. Although a leader of a different country, she was just as cherished here in the United States as she was in Britain.

With 70 years of experience on the throne of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II was at the forefront of many crucial events taking place across the world and within her own country. The following is everything significant that occurred during her lifetime and all of her respective accomplishments.


Radio Addresses — 1940

By 14 years of age, Princess Elizabeth started participating in radio addresses to the citizens of England while the country was fighting against the Axis Powers in the second world war. Amidst the bombing raids from the Germans, she helped countless British people regain hope.

“And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”

Taking the Throne — February 6, 1952

At the young age of 21 years old, Princess Elizabeth Windsor took the throne and earned herself the title Queen Elizabeth II. She pledged that she would always be dedicated to serving her people and her country. Adding on to the day’s importance, the coronation was the first royal event to be broadcast.

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.”

Her first couple of years being Queen was tough to say the least. Great Britain was still suffering from the devastation left by World War II.

Broadcasts — 1957-2022

Starting on Christmas in 1957, Queen Elizabeth began the tradition of televised Christmas broadcasts, where she would wish the British people a happy holiday and encourage peace.

“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the people of our brotherhood of nations.”

Later on in her life, the queen uploaded videos on YouTube of her yearly Christmas broadcasts. As well, the royal family posted videos of their special events and holiday celebrations.

Visiting West Germany — 1965

In honor of the 20-year anniversary of the end of World War II, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, went to West Germany in hopes of maintaining peace. At the time, no British royal had visited the country since 1913, so this was a great example of restoring a friendship between Great Britain and Germany after so much time spent apart.

Meeting & Inspiring People Throughout the World — 1970-2022

While on a royal tour of Australia and New Zealand with her husband and Princess Anne, the queen broke years of tradition by walking through the streets to greet people face to face instead of from afar. From this point forward, she inspired royals to meet with people more often instead of at a distance.

In 1977, Elizabeth and Prince Philip traveled via the Gold State Coach from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul’s Cathedral in order to celebrate her 25th year on the throne. At this event, she greeted the people of England after the Thanksgiving service in a beautiful pink dress.

In 1986, Queen Elizabeth offered to visit the Chinese mainland, becoming the first British monarch to travel to the area. As a result of her visit, she called attention to China’s amazing landmarks, including the terracotta warriors in Xi’an and the Great Wall in Beijing.

To celebrate her 50th year on the throne, Queen Elizabeth traveled more than 40,000 miles in a single year to visit the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Additionally, she went to a significant number of cities and towns and counties within the U.K. Seeing all the happy faces of the people she visited just proves how much of an impact she had on those around the world.

During the month of May of 2011, Queen Elizabeth and her husband paid a trip to the Republic of Ireland after receiving an invitation from the President of Ireland herself. This marked the first visit to the Republic of Ireland in 100 years. Although Ireland and England had a rough past together, she once again managed to develop a peaceful relationship between the two countries.

Death of Princess Diana — 1997

Shortly after the tragic death of Princess Diana, the Queen left a message for the people of Britain mourning her death. On the day of her funeral (September 6, 1997), as the procession went by with Diana’s coffin, Queen Elizabeth bowed her head – an action of honoring Diana’s inspirational role in the British monarchy. Typically people bowed to the Queen, but here was the Queen of England bowing her head to her late daughter-in-law.

Platinum Jubilee — 2022

For the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, celebrations in Britain were held to appreciate her dedication to the people and hard work by several parades. Even though she couldn’t directly participate in the festivities, she enjoyed the view from the balcony of the Buckingham Palace and was delighted by everyone’s contributions in making the jubilee such a spectacular event.


Most of all though, Queen Elizabeth II should be remembered for her consistency and commitment to bettering the lives of those around her. She played a part in allowing individuals access to freedoms that weren’t available before and only took breaks on the days that should be spent surrounded by family. Throughout her lifetime, she was an exemplary figure not only for the people of England but also to those across the world.