Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 05 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Aleteia logo
Lifestyle
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Queen Elizabeth’s lesser-known but impressive roles during her 70-year reign

QUEEN ELIZABETH II

EyePress News | AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/06/22

The remarkable sovereign has led a truly remarkable life.

Shakespeare once said: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” and that is no doubt true about the way Queen Elizabeth II must feel some of the time. Not only does her actual crown weigh a hefty 2.3 pounds, but along with being the British sovereign and head of the Church of England, she also fulfills many other roles — all very much in the public eye.

Since today marks the beginning of the monarch’s platinum jubilee year, we thought we’d take a look back at her 70 years as sovereign of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms and consider the woman beneath the jewels and finery, especially at the many other “hats” she’s worn during her impressive reign.

Daddy’s girl

The Queen adored her father, King George VI, and the day she became the queen would have been the most painful in her young life. Not only had she lost her beloved Papa, she would have felt overwhelmed taking on such a huge role as sovereign while also being a young wife and mother.

King George VI

The strong father-daughter relationship has stayed with Elizabeth II throughout her reign. She is known to spend the period between Christmas and the day George VI died at her Sandringham Estate, a place full of beautiful memories spent with her family.

Mechanic

While still a princess, an 18-year-old Elizabeth helped the war effort by joining the army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). There she trained as a mechanic and was able to play an active part in helping the country she would one day rule. She has been able to use her mechanical skills throughout her life and has been known to identify mechanical problems.

princess Elizabeth II

The sovereign has also risen through the ranks since her first posting all those decades ago, now she acts as colonel-in-chief to 16 different British army regiments — a role she takes most seriously. And of course, she can still be seen behind the wheel of the car at the great age of 95.

Radio host

As a princess, the young Elizabeth took to the air waves for the first time in 1940 to give some encouragement to the nation’s children who’d also left their homes during the Blitz. Her following message was broadcast and played on Children’s Hour:

Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your fathers and mothers. My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much for you, as we know from experience what it means to be away from those you love most of all. To you living in new surroundings, we send a message of true sympathy and at the same time we would like to thank the kind people who have welcomed you to their homes in the country.”

Elizabeth II has also made many other addresses over the years: from her Christmas addresses to occasional addresses to offer support to the British public in tough times.

Jockey

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily)

She may not be a real jockey, but the avid horse rider has a passion for racing and is heavily involved in her horses’ performances at major horse racing events. Her passion for her four-legged friends means she continues to go out on rides even in her 90s. However, in an unusual move for the sovereign, she refuses to wear a helmet, opting for a scarf instead. Horse trainer Ian Balding shared that when he questioned her about this dangerous habit she said: “I never have–and you don’t have to have your hair done like I do.”

Thankfully Her Majesty rides at a slow pace, but it’s one of the few times she’s a little reckless.

Champion of women

The Queen is known for using her role to send some serious messages. And one powerful message she sent was to then-prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on his visit to the Queen’s estate in Scotland, Balmoral.

At a time when women were not allowed to drive in the Middle Eastern kingdom, Elizabeth II decided to show the Crown Prince just what ladies can do — even ones with crowns. She invited the prince to take a tour of the estate and as he sat at the front of the Land Rover, he was shocked to see the military-grade royal hop into the Land Rover beside him and proceed to take him on a very bumpy ride, half-frightening him to death, according to the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, whom the Queen confided in about the eventful trip.

Actor

One of the Queen’s most unlikely roles was when she starred alongside James Bond during a spoof video for the London 2012 Olympics.

The royal thespian surprised the world when she appeared on the big screen at the Olympic stadium. And what made it all the more special was that Elizabeth had a key role in her performance, even giving input into her performance.

Fashionista

An unlikely role for someone who loves nothing more than to wear a tartan skirt and pullover, but there’s no denying that Elizabeth II has graced thousands of magazine covers and inspired designers all over the world — especially in her younger years.

Yet maybe it’s her ability to stay true to what she loves — her iconic black bag and shoes, gloved hands, and brightly covered outfits all topped with a perfect hat — that most earns the Queen the accolade of “fashionista.”

WEB-QUEEN-ELIZABETH-UK-ENGLAND-FLOWERS-shutterstock_56668144-By Zoran Karapancev-AI

Devoted wife

While family life for the Queen hasn’t always been straightforward — and in fact she’s received much criticism for how she dealt with certain events in the past — one thing she cherished was her role as wife to her beloved Prince Phillip.

The royal fell in love with her dashing prince when she met up with him for a second time just aged 13 at a naval academy. From that moment the determined queen decided to follow her heart and persuade her parents that this unlikely match would work. And it did.

Prince PhilIP AND QUEEN ELIZABETH II

The couple had four children together during their 73 marriage, and the late-Duke of Edinburgh was a constant source of support for the Queen as she reigned, referred to as “her rock.”

Her deep love for her handsome prince was apparent in her last Christmas address in which she opened her heart to the nation and spoke of her great loss after his death last year.

Now as Queen Elizabeth enters her platinum jubilee year at the impressive age of 95, maybe she’ll take a more retiring role, although with her determination and sense of duty, she’ll most likely continue to surprise us as her reign continues.

Tags:
Royals
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.