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  #1  
Old 12-17-2012, 03:12 PM
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The Legacy of Elizabeth The Second

Hi this is bothering me for quite a while. How does 'history' see Queen Elizabeth II? I mean in 40-50 years, if we wanna tell our grandkids about her what do we say? What do kids have to read about her in textbooks? What do newspapers have to write about her while remembering her in a couple of decades? Sadly, I dont think there is much to..
Basically, the legacy of monarchs is either their personal accomplishments, or the prosperity achieved by the country during that time, which is conveniently attributed by historians to their reign, especially for constitutional monarchs.
Queen Elizabeth I has, most significantly, the victory over Spanish Armada, and the religious tolerance and moderation, as her greatest achievements.
Queen Victoria will be known forever for her only personal accomplishment, 'breeding'. Though bringing stability to monarchy is one thing she shares with her great great granddaughter, but that is not academically counted as an accomplishment. But Victoria's luck made her reign at the time of peak of British Empire, and she shall remain in history forever, in the name of 'Victorian Age' and Empress of India.
But what about our good old granny Lillibet?
As a monarch, she has no doubt shown far more resilience, steadfastedness, adaptability than any other monarch previously. But she could not enjoy the 'perks' of a constitutional monarch, from historical aspect. She could not sit on top of a glorious empire. Her Prime Ministers have almost become Second Lieutenents of US Presidents. Her nation is barely managing to stay afloat economically. And the spirit of 'good old Britishness' is giving way to the new global community in the little islands, for good or bad. So she doesnt enjoy any of the luxuries of Queen Victoria, to be attributed to her reign.
If at all she is in news, that was because of her kids' marriage scandals.
Edward VII became the 'peacemaker', Georges V and VI had the WARS to keep them in history. What will keep Elizabeth II in history?
I bet Charles will have a more comfortable place in history for his role as PoW.
So what do you guys think the Queen's legacy will be....
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:18 PM
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I really don't think you can gauge this until after she has passed. However, history can only be kind to this woman after the lifetime she's had.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:14 PM
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I really don't think you can gauge this until after she has passed. However, history can only be kind to this woman after the lifetime she's had.
Completely agree! She is, as all of as, a human being. But one dedicated to her duty and meaning well. So how can history treat her other than kind?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:39 PM
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Vkrish

It's interesting that you are positioning HMQ from the perspective of Queen of GB. I think that she is very strong about her role in promoting and maintaining the Commonwealth. I don't k ow if you are actually Canadian but if you are, she's your Queen too. So why don't you start the ball rolling??

EDIT. I'm also unsure about your definition of a constitutional monarchy. Can you clarify? Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:55 PM
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I don't see her being taught in history classes in the future in schools as she has done so little personally in her lifetime.

Modern History classes don't teach about monarchs unless they do something controversial or get overthrown e.g. Russian Revolution, or Liberation of the Serfs, but not Alexander III in between - he didn't do much. Elizabeth will be the same.

I live in a Commonwealth country and she really doesn't get a mention here unless she is visiting. The Commonwealth really only rates a mention here during the Games and CHOGM.

To me Elizabeth's legacy will be a failure as a mother with three out of four children divorcing as well as her sister (so allowing bad choices for her close family). She hasn't said anything memorable, done anything memorable - she is just there - nothing much to recommend her to historians.

I did my Ph.D thesis on a comparison of the worth of the different Queens' Regnant of England/Britain and she came out as the least interesting and least effective as she has really done nothing of note but then she isn't allowed to do anything either as the monarch is nothing but a cypher.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:38 PM
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If we're going to use the prosperity of the UK as a gauge of the success of her reign, then Elizabeth II will have a tremendous legacy. There is no doubt whatsoever, that her reign has seen an increase in the prosperity and health of the British people which is greater than at any time in our long history.

We have managed to fashion over the 60 years of the Queen's reign a country which, although imperfect to say the least, provides top quality healthcare which is free for everyone at the point of delivery; a welfare system which is somewhat bloated, but means that there is a safety net for those who are suffering or disadvantaged; where a university education is enjoyed by the many and not the few; where millions of immigrants have been, on the whole, accepted and welcomed in a way that very few countries in the world can match; where the arts scene is probably the most vibrant in Europe if not the world; where our constitution has evolved in a careful and steady way, without the revolutionary violence and turbulence seen in other nations.

We can argue about how much, if any, of this Elizabeth II will be remembered as helping to develop. I have no doubt that the UK would look very, very different without a head of state who commands the trust and affection of 90% of the British population. The continuity of her presence has anchored this nation in six decades of change on a scale that the Queen's father's generation could never have imagined.

As a Northern Irishwoman, HM has played her part in the vast improvement in British-Irish relations. In the first decades of her reign, those relations were so bad that many people lost their lives in the 'Troubles'. The Queen's visit to Ireland last year was a diplomatic triumph of the very highest degree. She charmed a nation of people in whom hostility to all things British, the monarchy especially, is ingrained. As David Cameron said, no president or prime minister (and no monarch without QEII's skill and ability) could have done more to improve the 800 year long, scarred relationship with our nearest neighbour.

The Queen is an international icon. When people around the world talk about 'the Queen', everyone knows they're talking about QEII. Her image is probably the most reproduced in history, gracing literally billions of stamps, coins and banknotes throughout the world.

Her greatest legacy for royalists such as myself, is that HM will leave the British monarchy in a stronger and safer place that at probably any time in our history. She should not be underestimated and I doubt that she will be in the decades ahead.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:16 PM
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1) ensuring that she will pass on to her heirs a stable and popular monarchy
2) her focus on The Commonwealth
3) ensuring that the monarchy has been able to quietly adapt to changes in society
4) reaching out to her subjects in the UK and abroad, being seen in person by more subjects than any monarch in history.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:27 PM
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Although no direct fault of her own , because there is only so much she can do , the Queen's reign will be remembered for the loss of 'Britishness' and the identity of the Kingdom.
The country has changed more in her 60 years than in the previous 800. London is no longer a 'British' city but an Islamic Caliphate and a way of life has been lost forever.
Its going to be a sad day when William's coronation takes place inside Westminster mosque.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:29 PM
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As Lumutqueen wrote, its difficult to judge at this time. Her meetings with PRime Ministers is confidential, although for this years jubilee celebrations, those still available had nothing but praise. The detail will only emerge after her death.

The same applies to her work with the Commonwealth Leaders - it is too soon to know.

Constitutional monarchs are limited in how they can act - but they can quietly influence and advise, but in confidence.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:32 PM
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Although no direct fault of her own , because there is only so much she can do , the Queen's reign will be remembered for the loss of 'Britishness' and the identity of the Kingdom.
The country has changed more in her 60 years than in the previous 800. London is no longer a 'British' city but an Islamic Caliphate and a way of life has been lost forever.
Its going to be a sad day when William's coronation takes place inside Westminster mosque.
I disagree so much with this. London is an international city but it is a British city and always will be. Britishness is about embracing our role in the world whilst still rejoicing in our history and pagentry. Just take another look at the celebrations this year. Says it all.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I don't see her being taught in history classes in the future in schools as she has done so little personally in her lifetime.

Modern History classes don't teach about monarchs unless they do something controversial or get overthrown e.g. Russian Revolution, or Liberation of the Serfs, but not Alexander III in between - he didn't do much. Elizabeth will be the same.

I live in a Commonwealth country and she really doesn't get a mention here unless she is visiting. The Commonwealth really only rates a mention here during the Games and CHOGM.

To me Elizabeth's legacy will be a failure as a mother with three out of four children divorcing as well as her sister (so allowing bad choices for her close family). She hasn't said anything memorable, done anything memorable - she is just there - nothing much to recommend her to historians.

I did my Ph.D thesis on a comparison of the worth of the different Queens' Regnant of England/Britain and she came out as the least interesting and least effective as she has really done nothing of note but then she isn't allowed to do anything either as the monarch is nothing but a cypher.
One of the most offensive things I ever read about the Queen!
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:53 PM
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I disagree so much with this. London is an international city but it is a British city and always will be. Britishness is about embracing our role in the world whilst still rejoicing in our history and pagentry. Just take another look at the celebrations this year. Says it all.

There is more to this Union than London, Manchester and Birmingham. My family is from the Lower Skankill Road in Belfast and Britishness there has an entirely different meaning.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:57 PM
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I was answering your post which specifically mentioned London being "an Islamic Caliphate "
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke-of-Earl View Post
Although no direct fault of her own , because there is only so much she can do , the Queen's reign will be remembered for the loss of 'Britishness' and the identity of the Kingdom.
The country has changed more in her 60 years than in the previous 800. London is no longer a 'British' city but an Islamic Caliphate and a way of life has been lost forever.
Its going to be a sad day when William's coronation takes place inside Westminster mosque.
You sound just like those National Front bullies who attack their fellow Britons based on their skin colour or religion, and then celebrate by going out and ordering a "traditional British curry".
Societies change and evolve or else we would all still be living in caves.
Even Cape Breton has a Buddhist monastery so I am assuming change has even reached your corner of the world.
London is a global city, and really always has been since the time of the Conqueror. People from all over the world have always come to live and work and have influenced the city and its people but is still remains British.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:21 PM
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You sound just like those National Front bullies who attack their fellow Britons based on their skin colour or religion, and then celebrate by going out and ordering a "traditional British curry".
Societies change and evolve or else we would all still be living in caves.
Even Cape Breton has a Buddhist monastery so I am assuming change has even reached your corner of the world.
London is a global city, and really always has been since the time of the Conqueror. People from all over the world have always come to live and work and have influenced the city and its people but is still remains British.
LOL@National Front! You lefties sure are a 'sensitive' lot aren't you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:25 PM
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I think we take a deep breath and stop being personal and get back on topic - memo to self as well.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:36 PM
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I just want to toss this out there. In my 20-30s, I did think that Great Britain had lost it's historic greatness. It seemed fairly irrelevant to what was driving the world.

Then it rebuilt and reformed itself into a very robust modern economy and I rethought my appraisal. London became a center of finance, fashion and European leadership. It rethought its military role in the world and has played a significant role (and lets not argue policy - in any case - the effort was significant, like it or not).

Admittedly, I credit that to the global economy and some solid leadership from your PMs - but Elizabeth has wisely played her role in the rebirth.

Despite the current economic downturn - the economy will come back. And I will remember QEII as the monarch who led through the change for the better.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:40 PM
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I think it's difficult to judge QEII's place in history because, for one, she's not part of history yet, but also because the role of a modern day monarch is so unique. Historically a successful monarch was one who gained and consolidated personal power and increased the power and influence of his nation. If only judged by these traditional measures the reign of QEII has been unsuccessful. The Queen has no power, (although I would argue at this stage in her reign she has a huge amount of influence), and the sun has long since set on the British Empire.

OTOH, it's hard to imagine a better example of an institution skillfully negotiating rapid change than the way the British monarchy has adapted in the decades since WWII. There is no country, organization or company with a more successful 'brand' than the UK and its royal family. If people know only one thing about the UK it's The Queen. That sort of all pervasive cultural awareness doesn't happen entirely by accident, IMO, so QEII and those advising her deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they have steered the monarchy.

I think QEII, as a person, will be viewed as an enigma by history. Pretty much everything we know about her comes from second hand sources. The fact that she's so reserved in public means we can't really get visual cues on what she might be thinking about a certain topic. People like The Queen Mother, Prince Philip and even The Prince of Wales put more of themselves out into the open - this isn't always a good thing, IMO, but every time Charles, say, writes a snarky letter to a government minister he at least leaves more of a trail for future historians to follow.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:43 PM
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LOL@National Front! You lefties sure are a 'sensitive' lot aren't you.
Actually you would be quite wrong about my voting record. Wouldn't want to offend your sensitivities but I do recognize bigotry when I read it no matter how you want to code it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:49 PM
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Actually you would be quite wrong about my voting record. Wouldn't want to offend your sensitivities but I do recognize bigotry when I read it no matter how you want to code it.
Bigotry? Wow you just love the accusations and insults don't you?

Here's an idea, don't reply to my posts if you don't like what I have to say.
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