As a monarchist and royal history addict, the death yesterday of HM Queen Elizabeth II is an incredibly major moment in royal history and a great sadness. She was the OG. The Queen Bee. The most famous person in the world for my entire life and one of the most respected.
Let’s face it, monarchy is a feudal remnant that has less and less of a place in modern society, but when there’s a royal wedding or funeral, people all around the globe tune in by the billions (yes billions with a “B”) for the pomp, pageantry and majesty that no one does better than the British. Queen Elizabeth represented that pageantry as well as stability, dignity, continuity and service.
She was the only head of state citizens of the UK have known for 70 years. She was with them through the Depression, the abdication crisis, World War II, the loss of empire, the Cold War and every dramatic event of our lifetimes.
She’s met and received curtsies from every legend from Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to Diana Ross and Janet Jackson to Madonna and Lady Gaga.
When she turned 21, Elizabeth broadcast a famous speech around the world proclaiming:
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
It was that steadfast devotion to service that earned the respect of the world and the love and admiration of royal lovers like me. The younger generations of her family have been involved in scandals, Oprah Winfrey interviews and PR disasters that have made them more controversial and less universally respected. The Queen’s death is the end of an era historically, but also probably the end of the high level of respect the Queen brought the family.
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Many young people around the world, particularly citizens of former British colonies, have used the Queen’s death to remind the world of the evils and oppression of British colonialism, igniting discussions about the future of the monarchy.
Still, the overwhelming majority of comments have been incredible tributes to HM from every sort of dignitary.
Barack and Michelle Obama said the Queen’s reign was "defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic" and said she defied "the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation."
Ozzy Osbourne tweeted, "I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen, With a heavy heart I say it is devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II.”
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger tweeted:
\u201cFor my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there. In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV. I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the Royal family.\u201d— Mick Jagger (@Mick Jagger) 1662662715
Australian pop star Kylie Minogue tweeted:
\u201cThe occasions I had the honour of being in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, her energy, compassion and aura had a most singular brilliance. I was, and am, in awe. My deepest condolences to family and friends. Rest in Peace.\u201d— Kylie Minogue (@Kylie Minogue) 1662669111
Rapper Nicki Minaj posted a short and simple tribute:
Socialite and businesswoman Paris Hilton tweeted:
Perhaps my favorite tribute to HM came from the London cab drivers who drove to the Mall facing Buckingham Palace for a tribute to the late sovereign.
“We now know the Queen’s passed,” one of the drivers said “the only woman we’ve ever known, our constant in both our lives and we’re showing our respect. There would have been a lot more cab drivers here but they’ve closed the road so no more can get here.”
“We’re both from London," he added. "Liz is a London girl… She’s one of your own, she’s one of ours.”
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