Announcing the death of Princess Elizabeth
She was the last of her kind. it's safe to predict there'll never be another monarch quite like Queen Elizabeth, not in Britain, not anywhere within the world.
Elizabeth Windsor died Thursday even as she had lived throughout her long and eventful life — stoically, dutifully, regally. She passed on to the great beyond at 96, having reigned over the uk and a shrinking number of its former colonies for an improbable 70 years, longer than the other British king or queen.
She was born into a world where royalty still mattered. Her death, at castle in Scotland, comes at a time when other European royals have either been cast out of their palaces or reduced to what British courtiers deride as “bicycle monarchs,” pedaling around Scandinavian capitals like ordinary citizens and trying to not be an excessive amount of of a hassle.
With the help of her late husband and chief advisor, Prince Philip, Elizabeth modernised the monarchy of her country while maintaining all the pomp and grandeur. She famously said on the radio in 1947, when she was still merely the heir to the throne, that "my whole life, whether it's long or short, shall be committed to your service." In 2014, she opened a modern era display at a London museum with her first tweet.
It is impossible to imagine any successor having such stature and longevity. Her heir, Charles, is 73; his heir, Prince William, is already 40. Neither shows any sign of getting her steely force of will. I see bicycles within the British royals’ future.
Commentators have often said that in her seven decades on the throne, Elizabeth “never put a foot wrong.” But that's simply not true. She made her share of mistakes, including major ones, but managed to pass though them — and learn their lessons.
I was The Post’s London bureau chief within the early 1990s, when Charles’s marriage to Lady Diana Frances Spencer was falling apart within the worst possible way — as a public scandal. The queen spent far too long pretending everything was fine, whilst the marriages of two more of her children, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, also unraveled. to feature to the queen’s misery, her favorite residence, Windsor Castle, was damaged by a significant fire. Opinion makers debated whether the house was still worth all the bother and expense. A story I wrote about things was headlined “Britain’s Teflon monarchy finds life a small amount sticky.”
But, finally, the queen faced the music. in a very speech marking 40 years on the throne, she called 1992 an “annus horribilis” — a horrible year. She agreed to Charles and Diana’s separation and later their divorce. that kind of thing wasn't alleged to happen within the royalty, on no account to the heir to the throne, but she faced reality.
After Diana's untimely passing in 1997, Elizabeth made possibly her worst mistake. Her initial stoicism and stiff upper lip made her appear cold and heartless. She returned from Scotland to Buckingham Palace under the prodding of advisers, notably the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, performed a very public walkabout to view the mound of flowers and teddy bears left at the palace gates, and delivered a brief address expressing shock and loss. She had been taught that kings should not act in such way. But it had been just what was needed at the time.
I once had the chance to attend an investiture, the palace ceremony at which the queen conferred knighthoods and other honors to the nice and also the good. it had been the The first time I had seen her face to face, I was startled by how small she was. The first prime minister to hold office under her was Winston Churchill. Despite being a larger-than-life presence on the global scene since before I was born, this woman was little and overshadowed by her regal surroundings. Her comments were difficult to follow because of her weak, delicate voice.
Bottom of Form