A remarkable woman

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II have wrapped up after an unimaginable amount of careful planning, and the people of England in particular have no doubt relished the chance to celebrate.

The party spread around the world in members of the 54-nation commonwealth of former British colonies as well. The small Pacific island of Tonga lit the first of more than 4,000 commemorative beacons that were to be lit around the world and in England.

The Queen lit the final beacon following a star-studded concert that took place right in front of Buckingham Palace on Monday.

The concert featured a variety of performers from Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J and JLS to Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran.

At the time of her birth, Princess Elizabeth stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, the Duke of York. But it was not expected that her father would become king, or that she would become queen.

Everything changed, of course, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson.

Princess Elizabeth’s destiny was suddenly altered, and she took on the responsibility with solid determination to serve her country with the utmost of devotion. Reflecting on her life, there’s no doubt she has certainly been successful in that regard. The Queen has marked 60 years on the throne, and she continues to enjoy a solid level of popularity in her homeland and around the world.

Watching the range of celebrations that took place over the last few days was certainly testament to that.

In this modern age, many say that any kind of monarchy should be shelved; that it hearkens back to long-past eras where kings and queens really had power. But it never fails – anytime the Queen of other members of the Royal Family visit a particular place, there’s a sense of fascination. Even the nonchalant Americans can’t help but take interest in family. The younger Royals are clearly showing that they have an ability to connect with younger generations around the world.

And to the Queen’s credit, she has been careful to bring the monarchy into the modern age without losing a strong sense of history and tradition.

It’s difficulty to imagine the British monarchy without the Queen, and it’s obvious she’s working hard to ensure that it moves seamlessly into the future.

But for now, we can take time to honour a woman who has treated her role as a kind of calling. How things might have played out over the past few decades in regards to the Royal Family without her influence is tough to imagine.

For royalists and non-royalists, the Queen has touched hearts around the world in one way or another.

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