Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Elizabethan II Period?

Last week, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, beating the previous record-holder, her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. (Who holds the previous second, now third? Victoria's grandfather, King George III, who reigned from 1760-1820, although the last 10 years he was technically incapacitated and his son ruled as Regent.) After being on the throne now for 63 years and 224 days (as of today, but who's counting?), one wonder if someone should give her reign an official name. After all, cultural historians refer to the Victorian period and the Georgian period, so why not the Elizabethan? Partly because there already was an Elizabethan period when Queen Elizabeth I ruled from 1558-1603 (think Shakespeare). But, in truth, there is much more of a consciousness about the limitation of power and influence Elizabeth II has had on world culture when compared to her predecessors. Nevertheless, she is a stalwart to a sense of traditionalism and nationalism that has made her a historical icon. I think the picture seen here of the Duke of Edinburgh and her together, from when she came to the throne and most recently, was a charming image. (I thought it came from the Guardian newspaper, but now I can't find it again.) If you want to see more of how HRH has changed over time, then you must check out this online photo gallery showing her picture every year from her accession to the throne in 1953 up to now. You must admit, the woman really has the most amazing hats and she knows how to wear them. But that turban in 1975 is just fabulous!

1 comment:

Sherman Clarke said...

Oh, the two pictures really are wonderful together. I wonder if a private pair of pictures would show the same similarity, or maybe British royals don't have private pictures. I happen to be watching Elizabeth R (Glenda Jackson BBC version from the 1970s) now so Elizabeth I is much in mind. Your comment on the influence of the royal person(s) on society in general is thought-provoking. At the same time, we are feeling the global influence of a world leader on social, environmental, and political issues, aka, Pope Francis.