Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable 70-year reign will continue to inspire and endure for generations to come.
Defined by unwavering devotion and steadfastness in a raucous world of change, the Queen’s legacy will be forever remembered by all of us at EMC, not only as the monarch that our UK and commonwealth veterans swore their oath to, but as the epitome of the values we strive to uphold.
While the monarchy is traditionally and inexorably linked with the armed forces, it was Queen Elizabeth II who became the first female royal to serve in the army, as per her tendency to break the mould and act as a font of inspiration to women in a male-dominated world.
The Queen exemplified her compassion for the members of the armed forces through her commitment to her royal duty, and her time spent championing their services in the UK and overseas.
Her many patronages and charities were established to support veterans, to celebrate their service and achievements, and to raise awareness for the indispensable role they play in preserving the wellbeing of a global humanity.
Attending over 21,000 royal engagements during her reign, her Majesty’s presence was consistently visible to both veterans and civilians everywhere, a duty that was all the while underpinned by her desire to advocate for positive change – On November 24th, 1992, the Queen gave a solemn speech to mark the 40th anniversary of her succession, in which she said:
‘No institution – city, Monarchy, whatever – should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support.’
Although the speech referred to 1992 as her ‘annus horribilis,’ or her horrible year, (a scandalous year that saw a fire destroy much of Windsor Castle) the sentiment would ultimately reflect the Queen’s ability to remain relevant and modernise the throne in a way that would benefit the nation.
This would later mirror the message in her 2020 address to a Britain facing the COVID pandemic, a message that embodies the nation’s mentality as we know it today – a mentality that Queen Elizabeth II helped to create.
Through the wars, the recessions and the turning points in world history, the Queen’s conviction in her stance on remaining ‘united and resolute’ has been unfaltering.
Served by 15 prime ministers, (12 of which were male) the Queen helped to define a cohesive sense of British national identity, even as the tumultuous political landscape commanded a sense of great uncertainty.
For many, the Queen is a symbol of harmony, a diplomat of unrivalled skill that strengthened the bond between Britain and the United States, enabling the strong relationship between our two militaries to flourish today. In 1991, she became the first British monarch to address the US congress, in which she reinforced the global importance of democracy and diversity.
EMC joins the millions of veterans in paying respects to her majesty and the extraordinary legacy she leaves us with.