The Legacy of Queen Elizabeth II April 26, 1926 – Sept. 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, now Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the world’s second longest-reigning monarch, died on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

While she hadn’t assumed the throne until she was 25, Elizabeth had already taken part in roles of leadership prior. According to The Associated Press, she had made her first speech on the BBC Children’s Hour radio broadcast on Oct. 13, 1940. There, at the age of 14, she used the opportunity to console children who had been separated from their parents during a German bombing campaign on the UK.

During World War II, she was a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. This, according to the AP, was a result of her begging her parents to let her contribute to the war effort. As part of the service, Elizabeth traveled around repairing ambulances and trucks.

As queen, she had also made other efforts to extend her reach to the public. After Windsor Castle had caught on fire in 1992, there was animosity among the public at the idea of repairs being funded through taxpayers. To reconcile this, the AP said that she agreed to open Buckingham Palace to the public for the first time to help pay for repairs.

With a long career left behind her, the throne is now being passed on to her son, who will be known as King Charles III. On Friday, Sept. 9, Charles made his fi rst address as monarch to the public through a live broadcast. There, he reminisced on his mother’s legacy, his hopes for the future, and his gratitude for the condolences from those around the world.

“In a little over a week’s time, we will come together as a nation, as a commonwealth, and indeed a global community to lay my beloved mother to rest,” Charles said. “In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”