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How Did Queen Elizabeth II Influence the World?

B.A. Political Science, Member of®
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            Queen Elizabeth II reigned over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms from 1952 to 2022. The monarch greatly influenced the World throughout her reign. She is the longest reigning monarch; she holds the record of the longest time as head of state in the World. She became a head of state after King Emperor Edwards VIII abdicated to marry a divorced American woman. Queen Elizabeth II is a member of the Royal House of Windsor that is one of the most powerful families in the World. Queen Elizabeth II had several powers, but she always used her powers in accordance with constitutional conventions. In addition, she owned castles, land, and the Crown Estate. She was the head of state of several Commonwealth Realms such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, etc. In short, she was highly influential on the World stage because she is a symbol of stability, the rule of law, and the Westminster parliamentary system. Consequently, she contributed to the maturation of the most effective system of government which is the constitutional monarchy.

            To begin with, the Queen, as head of state, had been a symbol of stability for the most flourishing democracies in the World. She had strictly followed constitutional conventions in all her realms. In the United Kingdom, she opened the Westminster Parliament every year. She had always accepted to give her royal assent on all the pieces of legislation enacted by Parliament. In theory, she could have rejected a bill approved by both houses, but the last time a monarch did that was in 1708 when Queen Anne did not give her Royal Assent to a bill on the advice of ministers. The bill gave a militia to Scotland, but several politicians feared that a Scottish militia could have become disloyal to Her Majesty`s Government.  As a result, Queen Anne vetoed the bill. Besides, Queen Elizabeth offered counsel to the British Prime Minister weekly. Moreover, she gave several Queen's speeches in the Westminster and Commonwealth parliaments. She had been an inspiration for many politicians elected by people living in the finest democracies in the World.

            Furthermore, Queen Elizabeth II was very careful throughout her reign not to intervene in politics because the latter is the burden of her prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms. However, she did use some of her influence to shape modern World history and governments. For instance, she raised Britain's profile abroad. She helped the United Kingdom to increase British trade in the World. In short, she travelled all over the World to promote British trade. She met the Saudi royal family to lay the foundation for British exports in the Middle East. She welcomed several leaders and monarchs in the United Kingdom to improve economic relations between the U.K. and the World. She also promoted human rights and British values around the World. For instance, she drove the Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia throughout her estate to show the prince that a woman could drive a car. Moreover, she opened Russia to the World by meeting Russian President Boris Yeltsin. At the time, the British monarch thought that Russia could join the World stage to become a flourishing democracy. However, in 2022, President Putin illegally invaded Ukraine in a terrible war. Furthermore, the Queen met the unpredictable President Donald J. Trump so that the World makes a strong connection with the newly elected American president. Therefore, the British Government often played the Queen card so that British and Commonwealth interests progressed. In sum, the Queen was a great diplomatic asset for the U.K. and the Commonwealth realms.



Moreover, the Queen had been an inspiration for the Commonwealth nations. She was a strong advocate of modern liberal democratic and human rights values. Under her reign, the Commonwealth monarchy became a symbol of liberal democracy and freedom. As a result, some nations, without any historical connection to the former British Empire, voluntarily chose to join the Commonwealth of Nations. For instance, Rwanda, Mozambique, Gabon, and Togo became Commonwealth members during Queen Elizabeth II's reign. These nations had never been part of the British Empire. On the one hand, Rwanda joined the organization to benefit from its unity and development. On the other hand, Gabon and Togo wanted to strengthen their diplomatic armoury and ease their reliance on France. The Commonwealth of Nations helps member countries to achieve development, democracy, and peace. Every nation joining Her Majesty's Commonwealth must demonstrate its commitment to democracy and democratic processes such as free and fair elections and representative legislatures. In sum, Queen Elizabeth II re-invented the British monarchy to inspire the most thriving democracies ever made in the history of states. To name a few, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are nations in which democratic and freedom values flourish and they are admired by the rest of the World.

            In addition, the British Queen visited Northern Ireland 22 times throughout her reign despite an unstable social and political situation in this British region across the Irish Sea. Nevertheless, the British monarch greatly contributed to the peace in Northern Ireland after the era of the Troubles. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party expressed the sadness of the Northern Irish people: "This is just the saddest news and our hearts are breaking. There is no doubt Her Majesty the Queen played a very important role in helping to build reconciliation. Her visit to Dublin was a cathartic moment in the history of British-Irish relations." Elizabeth II was very skilful in uniting people to resolve tough problems together. She succeeded to bring some wisdom into the complexity of the Northern Irish crisis dividing Unionists and Irish republicans. Mary Lou McDonald, the Sinn Fein leader, told the media that Queen had been a strong advocate for peace and Her Majesty was part of the big changes in Northern Ireland. In 2012, the Queen shook the hand of former commander Martin McGuiness who was a leading Sinn Fein politician advocating the unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. As a result, the monarch somehow cemented the peace process 14 years after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

            Finally, the reign of Elizabeth II greatly influenced the World for the better; she promoted democracy, peace, and stability for the last 70 years in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth Realms, and the World. She had always strictly followed constitutional conventions in her 15 Commonwealth realms. She always stayed out of politics and to leave this burden to her prime ministers. She had always encouraged her representatives in the realms to do the same. This made her constitutional monarchies become the most flourishing democracies in the World. Besides, she advised several prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms. She provided stability and wisdom for 70 years. She helped emerging democracies to get their voice heard by the developed World. Also, she promoted human rights in the World. Jordan Peterson describes Her Majesty in Telegraph on September 19th,2022 as ¨dutiful, responsible, careful, judicious, calm, and dignified steady hand at the wheel; someone capable of and willing to perform that complex function.¨ She bore the burden of the state with dignity, wisdom, ingenuity, and effectiveness. She will be remembered as the greatest monarch every reigned over the U.K. and the Commonwealth Realms.

September 22, 2022

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Yannick B. Vallée
By Yannick B. Vallee

Yannick B. Vallee is a political scientist who recently graduated from Bishop’s University (Quebec, Canada) in the BA program of political science. He also has a college degree of Business Administration with a specialization in marketing. Nowadays,  he specializes in American, Canadian... (Read next)

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