"When I was 21 I pledged my life to the service of our people, and I asked for God's help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it." (Elizabeth II)
Until the implementation of new legislation on March 26, 2015, men were given preference to women in the British royal line. This system of male primogeniture meant that women seldom inherited the throne, and even when they did, they were often dominated by male councilors. Those women who married British kings gained the title of queen, but they were queen consorts, holding the title with no power. This makes Elizabeth II one of a select few queens regnant - queens ruling in their own right - and one of even fewer to set her own course in the history of her family and its throne.
Nonetheless, Queen Elizabeth II has become so much a part of British society and culture that her presence is taken almost for granted, setting the standard people now expect of a British monarch. The longest lived and second longest reigning monarch in British history, Elizabeth II has overseen her country during a time of incredible turmoil and ever-accelerating change, providing a stable figure at the heart of a nation going through seemingly endless upheavals.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors