Queen Elizabeth changed the meaning of Matriarch. Let's see how we can incorporate her graceful qualities and clever strategies into our own success journey.
Engrossed in tradition, shrouded in mystique, and heir to a multimillion-pound lifestyle, Let;s explore the life of the world's most famous woman, Queen Elizabeth II, is unlike any other. While many aspects of her royal existence may seem foreign to the everyday person, her roles as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and leader offer a common thread connecting her to women worldwide.
At the tender age of 25, she found herself thrust into the role of a national figurehead and the leader of many nations. In her, we witness the quintessential modern woman striving to lead professionally while also fulfilling familial roles as a mother, wife, and daughter. Nonetheless, the Queen's challenges in promoting female empowerment in a changing world were steeped in layers of tradition.
Expected to lead but not take direct action, to be robust but avoid strong personal opinions, to care for people without engaging in open dialogue, these constraints rendered the Queen somewhat distant and seemingly unemotional to many. Yet, her unemotional demeanor shouldn't be mistaken for lack of empathy or caring.
Despite her duty to remain impartial in her words and actions, the Queen made her stance on gender equality evident when opportunities arose. For instance, she openly expressed her thoughts on gender equality in her 2011 speech:
"This year's theme is 'Women as Agents of Change'. It points to the untapped potential in our societies and urges us to devise means to let girls and women fully participate. We must persist in advocating this theme within our countries and across the Commonwealth, beyond just this year."
In 2013, she solidified an equal right to the throne for both genders by giving royal assent to the Succession To The Crown Act.
Addressing the 100th annual meeting of the Women's Institute (WI) in 2015, she stated:
"Modern times have seen the potential for women to significantly contribute to society grow. Through their efforts, women now hold a more prominent role in all public life areas."
Critics argue that being a Queen, with a royal platform, fame, and wealth, made it easier for her to give such speeches. Nevertheless, she faced issues typical for women, like choosing to keep her surname upon marriage. These small details hint at Queen Elizabeth's feminist inclination, curtailed by traditional and royal politics. Despite the constraints, she maneuvered within her scope to subtly alter norms, advocate for, and empower women.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has stirred up criticisms regarding the monarchy's wealth accrued from the British empire's brutal colonization of African, Asian, and Caribbean nations.
Over Queen Elizabeth's 63-year reign, women have made considerable strides in society. Although the fight for equality is ongoing, today's women possess a tool the Queen did not have: unrestricted speech and opinion, combined with the power to voice it. This freedom has allowed women to significantly alter history over the past six decades. The liberties of being born into a rich, royal family perhaps don't outweigh the power of free thought and open speech – a privilege that the modern woman can enjoy in our part of the world.
If the Queen could impact female leadership positively with her few but meaningful words, so too can every woman with a voice. Remember, every woman has a queen within her.