The subtle power of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign

The longest-reigning monarch in British history maintained a “blank slate” onto which her subjects, fellow politicians, and the world could project.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died September 8 at Balmoral Castle on her Scottish estate. 

She was 96 years old, and had been on the throne since the age of 25.

Her death marks the end of one of the most successful reigns in any contemporary monarchy.

The 20th century saw monarchs across Europe deposed or exiled or executed. 

Elizabeth grew up surrounded by royal relatives fleeing their home countries amid the chaos of World War II and taking refuge in England. 

But under her reign, Britain’s monarchy didn’t only survive. It continued to be downright popular — and so was she.

A recent UK poll showed the queen rejoicing in a favorability rating of 75 percent. 

Advocates for a British republic frequently cite the queen’s popularity as the reason England remains a monarchy.

 In his biography Queen of Our Times, Robert Hardman quotes the Australian Labor Party leader Neville Wran as saying, “The biggest problem we’ve got is the Queen! Everybody loves her.”

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