On September 8th, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and one of the longest reigning monarchs in history, died at the age of ninety-six. Arguably the most recognized woman in the world, with a record-breaking 70 years as sovereign, she was for most peoples’ lives the only British monarch who had reigned.
Despite her ubiquitous presence, she gave few interviews and kept her personal and political opinions largely to herself. Therefore, the public perception of her has often been shaped by press coverage or through fictional depictions in films and in television series such as The Crown, often portraying her as a somewhat staid figurehead with little power in her role as a constitutional monarch.
In examining this fascinating woman more closely, this program will challenge the perception of the late sovereign as a mere figurehead, providing examples of numerous times during which Queen Elizabeth II exerted her “soft power” in a discreet, yet impactful, and influential manner throughout her historic reign.