R.I.P. Queen Elizabeth (1926 – 2022)

by Sep 13, 20220 comments

R.I.P. Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II was a working parent dedicated to her duty to serve the country. May she now rest in peace. 

There are many differing and sometimes conflicting views on the role of a monarchy in today’s complex world. For some, it’s the bedrock of stability and for others, it has a much darker side related to Britain’s long colonial history and deep seated archaic privilege.

Whatever your position, it’s important to respect the feelings of people who might have been impacted by her death. Her children, grand and great-grandchildren, employees, friends, and wider family, for whom her death will be a difficult personal loss. Not forgetting the many people who saw her as the face of a nation.  Everyone is affected differently.

Despite not being a Royalist, l found myself profoundly and unexpectedly moved by the news of her death.

This was for two reasons. Her reign has underpinned my whole life and is the backdrop to my personal story. When she died she was also only two years younger than my Mum who turns 98 this month

Dedication to Duty

There has been one common thread from all commentators who categorise the hallmark of her 70-year career. This has been her unwavering dedication to her country and duty. Imagine two days before her death she must have raised herself possibly from a sick or resting bed, to carry out official duties to see out one Prime Minister and welcome another.

Described as a “beacon of stability and continuity,” if showing up is the main contributor to success, she did exactly that, in a job she hadn’t even applied for. She oversaw the tenure of 15 Prime Ministers, numerous recessions, tragedies, wars, and diseases, as well as joyous moments. Her commitment to public service cannot be denied and as the public face of a nation she was universally respected,

One photo that stands out for me capturing her dedication was her sitting alone at the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip which was held during the pandemic respecting the regulations which were in force at the time.

Queen Elizabeth 

She is credited with revitalising the monarchy in the post-war decades and navigating a decline in support from the British public during the 80s and 90s, which was more about the antics of her kids than herself. There were indeed some significant errors of judgement, but in a 70-year career, that is probably to be expected.  How many other leaders could claim the same?

A working Mum

As head of the family with four children, she was until the very end a public working parent. Two of her greatest achievements were to make a stand against gender and age bias. She normalised having a woman in a senior leadership role and oversaw the change of royal rules of succession, allowing the eldest girl to always accede to the throne.  By putting her responsibilities first, she had to leave her children, sometimes for long periods, and was criticised for lacking empathy. Would a King have received the same comments I wonder?

Above all, she debunked the idea that age is a barrier to professional activity and carried out her duties until two days before her death.

Beating ageism in job search is a worry for older women – 3 Plus International

In her reign, she saw the rapid pace of technological, cultural, and social change, one of them being three women Prime Ministers. She was known for her sense of humour and I loved the idea of her sending subliminal messages with her signature colourful wardrobe selection, at a time women were being encouraged to wear black, navy and grey to fit into a work environment.  She wore the famous hat in EU blue with yellow daisies following the Brexit Referendum and threw “shade” at Donald Trump by wearing a brooch which was a gift from Barak Obama.

We had the Paddington Bear skit at for the Platinum Jubilee and of course the famous Bond scene for the Olympic Games in 2012. This video clip is also one of my favourite stories.

Global Ambassador

Whatever your own experience of the seemingly anachronistic and expensive pomp and ceremony, she was a global ambassador for a nation and the international face of Britain in the world. So much so, that I have even had messages of condolence from connections because as a Brit I was considered to have experienced a personal loss.

Sorrow and reflection go hand in hand. We should create space to respectfully allow those people who wish or need to grieve her death. There will then be the inevitable discussions on the future role of the monarchy, its direction, and even its place in the modern world.

RIP Queen Elizabeth II

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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