What is Queen Elizabeth II Most Famous For?

Sure, the young members of the royal family are incredibly popular right now. Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Megan Markle are all young, rich, and attractive. But even they don’t have the enduring popularity of Queen Elizabeth. After all, she became queen long before any of them were born.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The people love their Queen

The British monarchy has gone through a few changes over the decades. The most notable was following the death of Princess Diana when the Queen faced criticism for her failure to address the tragedy immediately. When she did come forward and make a speech, it was uncharacteristically heartfelt and emotional. Ever since then, the Queen has been more forthcoming with her emotions and less standoffish with British citizens.

Queen Elizabeth II has served the longest

The most unique thing about Queen Elizabeth is that she’s the longest reigning monarch in the history of England. She celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee in 2017, an event which commemorated 65 years on the throne. The public is eagerly anticipating her Platinum Jubilee in 2022 – that would celebrate an amazing 70 years of being Queen.

The second longest reigning monarch was Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who served for 63 years and 216 days. Queen Elizabeth passed that milestone in September 2015.

Queen Elizabeth II poses with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne | AFP/Getty Images

She modernized the monarchy

A lot has changed since Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952. She was responsible for the first-ever televising of the Palace’s annual Christmas broadcast in 1957. In general, she pivoted the public perception of the royal family from stodgy and outdated to more hip and modern.

She rolled with the punches

Even money can’t buy happiness. In 1992, Queen Elizabeth II suffered one of her worst years ever in a time she called her “annus horribilis” (horrible year). During that time, a fire broke out at Windsor Castle and all three of her children – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Princess Anne – all experienced the breakdown of their marriages.

Despite all these terrible events, the royal family endured and came out stronger than ever.

Queen Elizabeth was interested in politics

Not all monarchs take a keen interest in politics, but Queen Elizabeth is the exception to that rule. She forged a close relationship with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, educating herself on policies and procedures, taking trips abroad, and handling PR disasters that came along.

She’s the most well-traveled monarch ever

Queen Elizabeth certainly could have sat around Buckingham Palace and left the goodwill tours to other dignitaries, but instead, she embarked on an ambitious schedule of royal tours and state visits. Even as she got older, the Queen continued visiting foreign countries.

During her reign, the Queen has visited an impressive 116 countries.

Queen Elizabeth II inspects men of the newly-renamed Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force, at Kaduna Airport, Nigeria

Queen Elizabeth II inspects men of the Queen’s Own Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force, in Nigeria. | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/ Getty Images

She made sure females were treated equally

Prior to Queen Elizabeth’s reign, an older female girl would lose her place in the line of succession if a younger male heir was born. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 changed all that. With the new rule instituted by Queen Elizabeth II, female offspring had as much right to the throne as their brothers.

That’s why Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William, is still ahead of her little brother Prince Louis in the line of succession.

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Charlotte in yellow

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Charlotte | Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

The royal family is online

They may have ancient customs, but one place where the royal family is undoubtedly modern is in the realm of the internet. They have an official royal website and some royals even maintain social media accounts.

The world has evolved over the course of the past 66 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Perhaps it was inevitable, but it’s not like the monarch resisted the idea of changing with the times. The Queen’s legacy will be remembered as one of positive change and modernization.