Why There Will Never Be Another Person Like Queen Elizabeth II

The forward-thinking views that she exhibited over the decades went by, as much as the constraints of her position would allow, were also with her from day one.

“I have behind me,” the young queen also said, “not only the splendid traditions and the annals of more than a thousand years but the living strength and majesty of the Commonwealth and Empire; of societies old and new; of lands and races different in history and origins but all, by God’s will, united in spirit and in aim…Parliamentary institutions, with their free speech and respect for the rights of minorities, and the inspiration of a broad tolerance in thought and expression—all this we conceive to be a precious part of our way of life and outlook.”

Already a mother of two when she became queen, Elizabeth II would become a patron of dozens of women’s and children’s causes, including the YWCA, the Young Women’s Trust, which provides support to female victims of poverty and abuse, and the Family Welfare Association.

The only person in the UK who didn’t require a driver’s license (or a passport), she could be found behind the wheel of her own Land Rover on the grounds of her country estates. During World War II, 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Windsor of the British Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service had trained as a mechanic and truck driver.

“One of her major joys was to get dirt under her nails and grease stains in her hands, and display these signs of labor to her friends,” collier magazine reported in 1947.

She was also an avid sportswoman who loved horses, riding until the end, and was a fixture at racing events, even invoking a steeplechase result in toasting Charles’ 2005 marriage to Duchess Camilla. And, of course, the queen was synonymous with Welsh corgis, keeping several of her at a time throughout most of her life.

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