Queen Elizabeth II has been called many things, but I guess if you’re the longest-serving UK monarch, people will have a few things to say about you over the years.
From a young princess in a war-torn nation to a great grandmother, Queen E has been making headlines since newspapers were the only way of receiving world information.
While she has both been idolized and criticized, I think it’s safe to say she possesses some very admirable traits we younger women could benefit from shadowing.
Here are five qualities Queen Elizabeth II has demonstrated over the years that have made strides for women in creating social and global change:
1. She’s always been a strong voice.
Queen Elizabeth felt strongly about her position as an influencer in the public at a very young age.
In 1940, at the age of 14, then-Princess Elizabeth conducted her first public broadcast across war-torn Europe and around the world. She passed on a hopeful message to the many children who were displaced and living far away from home.
She became a beacon of hope for many young people when it was needed most:
[...] I can truthfully say to you all that we children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage. We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war.
2. She hasn’t been afraid to get dirty.
During WWII, Princess Elizabeth begged her father for months to let her get involved in the war efforts.
At the age of 18, she was granted permission by the King and joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
Princess Elizabeth became known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. Wearing coveralls and all, she trained in war-torn London as a mechanic and military truck driver. To this day, she remains the only female member of the royal family to have been part of the armed forces.
3. She’s knows the value of giving.
Yes, she’s in her role due to her birth right, but it still takes a great amount of brains and dedication to be a good queen. Currently, Queen Elizabeth has done more for charitable organizations than any other monarch in history.
In a study conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation, it is reported that she has contributed over £1.4 billion to charity. She is also patron to over 500 charities in Britain, contributing to almost 3,000 charities in Britain and worldwide.
4. She’s never shied away from responsibility.
At age 25, while most of us are funneling beer or graduating college, Elizabeth was becoming a Queen.
At a young age, she was forced to take on roles and responsibilities an experienced 70-year-old would find daunting. She began sitting in on important government meetings, making public appearances and spearheading initiatives to create change.
5. She’s knows how to live by example.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip got married in 1947, at a time when England was still recovering from war. Elizabeth knew the hardships many of her people were still faced with, and decided on a small and modest wedding, despite the fact she was marrying the former prince of Greece and Denmark.
In order to have a dress, she saved up ration coupons to purchase the material needed. If her fellow people had to use ration coupons, she would as well.
While she may not post selfies on Instagram and hang out with the Kardashians, I think it’s safe to say Queen Elizabeth II has been an aspirational career woman and social entrepreneur.
At a time when women’s voices weren’t so prominent, she was a voice for us all.