Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth – Part 7

Moving right along with lessons learned from Queen Elizabeth, we start by stating Lesson #7 and then referring to the previous 6 to refresh our memory.

Lesson #7: It’s Never Too Late to Turn Over a New Leaf

Lesson #1: Duty and Love Rarely Mix Well
Lesson #2: Mothers Don’t Always Know Best
Lesson #3: There is a Big Difference Between Illusions, Delusions, and Reality
Lesson #4: Sometimes it is Important to Break Protocol
Lesson #5: Accepting a Situation for what it is can be Good for the Soul
Lesson #6: Sometimes, it Not the Words…But the Way We Say Them that Matters Most

Growing Old Gracefully

Artist Credit: Mariah Doolittle | Title: Tobacco Leaf Girl

We have seen in previous lessons how Queen Elizabeth seemed to soften as she aged. She enjoyed her grandmother’s role and could blend her queenhood with her grandmother’s function for the first time. Before this time, her life-long service to the people took precedence over all else. As her children married and had their own children, Queen Elizabeth matured as well. It was through this developmental process that she could balance her roles simultaneously. Maybe it was because she became more confident in her role. More confident as a woman. More confident as the leader of her family as well as the Monarchy.

God’s Right Arm

Queen Elizabeth believed she was anointed to her role by a higher power. For her, adhering to the church’s teachings was a duty. We saw that she denied her sister, Margaret, to marry a divorcee. And again, we noticed that in Charles and Diana’s divorce in 1996. Interesting to note that Charles’ brother Andrew was also divorced from his wife, Fergie, in 1996. Yet, Princess Diana’s tragic and unexpected death paved the way forward for Charles to comply with biblical scripture, for Charles to marry Camilla. (See Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth – Part 3.) although Camilla’s ex-husband was still alive, which negated the union. We know how that ended.

Changing with the Times

As the culture changed, so did the Queen and royal rule through a gender-neutral lens. For example, changing the Succession to the Crown Act ended the tradition of a younger male sibling superseding an older female sibling in the line of succession. The change took place in 2014. Interestingly, just months before Princess Charlotte was born. 

Love One Another

When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson, he was treated like a pariah. So, when Harry married Meghan, we finally saw a bending of the “can’t marry a divorcee rule.” Perhaps, Queen Elizabeth realized that nothing good came from the “disowning” of a family member. Queen Elizabeth may have just discovered what true Christianity was all about. To love one another and not pass judgment.

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Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth – Part 6

Image Source: autostraddle dot com

Lesson #1: Duty and Love Rarely Mix Well
Lesson #2 Mothers Don’t Always Know Best
Lesson #3: There is a Big Difference Between Illusions, Delusions, and Reality
Lesson #4: Sometimes, it is Important to Break Protocol
Lesson #5: Accepting a Situation for What it is Can be Good for the Soul

Lesson #6: Sometimes, it is Not the Words…
But the Way We Say Them
Matters Most

The Eloquent Speaker

There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth was an eloquent speaker. Sure, she had writers to write her speeches. Yet, her delivery was always on point. Her speeches started with a hook and were quite engaging. They were direct and pleasant to hear. She spoke with dignity and gentle softness, even when delivering bad news.

Practice Makes Perfect

Queen Elizabeth gave her first speech, the “Windsor Speech,” in 1940 when she was a princess. At Winston Churchill’s suggestion, the 14-year-old Elizabeth spent weeks practicing this radio address, whose purpose was to comfort young children sent away from their homes during World War II and, more subtly, to charm America into supporting the fight against the Nazis. According to news sources, the speech boosted the morale of the younger generation and won the support of their United States ally as well.

Hope for the World

In Queen Elizabeth’s first official speech on the evening of her Coronation in 1953, she offered hope. She did not speak of the monarchy’s power but instead of her confidence about the future. It uplifted the world, as many of her public addresses did, as they highlighted the themes of hope and her devotion to serving the people. She came across as a strong yet humble leader. 

The Stiff Upper Lip

Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with Diana was mediocre at best. Queen Elizabeth was no model mother-in-law. She took the same approach to Princess Diana as to her own children. One of distance and limited involvement. When Diana asked for mental health treatment, she was denied. After all, what would the public think of a royal who couldn’t solve problems with a stiff upper lip?

The Cold Fish Starts to Thaw

When Princess Diana died in a tragic car accident, all hell broke out at Buckingham Palace. What exactly was the protocol for mourning and the funeral of an ex-wife of a Prince? There wasn’t one. Decisions about these things would have to be made post-haste. One thing was clear, the Queen had shifted into overdrive and did everything she could to help her grandsons process the tragedy in their own way and time.

Queen Elizabeth delayed speaking to the public about Princess Diana’s death. Perhaps she was taking time to process it all. At some point, she realized the necessity of delivering a formal announcement after the enormous outpouring of sympathy. Her tribute to Princess Diana displayed considerable warmth and kindness. It seemed more maternal than usual. Her tone was hopeful, trusting, and uplifting. Her delivery was heartfelt and compassionate. Even through the pain of grief, she felt for her grandsons losing their mother, she stood tall and strong. 


Contemplating the Queen’s speeches, I offer my thoughts. Queen Elizabeth represents a long line of royalty that dates back centuries. I admired her because she was anointed Queen and held the official title of “Defender of the Faith” by the Church of England. It was this mysterious religious anointing that captivated me.

Queen Elizabeth was clearly rough around the maternal edges. I don’t think “mothering” was instinctual for her, nor was it something she wanted to perfect. It almost seemed beneath her. Which left me perplexed. As there is no more noble duty than motherhood. Yet, by and large, she left the “mothering” to nannies and other royal assistants. However, once she had grandchildren, Queen Elizabeth seemed to reflect a sense of guilt or sadness about the “mothering” she had failed to offer her own children. Yet over time, Queen Elizabeth’s words and actions became more maternal as the number of her grandchildren grew. Softer. More refined and refreshingly warmer. The cold fish was finally beginning to thaw out.

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Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth – Part 1

Image Credit: “Symbolic Transom” Religious Stained Glass Window (stainedglassinc.com)


In the next few weeks, I will share my insight into relationships in the Royal Family. There is much to learn, I promise. We will look at key players and how they finally found love. We will begin with duty and love. And how at the end of the day, the Royal Family puts on pajamas like the rest of us.

Lesson #1: Duty and Love rarely mix well.

Duty and Love

I have been following the Royal Family in bits and pieces. I am no expert by any means. What seems so obvious to me was how Queen Elizabeth was torn between duty and love for her family. I felt it first in her affection for her sister, Margaret. She loved her so. I can only imagine how painful it was for Queen Elizabeth to deny Margaret from marrying her soulmate, Peter Townsend, who happened to be a divorcee. The Church had a lot to say about divorce in 1955.

Then, in the 1970s, I saw the Queen’s influence on Prince Charles and his secret love for Camilla, who, in the Queen’s eyes, was not worthy enough for him. Camilla was a “party” girl, and the Queen thought she would not be a suitable princess. This signaled a sense of duty weighing much more heavily than love. This baffled me as the greatest commandment is to love one another. Nowhere in The Bible does it say to love only rich people. Or love only those in one’s same socioeconomic class. Then, again, his divorce, public love, and marriage to Camilla in 2005 seemed to snub The Church and its anti-divorce platform. 

Town & Country Magazine wrote, “A change in the Church of England’s rules about remarriage after divorce, which took effect in 2002, made it possible for Charles to marry Camilla. In an attempt to avoid controversy given their relationship history, the couple opted not to have a grand royal wedding, but instead married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor, and then had their marriage blessed by the Church in St. George’s Chapel. While the Queen approved of the marriage, she was not present at her son’s wedding ceremony. But she did attend the church blessing and reception.”

Fast forward to 2021. Prince Harry and Meghan. Not only did Prince Harry marry a divorced woman, but they were also married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, where his father and Camilla received a blessing that preceded their civil marriage ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. We all are witnesses to the transformation that happened right in front of our eyes. In 16 short years, we went from a civil ceremony of Prince Charles and Camilla, two divorced royals, to a religious wedding ceremony in a cathedral of a divorced soon-to-be royal. I call that progress!


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