A National Emblem And Cultural Icon English Literature Essay

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Since Queen Elizabeth II rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. As a constitutional monarch, she has not expressed her own political opinions in a public forum. She does have a message for her people, every year, at Christmas Day, in which she combine a chronicle of that year's major events, with specific focus on the British Empire and different themes like unity and hope in the face of adversity and the importance of family, lessons that could be learnt by different generations from each other, people to show courage and not accept defeat and instead struggle for a better future and the role of faith in communities.

Even if Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most powerful person in the world, people should see her above this image and try to describe her character through the view of her values regarding the family and personal feelings.

II.Family values

Her dignified presence generally keeps away public eyes views into her private life.

II.1.The Queen as wife

Queen Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten (4th cousin) in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947.After almost 65 years of married life Queen Elizabeth declares: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know." She has always given the impression of family affection and respect despite Philip's amorous adventures in his youth.

II.2.A royal mother

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have four children and numerous grandchildren. As a mother she worked tirelessly to protect the image of the royal family and to prepare for its future.The Queen's relations with her children, while still somewhat distant, have become much warmer since the deaths of Elizabeth`s mother and sister. She is particularly close to her daughter-in-law Sophie, The Countess of Wessex. She is known to have disapproved of Prince Charles's long-standing relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, but with their recent marriage, has come to accept it. On the other hand, she is very close to her grandchildren, noticeably Prince William and Zara Phillips.

II.2.The Queen as grandmother

As grandmother , Her Majesty wants to educate her grandchildren as she did with her children. All eight of the Queen's grandchildren have been brought up to respect the institution she embodies, as well as to love their granny. She's an important figure in all their lives, from the eldest - Anne's son Peter Phillips, 34, to the youngest, Edward's four-year-old son James, Viscount Severn. But none depend on her wisdom and experience as much as Prince William, whose relationship with his grandmother is going from strength to strength. She's always keen for him to ask questions - and he says there's nothing she won't already know about.

Prince William said:"I think she doesn't care for celebrity ... and she really minds about having privacy in general. And I think it's very important to be able to retreat inside and be able to collect one's thoughts and collect your ideas … and then to move forwards."

II.3.The woman behind the royal mask

Although through her veins runs royal blood she is still a woman,a person with ideals,feelings,desires and hobbies.The Queen adored horses since her childhood days, which lead to horse riding as her favorite hobby.She likes to read mysteries, work on crossword puzzles and even to watch wrestling on television.For much of her life, the Queen has surrounded herself with dogs. She is especially known for her love of corgis.

III.The Queen, a symbol of Englishness and of the States

Queen Elizabeth is a conservative in matters of religion, moral standards and family matters. She has a strong sense of religious duty and takes seriously her Coronation Oath. This is one reason why it is considered highly unlikely that she will ever abdicate. Like her mother, she never forgave Edward VIII for, as she saw it, abandoning his duty, and forcing her father to become King, which she believed shortened his life by many years.She is indeed a symbol of Englishness through her attitude and her spirit that succeded and still succedes to be a model for the society.

According to Kate Fox in Watching the English, the defining characteristics of Englishness help us understand those features embodied by the Head of State, too, as a symbol of her nation:

-stability of values, of tradition, of what the monarchy represents

-dignity- the Queen's dignified presence at all events

-strict morality and guarding of intimacy- it is know that she did not approve of

-conservative and conventional- a stereotype about the British

-close connection with her subjects- her royal tours, her visit in the country regions

-courtesy- a powerful norm, some of English politenesses are so deeply ingrained as to be almost involuntary

-modesty- is a kind of code: everybody knows that a self-deprecating statement probably means roughly the opposite of significant degree of understatement

-humor-English humor is like breathing, they cannot function without it


The Queen has proved her English roots by showing her traditional values etched across the British history. The Queen steeled herself to face the greatest challenge to the Throne in more than three centuries. This was a Monarch who had stared down a gunman, and a mother who knew both her duty and her own mind.Loyal to tradition, she would ensure the "modernisation" of the Monarchy while remaining the best and the most convention regent that she could.


1.Arscott, David, Queen Elizabeth II , Stephen Haynes 2000, pp291

2.Breward, Christofer, The Englishness of English Dress, Berg 2002, pp10-14

3.Fox, Kate, Watching the English, Hodder2004, pp 400

4.Pimlott, Ben, The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II, HarperCollinsPublisher 1996, pp 244-245

5.Shawcross, William, Queen and Coutry:The Fifty-Year Regin of Elizabeth II, BBC Worldwide Limited 2002, pp148, pp216