As a quintessentially and proudly British Brand, Monpure London are deeply saddened as we mourn the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral in Scotland on Thursday, at the age of 96. We want to pay tribute to the Queen and the enormous impact she made during her lifetime, and the unparalleled legacy she has now left behind.
Monpure London significantly values Her Majesty’s incredible contributions to charity work and women’s advocacy, making enormous strides in lifting these communities up, through her substantial donations, systemic changes and inspirational words.
Throughout her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth demonstrated years of devoted service to her country and its people, upholding an unwavering sense of duty and steadfastness.
Queen Elizabeth II was known to the United Kingdom and the world at large as a symbol of stability, prosperity, unity and continuity for the UK. She served to modernise the Crown as an institution with enduring grace and equanimity. Her Majesty bore witness to and played a significant role in some of the most important moments in history throughout both the 20th and 21st centuries.
Let us reflect on some of the most inspirational and historical moments during Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 year reign.
Becoming Heir to the Throne - 1952
Born in April 1926, Elizabeth was the daughter of King George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George) and had little expectation of succeeding the throne until her uncle King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne. After the death of her father, 25-year-old Elizabeth was required to take on the role as Queen, commencing a reign which endured 70 years.
Her Love for Corgis - 1936 and Beyond
Queen Elizabeth II owned more than 30 corgis over her life. Elizabeth was photographed hugging the dogs as far back as 1936 at age 10, having been given a corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday. The breed was introduced to the royal family by her father, King George VI, in 1933.
First Female Royal Family Member to Serve in the Military - 1940s
At 18 years old, the then-Princess Elizabeth volunteered as a truck driver and mechanic during World War II - making her the first female member of the royal family to serve in the military.
The young Princess was briefly known as No. 230873, Second Subaltern Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of the Auxiliary Transport Service No. 1. She rose to the rank of honorary junior commander within months.
Inspirational Princess - 21 April, 1947
Prior to becoming Queen, a young Princess Elizabeth already knew how to convey the responsibility and duty that came with the crown, before it was even hers to wear, saying in her 21st birthday speech:
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” The tone was set for a Queen truly committed to her people.
Wedding to Prince Phillip - 8 September, 1947
Due to post-war austerity in the UK, Princess Elizabeth used clothing ration coupons to purchase the materials for her wedding dress. Elizabeth and Prince Phillip remained married until Philip’s death on April 9, 2021.
Their marriage has often been revered as one of the most enduring and strong partnerships, with the pair constantly supporting each other in their roles, responsibilities and duties. The couple shared a long and happy marriage that spanned seven decades, their unique union capturing the hearts of the nation. Their love for each other was evident, right until the end.
Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation - 2 June, 1953
Held at the famed Westminster Abbey, Elizabeth’s Coronation ceremony was the first in history to be broadcast live on television. 27 million people in the United Kingdom watched the ceremony, while 11 million more tuned in on the radio.
Westminster Abbey holds special significance as it will also be the location for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral. From Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, to her wedding and now her burial, Her Majesty has forged a strong bond with the Abbey.
Relationship With Prime Ministers - 70 Years of Service
Her Majesty had 15 prime ministers elected into power during her 70 year reign, with the Queen and each Prime Minister having weekly confidential meetings.
This private audience between the PM and monarch was an integral part of both their roles, with the PM able to discuss current affairs, policies and seek advice from the sovereign. In recent days, the UK’s Prime Ministers have affirmed how important and enjoyable these audiences were.
First Televised Christmas Broadcast - 1957
The Queen's 1957 Christmas Broadcast was a historic event, as it was the first royal Christmas message to be televised. It was also the 25th anniversary of the first Christmas broadcast on the radio. The broadcast was made live from the Long Library at Sandringham, Norfolk.
She said in her first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957: “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion.” This promise of devotion has been a defining factor of the Queen’s life.
Commitment to Women’s Rights - 1966 and 2011
Queen Elizabeth II represented the strength of female power, and also played a part in advocating for women’s rights in her own inspirational way.
During the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast in 1966, she spoke out on women’s rights and women’s role in championing a better future:
“It is difficult to realise that it was less than 50 years ago that women in Britain were first given the vote, but parliament was first asked to grant this 100 years ago.
Yet, in spite of these disabilities, it has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind.”
With Her Majesty at the helm, the monarchy also voted in favour of abolishing the rule that recognised male precedence in the order of succession to the throne on 28 October 2011, overthrowing centuries of tradition and modernising the institution of the Crown.
Staying Calm Under Pressure - 13 June 1981 and 9 July 1982
One of the abiding attributes of the Queen was her ability to keep a steadfast and calm demeanour in the face of challenges. This can be seen in the countless engagements she has undertaken over the years, and on two very memorable occasions…
As Queen Elizabeth II rode her horse in a parade near Buckingham Palace for her birthday celebration, six blank shots were fired in her direction. The Queen remained utterly calm as the police descended on the situation, ensuring to soothe her startled horse and continuing with the procession.
In 1982, as an intruder named Michael Fagan scaled Buckingham Palace and found a way into the Queen’s bedroom, the Queen spoke to the man for at least 10 minutes before calling for help. What they spoke about is still unknown, but the monarch kept her cool in another precarious position.
Guinness World Record Holder, 2007-2022
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II took the record of the longest-reigning queen, previously held by her great-grandmother Queen Victoria. In 2007, she achieved the record of being the oldest queen. In 2022, she achieved her 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign, making her the first British monarch to have a Platinum Jubilee.
Championing Women’s Fashion - 2018
“If I wore beige, no one would know who I was,” Queen Elizabeth II famously said.
To the late Queen, fashion and its meanings were evidently extremely significant. Her clothes were symbolic, as she would incorporate colours, motifs and accessories which spoke to the event she was attending, the head of state she was meeting or the nation she was visiting.
Her gorgeous use of colour allowed her to stand out, bringing joy to those who met her. She would dress boldly when required, subdued when reflecting a national mood, or practical when the event called for it. She was polished, elegant and stylish to a fault, never without consideration.
Queen Elizabeth II became the first monarch to attend London Fashion Week, sitting side-by-side with Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour at the Rich Quinn show. Her surprise attendance illustrated Her Majesty’s support of women’s fashion and creativity in her country.
Charity Work and Altruism - 70 Years of Service
Queen Elizabeth II did more for charity than any other monarch in history. She supported hundreds of British charities, helping the many organisations of which she was patron raise over £1.4bn.
The Queen was patron to 510 charities in Britain, including Cancer Research UK, the British Red Cross and Barnado’s. Queen Elizabeth II favoured charities that tackle community and civic issues, alongside education. She set an incredible example when it came to her charitable support, making an enormous impact for millions of people across the country.
As we reflect on and pay tribute to the inspirational, historical and monumental life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, we want to express our sincerest condolences and thoughts to her family, the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We now look to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II’s son, King Charles III.
In his first public address as king, Charles expressed his sorrow over his mother's death and his wishes moving forward. "Queen Elizabeth was a life well-lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today," he said.
Monpure looks forward to a new period in British history, while holding the memory and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II close to our hearts.