She has withstood the test of time, has emerged dignified and composed in the face of tragedy and has been a symbol of strength and resilience for the entire world. She is Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s second longest reigning monarch after her great grandmother Queen Victoria. As she celebrated her diamond jubilee in her own, unsurpassed style, she reminds the world that only the good things last – be it in business, in life or in monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth II is possibly the world’s best- loved CEO with the toughest job to go with it. Throughout history, it has never been easy to be a monarch but being a monarch in the 21st century brings with it a special and unparalleled set of criteria. She may not have what it takes to be cool in the internet ruled generation but she sure knows how to learn on the job, keep getting better at it and show the world, especially younger generations, that giving up is never an option. She has emerged a much- loved CEO of a nation that has often debated whether she was needed at all. In the end, debates not withstanding, 60 years reigning and working every single day except Christmas Day, she has won the hearts of her people – and the whole world.
Along the way, just as mature CEOs everywhere do, Her Majesty has learnt many lessons that have enriched her reign and brought her closer to her people. She had to endure a royally acceptable but a bitter marriage of her son Prince Charles – when it ended, she had to witness never before seen mudslinging by both parties with much bitterness at work. When Diana died, the Queen ,it is said, could not understand the fuss at first. The Royals don’t ride the emotional train wreck when in grief – they mourn with dignity. Yet when the people’s pulse mourning the woman dubbed People’ s Princess by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair was felt at the Palace, the Queen did not hesitate to join them.
More than mere Monarch
The Queen has been more than a mere Monarch – she has played the roles of mother, wife, grand mother, grand aunt and aunt combined, often emerging as the matriarch over the House of Windsor, dubbed “The Firm”. There are certain ways the Royals do things that makes them different to others even in this digital age. Traditions might baffle some of us yet traditions are important – whether in business or in life. Traditions defy time and trends and reinforce a sense of belonging – the traditions that were on display at the Golden Jubilee celebrations showed the world watching live on TV, the true splendor of Britain.
She has worked with 12 Prime Ministers, starting with Sir Winston Churchill, the grand old man of British politics. The Queen has been the Head of State of 32 Commonwealth realms since 1952. She has also had 12 Australian Prime Ministers, 14 New Zealand Prime Minsters and 11 Canadian Prime Ministers – a total of 156 Prime Ministers during her reign.
Watched much change
She has watched much change and witnessed monumental events in history. Yet little seems to have shaken her, her faith in her institution and in her unwavering commitment to keep working despite all else.
She has stood calm and collected over tragedy, personal and at a national level, perpetual in her standing, unchanged in her loyalty to her subjects and unwavering in her commitment to her country. She is loved best for being the wind beneath Britain’s wings , emerging a bastion of quiet resilience in face of much change.
Having been feted during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, watching the millions who turned out for her clearly indicating that the British still want their Monarchy very much, she called it a ‘humbling experience’ –there is much wisdom and insight in her response to theoutpouring of love and affection. She has not got carried away with the ratings, and has always been a symbol of the rock solid values and a down-to-earth upbringing that were the hallmarks of her time.
According to BBC presenter Andrew Marr, the Queen is a “ good mimic, shrewdly observant, careful with money” and “very witty” ; Marr followed her for almost an year in producing a BBC documentary on her Diamond Jubilee. Marr states that some of the most ‘candid’ comments in the series came from her grandson Prince Harry who says that his grandmother, at 85, still can ‘turn up, smiling,, at places she might not want to be. These are the things she should not be doing at her age yet she is doing them.”
Marr adds that he found the Queen “almost ludicrously busy”. The only day of the year she doesn’t go through huge amounts of official paperwork, it seems, is on Christmas Day. He calls her ‘a wise woman, awe-inspiring, never to be taken for granted but always there with help and advice.”
The world loves Royalty. It loved the glamour of Princess Diana and now have caught on to Kate Middleton, the Queen’s grand daughter-in-law who along with her husband Prince William, stood on the balcony in the final salute to the nation at the conclusion of Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Royal Family seemed to send a strong message to their subjects – that the dynasty is safe in the hands of dependable young Royals. If they have learnt anything from their grandmother, it is consistency and buoyancy that is steel beneath the grace, the strength behind the well -mannered exterior of regality.
There are many lessons the Queen could teach the CEOs of this world. After 60 years on what is possibly one of the toughest jobs in the world, who else could.
(Nayomini is a senior journalist , writer and a PR professional and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)