Queen Elizabeth-II | By Qurat-ul-Ain

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Queen Elizabeth-II

ELIZABETH II was born royal and lived as a queen for three-quarters of a century. No other monarch can come close to her stature and grace, with which she wore the Crown.

She lived through eons, landmarks and timelines that are memorable as well as epoch-creating.

Pakistan being part of the British Commonwealth and a former British Dominion, also was affected by presence and sphere of influence.

As the good old saying “Queen is gone, long live the King”, like the monarchy, lives goes on. She has been a symbol of Royalty, not only for Great Britain, but globally.

She personified what Royalty truly is. During seven decades of her rule, the world underwent so many milestones, wars, calamities and landmarks.

This discourse is meant to remember the great lady from a Pakistani perspective of what Elizabeth II meant to us.

She took over as the Queen, when Pakistan was struggling to find its direction, Khawaja Nazimuddin was the Premier.

It had been business as usual and nothing worth mentioning happened between the two countries other than the British Commonwealth Games, known earlier as British Empire games between 1930 to 1950, then British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962.

From 1966 to 1974, the games were referred to as the British Commonwealth Games. And since 1978, have been known simply as the Commonwealth Games.

The relations took another dimension and not only was Ayub Khan invited to Buckingham Palace but the Queen made a Royal Visit to Pakistan.

The Queen made her first visit to Pakistan on 1 February 1961, her visit lasting till 16 February.

At that time, she was barely 34 and was accompanied by Prince Philip and her entourage. During her stay she was taken from the south to the north, that included visits to Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar.

Like many royals of her time and before, Elizabeth never went to a public school and was never exposed to other students.

Instead, she was educated at home with Princess Margaret, her younger sister. Among those who taught her was her father, along with a senior teacher at Eton College, several French and Belgian governesses who taught her French, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who taught her religion.

Her schooling also included learning to ride, swim, dance and the study of fine art and music.

She gave the impression of a serious demeanour, and many have noted her “poker face,” but those who knew her described her mischievous sense of humour and a talent for mimicry in private company.

She was endearingly known as young Lilibet by her family — said to be because she couldn’t pronounce “Elizabeth” properly.

In a letter to her grandmother Queen Mary, the young princess wrote: “Dear Granny. Thank you very much for the lovely little jersey.

We loved staying at Sandringham with you. I lost a top front tooth yesterday morning,” before signing off, “Love from Lilibet.

” Lilibet have left this world, but she will rule the hearts of many across the globe as she truly was one of her kind.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.

 

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