The historic death of Prince Philip makes us review a key era in history, where gender roles had changed, even in the monarchy.
The historic death of Prince Philip makes us review a key era in history, where gender roles had changed, even in the monarchy. Is she a feminist icon?.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99, after a life-supporting his wife, Queen Elizabeth. The Guardian mentioned that the Queen, the royal family, and society, in general, mourn one of its most representative figures, all at the same time that the corresponding tributes were made to a man who marked an era.
Precisely, not for being the main figure, but for accompanying another one that had a greater transcendence: his wife. The longest marriage in history, which began in 1947, always had internal struggles for the prominence of both members of the monarchy, although the difference was, of course, the role they occupied.
In 1953 she had been crowned Queen of England, within a completely macho society that did not fully believe in the value of women for such an important position, something that also influenced Philip's jealousy. However, with her decisions, she managed to transform that vision to demonstrate that any gender can occupy an important position in history.
The role of the Queen of England in a patriarchal society
The Queen of England has always been a controversial figure. This happens to the point where they wonder if she can be a feminist icon. During the last few years, her figure became popular again due to the success of the Netflix series, The Crown, which showed the steps she had to go through to start having power within the monarchy.
The young Lilibet began to be seen as a powerful woman in a world dominated by convention and conservatism. Although she was not revolutionary nor did she break with many of the traditions (but rather sought to maintain them), she marked a before and after for the time, by placing the figure of a woman at the center of the world.
The monarchy of England has always been considered the most important in the world. This is so since all presidential figures pay honor to her and want to have private meetings with her top exponents. However, it cannot effectively be said that she has changed her worldview and considers herself a feminist, although this does not mean that her achievements should be omitted.
people think Queen Elizabeth i is a feminist icon so whatever. I’m going to fling myself into the Bass Strait
— Liz Crash (@AsFarce) March 6, 2020
To some extent, the monarchy represents the opposite of feminism: tradition, conservatism, and classism. Her coronation as queen was due to a matter of blood, but not of talent. That is, being the eldest daughter of the former king, she is given the transfer of power, which seeks to represent a "divine mandate."
Elizabeth herself mentioned that the monarchy seeks for ordinary people to have a "model to strive for". In other words, to some extent, the ideals of the monarchy, represented by the Queen, sought justice. Although we can discuss what the definition or interpretation of this word is, it is no less important than she is, even today, one of the most important personalities in all of history.
However, she also had to go through personal conflicts. For example, at first, she was a young lover who was still bound to obedience to her husband. That is to say, even though she was the one in charge on the outside, the personal bond continued along the macho lines that were present at that time.
“Grief is the price we pay for love” Queen Elizabeth II 💔 pic.twitter.com/z7wvxavHqU
— Lili (@Lili_in_London) April 9, 2021
Although she warned him that he should obey her in her role as queen, but also as a wife, his actions did not always follow that premise. For example, she endured infidelities and had to do certain favors to "recompose the relationship," such as making him the prince of the United Kingdom in 1957. Moreover, all these matters were advised by the most important political members, such as Winston Churchill, whom she had to confront on several occasions.
We are talking about the most important man in the political history of the United Kingdom, who came from being the hero of the Second World War. At first, she was seen as a "novice" within the crown, but part of the criticism she received was due to her status as a woman. However, with her firmness, she managed to dominate the historic prime minister and won his admiration.
— Cambridge Garden (@CambridgeGarden) March 9, 2021
Finally, we should not fail to mention that she, in a way, remains a victim of the system, since she never chose to occupy that position. If she abdicated like her uncle Eduardo, she would have been the humiliation of the family. At times, she went so far as to decide that she has the "hardest job of all", for no human being is impartial, but she, as monarch, has no right to offer her opinion, but only to smile and have good relations with others.
Ultimately, the role of the Queen of England in relation to others (including her late husband) made her a truly important person in world history. While she is an extremely controversial figure, it's always important that there are women who demonstrate that gender is perfectly capable of withstanding the pressure of an important position.