Today Queen Elizabeth II overtakes her great great grandmother, Queen Victoria, as the longest reigning monarch of Britain. The Queen isn’t doing anything in particular to celebrate. It’s business as usual for her, opening the New Scottish Borders Railway. And why should she celebrate? It’s not a competition. But it is a milestone.
As with any milestone, it got me thinking. What does it take to be a queen? For Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria they were both born into the “job.” But being a queen is much more than a job, it’s a calling. Both women were called, groomed, and both women answered to their destiny.
And what does that job entail exactly? It’s pretty big. The Queen is the head of state for Great Britain and 15 other countries. She is the Head of the Commonwealth (currently 53 countries.) She is also the head of the Church of England, or “Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England” to be precise. I don’t think we can underestimate how big each of those roles is. Can you imagine what Elizabeth and Victoria must have been thinking and feeling when they officially stepped into their roles during their coronations? They were only 25 and 18 respectively at the time.
I’m sure they were feeling the same way all young women have feel at one point or another “I’m not sure if I’m up to this.” Can you image making such a public display that you’ve got it all together? That you’re ready to serve the nation and be its spiritual leader? And on such a grand scale? I’m sure that Queens Elizabeth and Victoria must have taken some comfort in the fact that it was their destiny. They were raised and educated inline with their future roles. But what about the rest of us who haven’t had the benefit of having our life’s purpose handled to us on the most elegant silver plate?
Well, frankly we have to work a little bit harder at it. But the good news is that we have a lot more choice. The bad news is that with so much choice, it can seem daunting to focus on one thing. “What am I meant to be doing with my life? Why am I here in this life?” For many of us, just surviving physically, mentally, emotionally, financially can seem tough enough.
I have a belief that if you want to make a difference in the world, if you want to play big, if you have the courage, you can choose and act on your life’s purpose. We all have special talents to offer the world. We all have causes that we are passionate about. We all are capable of taking action. Yet we get caught up in the distractions of modern life.
On this day in which we keep two English queens in our hearts and minds, I call to you to celebrate your own reign. Celebrate how you are leading and making a difference in your own life and the lives of others. Because whether you know it or not, you already are.
Winston Churchill once referred to Queen Elizabeth II as “The lady whom we respect because she is our queen, and whom we love because she is herself.” At the end of the day, just be yourself, and know that you are worthy of love. Just like a queen.
God Save the Queens.