The Post mourns Queen Elizabeth II, a paragon of near-extinct virtues

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the world loses not just the most constant star in the constellation of global leaders, but an epitome of virtues that now seem extinct: restraint (the classic stiff upper lip) and devotion to duty.

She was served by 15 prime ministers (from Winston Churchill, born in 1874, to Liz Truss, born in 1975) in a reign that spanned 14 US presidents and saw the end of the British Empire, the West’s victory in the Cold War, the birth of the European Union — and Brexit from the EU.

In public, through crises global, national and, yes, familial, she was a rock as indomitable as Gibraltar — bending only as needed to fend off critics of the monarchy (with whom, as small-r republicans, we sympathize in the abstract), whether heeding John Grigg’s 1957 advice to modernize some traditions or Tony Blair’s 1997 pleas to show emotion after Princess Diana’s death.

As “The Queen” and “The Crown” depict, the royals lead a luxe life, but at a cost: not just showing up for endless ceremonies, hemmed in by the demands of court tradition, but also maintaining perfect grace in a ruthlessly neutral public role that would challenge a Zen master.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
She served as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Getty Images/Stuart C. Wilson

And for all the travails of other Windsors, her own life never held a breath of scandal. For seven decades, she showed up, restricting her duties only near the end, as age (and COVID) required.

One last time: God save the Queen. RIP.

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