Being queen ‘wasn’t the life Elizabeth II dreamed of’

Being queen ‘wasn’t the life Elizabeth II dreamed of’

Ugo Pascolo
modified to

9:47 p.m. 08 Sep 2022

After a reign of 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday 8 September. But despite her record-breaking longevity on the throne, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was not predestined to one day wear the crown. Worse, she never wanted to be queen, says journalist Esther Leneman, who was a correspondent for the Blue House in London for 20 years, at the Europe 1 microphone.


Break a longevity record on the English throne without ever wanting to be queen. After 70 years of reign, Elizabeth II died this Thursday, September 8th, at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland, surrounded by her family. The end of a real piece of UK history and a job the Queen had held since she was 26. A heavy crown for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, which she simply never wanted, reminds journalist Esther Leneman at the microphone of Europe 1.

Being queen “it wasn’t her choice at all”

“I think she did her job remarkably well, and it wasn’t easy work, and she did it even though it wasn’t her choice at all,” recalls the woman who was Europe 1’s London correspondent for twenty years. “It wasn’t the life she dreamed of, but she said to herself, ‘This is my destiny, I was born to be queen, I’ll grit my teeth and do my duty'”.

A strong sense of sacrifice for her country, especially since “her happiest years passed before she became queen, following her husband, a naval officer, to Malta,” says the journalist again.

In 1949, three years before the beginning of Elizabeth II’s reign, Prince Philip was indeed appointed First Lieutenant on the destroyer HMS Checkers, the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet’s first destroyer fleet. A much softer time for the future queen, according to Esther Leneman. “They spent their evenings with their buddies, no one blamed them for what they did or didn’t do, no one watched how many glasses of wine they drank.” A relative anonymity that the Queen had to give up when ascending the throne.


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