Saturday, July 13, 2024

Queen Elizabeth 1926-2022, Beloved Monarch Who Also Reigned in Pop Culture


Tears and memories this afternoon for Queen Elizabeth II, who has occupied all of our lives. Her own extraordinary life ends at age 96, but she will never be forgotten. Even I got off the plane in Toronto this afternoon and went to the ATM, out came $20 bills with her picture on them. I doubt that will ever change.

Besides the long history of ruling Britain, think of Queen Elizabeth’s place in our culture. One actress– Helen Mirren — has won an Oscar and a Tony for playing her. Claire Foy and Olivia Colman have won awards playing her in “The Crown.” She figures in movies, and plays, and music, from the Beatles’ “Her Majesty” to the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen.”

Her legend only grows. When I was in London the week after Princess Diana died, the Queen did not understand her popularity. She turned a deaf ear, and in the process became momentarily unpopular. But at her death Elizabeth is at her zenith of love and being embraced. She managed to overcome that bump in the road and continue on for another 25 years. She even managed to endure a visit from the Former Guy with aplomb.

It’s going to be a weekend of memories to celebrate this unique woman.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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