Queen Elizabeth and Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Queen Elizabeth with Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Buckingham Palace in 1969. (Photo: TPG)

She’s sat in that throne since she was 25 and just a mother-of-two. “In a way I didn’t have an apprenticeship. My father died much too young and so it was all a very sudden kind of taking on and making the best job you can.” And last year, she officially beat her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch in British history. While most people can’t be certain if they’ll still have work next year, the Queen isn’t worried at all. Afterall, she still embodies the heart of the British culture even though the Britain she rose to in power in 1952 has changed beyond recognition. So how did she do it?

She Renews Her Skills
In her 20s, Elizabeth had a team of court advisers who controlled a switchboard to media reporting. Although her PR managers today continue to give her behind-the-scenes advice, it’s notably less. In fact, the Queen sent her first Tweet late last year, to promote the Science Museum in London. Recently, we hear the Queen is on a lookout for a personal Head of Digital Engagement. The job comes with attractive perks: free lunch, five-day work weeks, $95,000 annual pay, and 33 days of leave! Any takers?

Chinese president Xi Jinping and the Queen
Queen Elizabeth and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace last year. (Photo: TPG)

She Pulls Her Weight
There’s never been a British Monarch who’s more accessible to the people than ever before. The Queen’s mantra is: “I have to be seen to be believed,” she once said to her biographer. And in her first year alone visited 10 Commonwealth countries, opened seven parliaments, made 157 speeches and four TV broadcasts. She was just 27 then. Prince Philip describes her role as the “Commonwealth physiotherapist”, with a deep understanding of all the countries of Britain’s former empire, their culture and politics and an unrivalled skill at massaging the egos of their leaders.

She Stays Professional Even At Home
The Queen enjoys the regimented side of royal life and subjects even her children to protocols. They still bow to her when they enter a room. One friend of Princess Anne watched her take a phone call from the Queen and automatically stood up to talk. Even the royal corgis are fed in strict order: from the eldest to the youngest, and can approach only when their names are called out.

QEII walks as crowds cheer her on.
Queen Elizabeth II at the official opening of the new Bandstand at Alexandra Gardens, London, on the eve of her 90th birthday. (Photo: TPG)

She Is A Stickler For Punctuality and Rules
Punctuality is important to the Queen. Years ago, Elizabeth shocked friends when she told Prince Philip off for being late to a picnic. “This is ridiculous! Where have you been! Why were you doing that?” Everyone there remembered it was an awkward moment. When President Mobutu of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and his wife smuggled a dog into Buckingham Palace during a state visit in 1973, the Queen threatened to throw the dog out.

She Shows Results
According to brand consultancy Brand Finance, the British monarchy is now worth $117 billion to Britain, a jump of 30 per cent since 2012. Last year, the firm estimates the royals will add another $2.42 billion to the economy this year. The estimate amounts is based on the lift to the economy from tourism and from price premiums given to brands with Royal Warrants (such as Cadbury chocolates to Burberry), and revenue generated by the Crown Estate.

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