Queen Elizabeth II carries herself with both dignity and grace as our queen and sovereign, and, as such, she rarely offers us a glimpse behind closed doors.
Now, thanks to Netflix’s feminist period drama The Crown, we’ve been taken back to the first days of her reign as Queen, joining the young monarch as she grows in confidence, embraces her new role, and strives to put her royal duty above all else.
In the series, Elizabeth (Claire Foy) finds it difficult to assert her authority in an era where men were so often considered to be the superior sex.
And, when her husband, Prince Phillip (Matt Smith), finds his pride affected by her newfound status, he begs her not to make him kneel before her like any other subject.
“Are you my wife or my Queen?” he asks her, ahead of her coronation,
Her response is powerful: “I am both. And a strong man would be able to kneel to both.”
Many viewers, as such, have found themselves developing a newfound respect for Elizabeth II. And now, in a bid to further explore our monarch’s determination and strength, The Crown’s writers have penned a letter from our modern-day queen to her younger self (exclusively for Stylist readers).
“Your reign is young and so are you,” it begins.
“There is much to be learned before you can truly understand the path that leads to your destiny. You must find the courage to rule your emotions, because, in time, you’ll rule so much more.”
Advising her younger self on how best to approach her new career, The Crown’s Elizabeth writes: “Use your grace, even when you stumble. Always know who you are, and you will never be afraid of the truth. And the stronger your resolve, the easier it will be for people to believe in you.
“If you can do these things, you’ll become more than a powerful woman. You’ll become a symbol. A beacon. An icon for the ages.”
She finishes: “This is your duty, to your family, to your country, to yourself… and you must never, never forget it.”
Powerful words – which can be adopted and taken to heart by women and girls all over the world.
The Crown is Netflix’s most expensive drama to date, with a budget of £100 million, and has received rave reviews from the press and public alike.
The entire first season, starring Foy, Smith, Victoria Hamilton, Vanessa Kirby, Eileen Atkins, and John Lithgow, is currently available to watch now.