“My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”
When she ascended to the throne in 1952 at age 25 upon the too-early death of her father, Elizabeth was in Churchill’s words, “only a child.” But she took easily to her new role. “I have lost all my timidity somehow becoming the Sovereign,” she declared. One of her greatest achievements was to reinvent the sovereign’s role. She was a political figure, but she was apolitical and above party, and she won the respect of a male-dominated political elite. She rarely addressed the public, and she never gave interviews, but she was constantly visible, one of the most photographed people in the world. Dr. Fredlund will review both well-known and not-so-familiar details of Elizabeth’s life in this tribute to a great lady who was faithful to her calling to the very end of her long life.
William H. Fredlund, the Director of the Institute, obtained his B.A. and M.A. from UCLA, where he specialized in European history and art history. He studied in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship and completed a double Ph.D. in history and humanities at Stanford, specializing in Renaissance Italy. Dr. Fredlund has taught for UCLA, the University of Florence, Stanford, and UCSC Extension.