Remembering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September 2022 at the age of 96. As the longest reigning monarch in world history, she was widely respected and admired by world leaders and everyday citizens around the world. While the world mourns her passing, Zonta International celebrates her enduring legacy as a trailblazer for women in leadership.

When Queen Elizabeth II assumed the British throne 70 years ago at the age of 26, women were rarely seen in leadership anywhere in the world. Her young age, however, would prove not to be a factor in her ability to lead, as she confidently navigated challenges at home and abroad. She would go on to become the most widely traveled monarch in history, visiting countries and meeting with world leaders across the globe.

While she was not an outspoken advocate for gender equality, Queen Elizabeth II was known as a quiet feminist as evident through her actions. She was the first woman in the royal family to join the armed forces, driving a military truck and working as a mechanic, and she kept her family name after she married. In 2013, she gave royal assent to the Succession to the Crown Act, which gave sons and daughters of any future monarch equal right to the throne.

As an organization that was founded by trailblazing women leaders more than 100 years ago, we celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s life and leadership and commit ourselves to building a better world for women and girls with her words as our inspiration. “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”