But seemingly more fascinating to the public was what lay behind closed doors within the House of Windsor: her uncle’s lingering abdication, scandals and Nazi party alignment; her sister Princess Margaret’s love affair with the then-married Peter Townsend and her subsequent romantic troubles; the Shakespearean tragedy of Princess Diana; the dissolution of three of her four children’s marriages; a grandson and two great grandchildren permanently situated a continent away; the heir to the throne’s cash for honors scheme; and a favorite son’s multi-million pound settlement with his rape accuser.
And yet, Her Majesty always maintained a dignified silence. “Never complain, never explain,” was the motto. And up until April of last year, through 73 years of marriage, she had always had Prince Philip, her “strength and stay,” at her side and as her closest confidante.
Though the embodiment of the British way—the stiff upper lip—was her modus operandi, she made us laugh, cry and rejoice. From "jumping out of a helicopter" with Daniel Craig's James Bond for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony to clinking her tea cup along to the tune of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and pulling a marmalade sandwich from her purse for Paddington Bear, her sense of humor and witty quips were a defining characteristic that the world was only rarely privy to.