Elizabeth II, The Platinum Queen: 70 Years of British History

University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Julie Anne Taddeo is Research Professor of History at University of Maryland, College Park.  She is the author and editor of several books, including Diagnosing History: Medicine in Period Drama TelevisionConflicting Masculinities: Men in Television Period Drama; and Upstairs and Downstairs: British Costume Drama Television from ‘The Forsyte Saga’ to ‘Downton Abbey.’




Seventy years ago, the British media heralded the arrival of “a new Elizabethan age,” and between February and June, 2022, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Elizabeth II remains the final link between Britain and its imperial past. This lecture will highlight the personal and the political history of Elizabeth’s reign, how she learned from previous monarchs as she navigated the post-World War II world, and the relationship between the monarchy to modern media: from television to the internet. We will also discuss the Queen’s often troubled relationship with the tabloids, Royal triumphs and scandals, and what the future may hold for the next generation of monarchs.


Recommended Reading: 

Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II, by Tracy Borman

The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor, by Clive Irving

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, by Sally Bedell Smith

Crown and Country: A History of England through the Monarchy, by David Starkey


Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes Elizabeth II unique as Queen?
  2. How did the British public’s relationship to monarchy change as the nation became more democratic in the Twentieth Century? Why do the tabloids have so much influence in the lives of the Royal family?
  3. What do you think awaits the monarchy as Elizabeth II nears the end of her reign?
  4. Why are Americans so fascinated with British royalty?





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Michael Gardner

Very enjoyable and perfect timing.

2 years ago
Michael Gardner

So entertaining

Very enjoyable and perfect timing. Thank you!

2 years ago

Queenm\ Elizabeth II

Julia Taddeo was quite good. She looked at the audience and I couldn’t know if she was reading from a prompter. It was just great. Brought back many memories I have over my 86 years with “the Queen”. I think Julia presented the Queen as truly caring. If only the rest of us could be as “caring”. Many thanks – carolyn Brown

12 months ago
barbara ann.fields

A Good Time to Revisit This

On the Eve of the new King’s coronation,it is a good time to look back. You did a marvelous job on summarizing the former Queen’s reign.
Tomorrow will start a new era….
Thank you

12 months ago
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