Over her seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II understood the power of visuals. The first British monarch to have a televised coronation, she watched the world turn its attention from the radio to the TV set, and by the time she died this month at 96, having celebrated her Platinum Jubilee just a few months earlier, she — well, the royal family — had an Instagram account and a YouTube channel.
As she presided over a shrinking empire, projecting stability and continuity was arguably her most essential job as sovereign. From her hairstyle to her handbags, her kerchiefs to her corgis, her pearls to her profile, every visual signifier was a means of communication for a monarch who famously had little to say — at least in public. Here’s a look at the symbols Elizabeth leveraged during her historic reign, and what she used them to say.
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