Now that the festivities of the Jubilee are over and the excitement abated one can stop and look at the life of Elizabeth II in plainer terms without the context of her belonging to a royal family. She was and is irretrievably a human being and because I believe that our lives are meant to accomplish something or in some small way however slight advance the cause of humanity, I want to acknowledge her, not as a queen, but as a person. To someone like me, and I hope to others, If there is a thread to her life it is not that she was a monarch, but that she placed duty first, in her case that duty leading her to a life of service to country and to those who are called her subjects. Among us rare is the person who is called upon to place duty and service first, much less on a consistent basis. And if we are as were Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, our lives become what can be called sacrificial. I don’t think of the life of Elizabeth II as a sacrificial life, but it has been a dedicated life, she dedicated her life to a cause greater than herself. In that her example can be useful because many of us can or could be inspired by that kind of accomplishment. Many in both the US and the UK see her through the lens of the monarchy, but if one takes away the crown and look at the person, personal achievement emerges. Here is someone who faced disappointments, her uncle’s, the Duke of Windsor, abdication, which made her queen in waiting, compromise, those she had to make in order to have a marriage that was decades long, compassion, in dealing with a troubled sister, mother’s love in having to handle the issues faced by several of her children. And all of this under the public glare of living in what really is a gilded cage, nor does it include the challenges of what she called her job, dealing with the likes of Winston Churchill when still a young head of state, or later on with Margaret Thatcher, something that for just about any of us would be bound to be intimidating. Many step up to the plate when challenges come, many grow as a result, in that she did not do anything the rest of us can’t do, already do or ought to do. And that’s one reason she is an example: her life reminds us it is possible.