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Queen Elizabeth’s contribution to the creative world

BY: Nathalia Esinam Hormenoo
Queen Elizabeth

THROUGHOUT her 70- year reign, Queen Elizabeth’s contribution and support for the creative industry was generous, unwavering and all too easy to take for granted.

The fact that the Queen had two honorary degrees in Music (awarded before she ascended the throne) – a Bachelor of Music (BMus) from the University of London and a Doctor of Music (DMus) from the University of Wales – is fittingly symbolic of her commitment to music.

While many continue to pour in tributes in memory of Queen Elizabeth II who died on Thursday, September 8 and will be buried today, September 19, Graphic Showbiz looks back into the life of the monarch and how well she served the creative, entertainment industry.

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne at the dawn of the age of mass media. Her coronation in 1953 was the first national television event and almost every step she took in public after that was documented on film. As a result, there were shows and documentaries to stream about her.

On the contrary, a number of actresses have attempted to portray what might have happened behind closed doors during her private moments.

Queen Elizabeth II watches a performance by Giovanni Guzzo on a Stradivarius violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Picture: PA

During Queen Elizabeth's reign, drama, poetry and art flourished. Playwrights like Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare, poets like Edmund Spenser and scientists like Francis Bacon all found ways to express their genius, thanks to the patronage of Queen Elizabeth's court members. From the start of her reign, Queen Elizabeth was a major patron of the arts.

Previously, playhouses had often been castigated or closed down for being 'immoral,' but the Privy Council prevented the Mayor of London from closing the theatres in 1580 by citing Queen Elizabeth's personal fondness for theatre.

Not only did she support the arts, Queen Elizabeth also often featured. For example, Queen Elizabeth appears allegorically as several characters in Spenser's Faerie Queen.

During Queen Elizabeth's reign, attending plays was a popular pastime and that influenced the theatre of the time.

The theatres were set up in such a way that both rich and poor people could use them.

The poor would be forced to stand, while the wealthy would sit in the covered seats around them.

As a result, everyone enjoyed going to the theatre and that placed the financial condition of the entertainment industry in a better place.

Queen Elizabeth II goes home today - President Akufo-Addo at funeral

Other forms of entertainment

Other forms of entertainment were dancing, chess, checkers and tennis. On street corners, there were street entertainers performing magic tricks among others.

Queen Elizabeth was known to enjoy chess and dancing.

Nobles also enjoyed hunting and horseback riding, which Queen Elizabeth also enjoyed.

All classes, however, reveled in the vicious entertainment of bear-baiting, in which dogs were unleashed on a bear while onlookers watched.

People bet on whether the dogs or the bear would win.

To say the least, Queen Elizabeth did not only put herself in ensuring the betterment of the entertainment industry but she also participated and was a big fan of varied entertainment related news and activities.

Due to her interest and engagement in the showbiz sector, the Queen got featured in many movies and music videos.

There were instances where script and movie writers wrote stories about the Queen and got people to play the roles.

All too soon, it is an end of an era as Queen Elizabeth will be buried alongside her husband Prince Philip in a small chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle in a private ceremony after her state funeral today.