Much of the critical commentary on Elizabeth II's legacy following her death has concerned actions of the British state in its colonies during her reign. An historically significant number of these territories gained their independence during this period despite significant efforts by the British state, which at times such as during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya have been criticised as oppressive if not criminal.

Defenders of this legacy point to the political neutrality expected of the monarchy and the limited ability of the Crown to exercise even powers it notionally possesses without destabilising the constitutional regime that keeps the monarchy in place.

Did Elizabeth make any historically important interventions during her reign that influenced these events politically or diplomatically? If not, or as well as these, are there interventions she declined to make that might have influenced the events some now associate with her legacy? And were there contemporaneous public calls for her to act one way or the other?

  • One dramatic intervention by Elizabeth II was in women's rights in KSA: she was an army truck driver during WW2, so when the Saudi monarch visited her, she got behind the wheel and drove him around the Scottish mountains, convincing him that women can drive.
    – sds
    Sep 12, 2022 at 16:08
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    I've seen folks online talking about Queen's/Kings Consent as a reason why she's complicit in every action any UK government undertook during her long reign. Seems to me she didn't in reality have a veto through that process, and any suggestions she made the government was perfectly free to ignore, so that's not anywhere near enough power to constitute responsibility. However, I'm not the expert on UK legislative arcana that some of our other users here are.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 12, 2022 at 19:22
  • I'm far from knowledgable in this. Maybe someone could comment on this book - reviewed here that the Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, was not bound to neutrality and actually exercised political influence in matters of British relations with its former colonies.
    – ccprog
    Sep 12, 2022 at 23:03
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    During a controversy on Sikh turbans in Royal Canadian Legion, the Queen chatted with Sikh Canadian service members: "The Queen at a Royal Tea Party given in Her honour by the Government of British Columbia, at Victoria on August 20, 1994, chatted with five Indian Army turbaned invited Veteran guests - namely {names omitted> and inquired if they were denied admittance to Canadian Legion buildings on Remembrance Day in 1993?" The controversy ended then and there. Sep 13, 2022 at 1:06
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    The late queen couldn't make historically important interventions, as she constitutionally reigned but not ruled.
    – Jos
    Sep 13, 2022 at 5:00