Sunday, 30 July 2017

Elizabeth II (SLI): Personality Type Analysis

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of the royal house of Windsor) is the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and as Head of the Commonwealth, is Queen of a further 12 countries. At 91 years of age, she is currently the oldest monarch in the world and holds the record for Britain's oldest ever, as well as being the longest-reigning at over 65 years on the throne.

She was born in Mayfair, London in 1926, during the reign of her grandfather, King George V (SEI). As the eldest of two daughters to the second son of the King, it was never expected that she would one day be crowned Queen. Everything changed in 1936, due to the sudden and unprecedented abdication of her childless uncle, King Edward VIII (IEI) in order to marry his American divorcee lover, Wallis Simpson (EIE). Duty fell on her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York to sit the throne and he was crowned King George VI (EII), taking his father's regnal name. From then, the young Princess Elizabeth, fondly known as 'Lilibet' by those who knew her, was carefully prepared to rule as the heir presumptive, receiving private tuition in constitutional history and learning French.

As a child, Princess Elizabeth was educated largely at home by her governess Marion Crawford, who later published a biography on The Little Princesses in 1950. Here, her natural love of dogs and horses that would persist to this day, were first described, as well as her orderliness and responsibility, which stood in stark contrast to her more impulsive and exuberant younger sister, Princess Margaret (SEE), who would later become the Duchess of Cornwall.

"...when it was time to return to their home in London, Lilibet carefully put away all the blankets and linen, covered the miniature furniture in dust sheets and wrapped up the silver in newspaper — ‘to prevent it getting  tarnished’, she told me.

She wasn’t quite six, but clearly loved order. After dinner every night, both she and Margaret — then a little fat child — would hold out their hands and their father would give them each a spoonful of old-fashioned barley sugar.

Margaret pushed the whole lot into her mouth. Lilibet, however, carefully sorted hers out on the table, and then ate it very daintily. She also kept all her belongings immaculately tidy — but there’d come a time later when she became almost too methodical and neat. Indeed, I grew quite anxious about her.

During the course of each night, she’d hop out of bed several times just to make sure her shoes were quite straight on the floor and her clothes arranged just so.

It was only when Margaret did a hilarious imitation of her sister’s bedtime rituals that Lilibet finally stopped performing them."

From this early stage, we can see a particular fixation on the physical minutiae of her daily life, feeling the need to make sure that everything is 'just right', even to excess. This makes sense for a type with S in a very pronounced position, albeit in a very structured way that suggests a great deal of L too.

At the age of 18, during World War II, Princess Elizabeth was eager to help with the war effort and became the only female member of the royal family to ever serve in the armed forces. She volunteered to work with the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (WATS), training as a driver and mechanic. This unprecedented example of a British princess imploring the King that she be allowed to participate in practical work like anyone else is notable. Furthermore, the nature of the work was especially technical and required one to 'get one's hands dirty' with cars and other machinery. She did well enough to be promoted five months later to honorary junior commander. This suggests someone, first of all, willing to put aside the airs of hierarchy to work alongside regular people in a useful role. Second, it suggests that Elizabeth had a degree of confidence and competence with learning how to handle practical, mechanical tasks. Already, this mildly suggests strong, valued P, especially blocked with S.

At 21, Princess Elizabeth became engaged to her second cousin once removed, Prince Philip (ILI) of Greece and Denmark, an exile in the United Kingdom who would later renounce his foreign titles to become Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince consort. They were married in 1947. It is notable that Elizabeth decided to marry Prince Philip purely out of personal love and affection, despite him being a poor match in terms of his family background. The Duke of Edinburgh was not merely foreign-born, but all his sisters had married noblemen with Nazi links. Furthermore, he had nothing in the way of financial standing. While the King's advisers and Princess Elizabeth's own mother, Queen Elizabeth (ESE) opposed the union, the otherwise sensible and well-behaved Princess Elizabeth insisted on proceeding with the marriage. This suggests that despite being highly dutiful, Elizabeth felt it most important to marry the individual person right for her, regardless of family or fortune. This suggests the valuing of R over more E and L-related matters, such as status and public approval, as well as a certain firmness in its use.

In the years immediately following her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh, which included the birth of two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (LII) and Anne, Princess Royal (LIE), she had the opportunity to lead a mostly 'normal' married life, although with Prince Philip being given second-in-command of the Malta-based HMS Chequers in 1949, they had to live intermittently abroad, leaving the children at home. It is thought that this period was one of the happiest of her life. This points to someone attracted to normality, rather than the pressures of royal duty, and if given free reign, would have been happy as a commoner.

It was while on holiday in Kenya with her husband in February 1952 that Elizabeth was alerted to the death of the King from lung cancer. Princess Elizabeth was crowned 'Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II' in June 1953. Unlike her father, who was born Albert, it did not occur to her to choose a regnal name different to that of her birth. When asked if she wanted to stay 'Elizabeth', she responded "of course!". This suggests, not just a preference for continuing with her birth name, rather than inventing a new persona, but also the absence of thought to the idea of ever doing so. That could mean that matters of E are not usually considered.

The name of greater consequence was that of the royal house. As a woman, precedent was that Her Majesty's descendents would belong to the house of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, changing from Windsor to Mountbatten. Unprecedentedly, her grandmother, Queen Mary (LSI) and the Prime Minister at the time, Sir Winston Churchill (SLE), opposed this position, arguing that the royal house remain with Windsor. Both of these opponents possessed strong personalities, and there is no information on how much the new Queen Elizabeth II resisted their wills, whether she folded unwillingly or did not care enough to protest. Either way, Her Majesty accepted their demands and declared on the 9th April 1952 that Windsor would remain the name of the royal house. What is clear is that this greatly distressed her husband, who notably declared "I am nothing but a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children". The Queen's attempt to address her husband's disappointment was to grant him new duties and privileges, including full control over the household and more publicly, the position of organising her coronation. Eight years later, after the death of her grandmother and Churchill's retirement, the Queen would concede to Prince Philip, allowing all their male-line descendants without royal titles to take the name Mountbatten-Windsor.

During the year-long preparations for her coronation, and soon after the death of her grandmother, Queen Mary, the Queen was asked by her sister, Princess Margaret for permission to marry Peter Townsend, the Comptroller for her mother's household. He was a divorcé, over 16 years her senior, with two sons from a previous marriage. The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 required members of the royal family to seek permission of the monarch before marrying. Although the Queen was sympathetic towards her sister, senior politicians opposed the match, and it was known that the Church of England would not permit remarriage after divorce. Marrying outside the Church would have required Princess Margaret to renounce her right of succession to the throne. Her Majesty's approach to this solution was a delaying tactic, saying to her sister "Under the circumstances, it isn't unreasonable for me to ask you to wait a year." The Queen's intentions were thought to be to try and discourage her sister from pursuing the marriage, while trying to minimise any harshness or cruelty with her. She believed that, given time, her sister's affection would 'peter out'. However, the Government was more impatient, wanting to get rid of him. While the Queen rejected her private secretary's advice to send him away and opted to transfer him to her household instead, Churchill eventually arranged for him to be sent to Brussels on post. It would not be one, but three years before he could return.

Letters released in 2004 reveal that by 1955, with the replacement of Churchill with Anthony Eden (ESI) as Prime Minister, the Queen had been willing to draw up a plan to allow Princess Margaret to marry Townsend in exchange for giving up her right to succession, with Eden saying "Her Majesty would not wish to stand in the way of her sister's happiness." However, Margaret released a statement three days later, saying that she had decided not to proceed with the marriage.

What the incidents with her husband's name and her sister's marriage suggest about Her Majesty is someone who is cautious, sympathetic and averse to conflict, while also more open-minded to other people's points of view. Although not wanting to stand in the way of those close to her, the Queen prioritises not rocking the boat with her Government or other authority figures, while trying to harmonise her relationships in the wake of her decisions, appreciating their viewpoint and attempting to respect it in deed where able. It is worth noting that in both cases, Her Majesty was willing to make concessions to her husband and sister, but waited until after the strongest sources of opposition were gone before reaching a compromise. This points to valued instead of F and R instead of L, although with a sufficient degree of awareness in all four, understanding the balance of power but choosing to minimise disruption, and keenly understanding the importance of duties and traditions, while at the same time, trying to minimise the pain of individuals close to her where she can. It is also likely that the Queen did not fully consider how much her declaration in 1952 would hurt her husband, suggesting a certain oversight in her use of R.

Her coronation, over a year after her accession to the throne, was the first in British history to be televised, which met opposition from Churchill as well as the Elizabeth The Queen Mother and numerous royal courtiers, believing the ceremony to be a private, sacred matter. The Queen herself was uncomfortable about the idea, being notoriously camera shy. She had previously resisted having cameras film her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh. Nevertheless, Prince Philip, whom she had given the position of arranging the coronation (possibly out of a desire to make amends for not allowing him to pass on his name), believed that the coronation should be televised as means of modernising the monarchy. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also thought this would be a good idea, and made the issue a matter of public discourse in the newspapers. Having been informed that the public was strongly in favour of being able to see the coronation for the first time, the Queen changed her mind, saying that "all subjects should have the opportunity of seeing it". However, she only allowed it on the condition that the camera take no close shots. From this, we see the beginning of an ongoing struggle for Her Majesty, someone who had always been ill-suited to publicity and being in the view of a large audience, but who felt motivated by a duty to do the right thing for her subjects.

It is notable that Her Majesty always felt a strong desire to follow the dutiful example of her father, who had given up a relatively private life to fill in for his abdicated brother. While the vivacious Princess Margaret was known as her father's "joy", Princess Elizabeth strove to be her father's "pride". This preoccupation with duty as an extension of her paternal relationship has been a consistent motivator over 63 years and once again, suggests that R is in a pronounced position as a motivator. At the same time, it is clear that the Queen's motivations were not out of an E-focused desire to reach out to the public.

The information we have so far is enough to provide a good sense of the Queen's values; someone who pays much more attention to the individual merits of the people they interact with, rather than their position in a rigid social hierarchy or their public reputation, who is attracted to a 'normal', private life and thinks nothing of engaging in un-glamorous, practical tasks deemed 'beneath' her rank and station if it provides some assistance, and approaches her formal duties as a means of emulating and respecting a person of deep love and admiration to her. The Queen tends to side with tradition as part of her embrace of duty, but this does not stop her from making concessions for the happiness of people she is close to. In rare footage, where Her Majesty reflects on the many letters she receives from subjects seeking her help, this emphasis on the personal connection is very apparent:

"I've always had rather a sort of feeling that letters are rather personal to oneself, you know, because people write them thinking that I'm going to open them and read them. I don't open all of them obviously because I don't have time to do that. But it does certainly give me... an idea of what is worrying people and what actually they feel I could do to help, and there are occasions when I can help. I can pass things on to the right authorities or I can even in some cases write to various organisations who will look into it. But I've always had this feeling that letters are written to ME and I like to see what people want to write to me. I think in a way one feels that there is a sort of "the buck stops here", so to speak , that I'm the one. I had a letter this morning about something. He said 'I've been going round and round and round in circles, but you are the only person who can stop the circle and YOU would be able to fix it.' I thought that was rather nice."

This manner of emphasising the personal characteristics of interpersonal communication, e.g. the relationship and expectations between two people, and readily describing how one personally feels about it, is normal for a type with R in a pronounced, valued position. Overall, this and the way Her Majesty prioritises personal relationships in decision-making is very consistent with an Integrity-Seeking set of values.

We can also see, from the Queen's decisions in moments of family crisis, a desire to avoid conflict, even going so far as to side with the more demanding, authoritative party while they are alive or in power, but to soften her position on those suffering from the decision once the source of demands is out of the picture. This can be seen in her granting the right of male, non-royal descendants to use her husband's family name, as well as eventually saying she will not prevent her sister from marrying Townsend. In each case, despite being the head of state, Her Majesty found herself as the intermediary, trying to balance different points of view, rather than a wilful party imposing her own will. This largely shows a monarch with little interest in utilising F, whether through force of personality, or with her constitutional powers.

Similarly, the previous footage, shows how Her Majesty conceptualises and approaches her role as Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms:

"It was all a very sudden kind of taking on and making the best job you can. It's a question of maturing into something that one's got used to doing and accepting the fact that here you are and it's your fate, because I think continuity is very important. It is a job for life. 

Most people have a job and then they go home and in this existence, the job and the life go on together because you can't really divide it up. The boxes and the communications just keep on coming and of course the modern communications, they come even quicker. Luckily I'm a quick reader so, I get through a lot of reading in quite a short time, though I do rather begrudge some of the hours that I have to do this instead of being outdoors."

What this quote demonstrates is someone inclined to accept the Crown as something that happened to her, and to focus on adjusting and making the best out of the situation. At the same time, it is clear that, despite feeling a duty to do a good job as monarch, the Queen is much more satisfied "outdoors", engaging in pleasurable past times like looking after her horses, or else, being involved in charitable causes. Elizabeth gives no impression of someone who relishes in her considerable power as head of state. When taken alongside Her Majesty's approach to managing disputes, which show someone who clearly desires to smooth things over and make concessions, it becomes quite clear that S is much more valued than F, making it apparent that Her Majesty has World-Accepting values.

The combination of Integrity-Seeking and World-Accepting values means that Queen Elizabeth II is a likely Delta type. Furthermore, it is not hard to see that, with S and R being the most pronounced of the valued elements, Her Majesty must be a Delta Integrator, i.e. either EII or SLI. In a nutshell, Elizabeth II is primarily motivated by a sense of harmony and ease in her relationships with others.

The Queen's reign has seen the gradual transformation of the British Empire into a Commonwealth of Nations. Although she remains Head of State for most of these nations, the change in name to 'Commonwealth', a name used to describe England after the execution of King Charles I (LII) and the takeover by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell (LSI), is telling in reflecting a further reduction of the British monarch's influence to that of an effective figurehead. The monarch used to wield considerable powers, with monarchs before the 17th Century being able to veto bills passing into law, enjoy diplomatic immunity around the world, commandeer any ship, declare war without consultation, control the entire British military, arrest people and seize their property. While these powers still exist in theory, no monarch in recent times has had the de facto power to attempt any of these without risking the United Kingdom becoming a republic. Despite this, up to 2011, the Queen still had the power to dissolve governments and call an election at will. While effective power has ebbed from the Crown since its peak in the 16th century, monarchs with a greater emphasis on F put up more of a resistance, e.g. James II (ESI) creating a standing army and reasserting power through the judiciary, or else, made greater use of the powers allowed to them, e.g. Charles II (EIE), George III (ESI) and William IV (ESE) dismissing governments, and Victoria (ESI) exercising a great deal of private influence over policy. The only known attempt by Her Majesty to exercise her power over Parliament was once where she prevented discussion of a bill to give Parliament the ability to conduct military action in Iraq, but only did so with the advice of her government. This largely follows the approach of her father, King George VI in keeping out of politics and government entirely, suggesting a F that is used as minimally as possible, that is either F4 or F7.

Despite this, video footage of the Queen shows someone rather more capable of being asserting herself on the one-to-one. As seen in one incident when the Her Majesty was supposed to wear the full regalia of the Order of the Garter, a highly flamboyant and impractical outfit, where she said "I'm not changing anything. I've done enough dressing like this, thankyou very much." and her own insistence that her grandson, Prince William, on his wedding day, wear the ceremonial tunic of an Irish guard's officer, rather than his preference for the Irish guard's frock coat. It became very clear to him that "you do not mess with your grandmother, and what she says goes".  What we see here is that although being one of the most laissez-faire monarchs in history, in regards to power and influence, the Queen is able to get highly assertive over particularly S-related matters, having to do more with aesthetic minutiae than anything else. This suggests F7 supporting S1, rather than F4 failing to support S6.

The main element of the Queen's activities as a figurehead is regularly meeting with people from a range of professions, including civil servants, volunteers, government officials, philanthropists, award-winners and celebrities. While the duties of administration in the palace, of appearing positively in front of the cameras and the general pomp and circumstance can be draining for her, Her Majesty seems to genuinely enjoy holding more private audiences with people in a variety of careers and getting to find out more of what they do. Although usually rather restrained and on her guard in public, she is often described as being rather more 'chatty' in these meetings, seeming to use them to satisfy a genuine curiosity about what people do. This is notable for someone whose personal passions can be counted as the breeding and care of her dogs and racing horses. It is perhaps a sign of someone who, despite the great regularity of her own life, is attracted to hearing the perspectives of other people, suggesting a weak, but valued I5.

The Queen's reign has not only been the longest in British history, but has perhaps also been very stable, with Her Majesty never having had to see off a conquering force or an attempt on her life. Nevertheless, she has faced challenges in regards to her popularity as a monarch, knowing that losing the approval of her people could one day mean the removal of the monarchy. The time her popularity reached its nadir soon after the death of her daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales (IEI), someone whose natural touch with the people regularly upstaged Her Majesty's more distant, less exciting figure. This highly popular person's death in a car crash, years after divorcing the Prince of Wales, brought collective expectation on the Queen to show emotion publicly for her loss. Her Majesty's approach was ill-suited to this requirement, deciding instead to withdraw from the public to the care of her bereaved grandchildren, holding a church service where no mention was made of the death. This caused public outrage, suggesting she had completely misread the nation's mood.

At the advice of her Government, the Queen resolved to speak directly to the people on national television, which although certainly helped to repair the damage, showed clearly how Her Majesty is not someone capable of publicly reaching out in an emotional display, and at her best, could only resort to sincere statements about the positive qualities of her late daughter-in-law's character. This shows, more than anything else, a complete blindness to the need for emotional affect, which best fits E4 with R6.

Although the Queen is not known for giving interviews where she gives her own opinions to the camera, the documentary of her being painted by Rolf Harris (it is an example of how rare it is to find video footage of a proper conversation between Her Majesty and someone else, that I am forced to use her discourse with a now convicted abuser of young women) provides a unique opportunity to see Her Majesty in conversation and the sorts of things she tends to focus on. It becomes clear rather early on that she is very inclined to 'small talk', discussing the bad weather and moving on to the biting habits of her dogs, of which she is very fond. While Rolf is a clear E-ego type, and naturally communicates emotively, the Queen is brief and matter-of-fact, both communicating factual information, rather than much of an emotional nature, while occasionally asking Rolf questions about how he does his work and inquiring into his stories. A good example can be seen with her response to this story he told:

Rolf Harris: "A couple of weeks ago I was down in Wales at a function and one of the people involved in organising it said "Did you know there's a painting by your grand-dad out in the main hall upstairs?" and I said "No". So he took me upstairs and there is a painting by my grandfather of your grandfather, George V reviewing the troops in the 14/18 war, in the trenches, and it sent off shivers down the back of my spine."

Her Majesty: "You didn't know it was there?"

The Queen in conversation demonstrates a precise and detailed knowledge of specific things, from the origins of her broach to the painting techniques of previous people to have painted her. She is also someone who incorporates an understated, dry humour in conversation. For instance:

Rolf Harris: "Are portraits a terrible chore?"

Her Majesty: "No, not really. It's quite nice. Usually one just sits and people can't get at you because they know you're busy doing nothing." 

These observations come together to suggest a person who is naturally proficient in matters of factual information and is more comfortable handling conversation of this kind, but at the same time, someone who is far more relatable in one-to-one conversation than in public. That suggests strong P for a Delta Integrator, i.e. P2.

To conclude, the Queen is someone who shows all the signs of Delta values, with particular emphasis on S and R, suggesting a Delta Integrator. Between the options of EII and SLI, it is apparent that the Queen is confident in matters of P, while being more reliant on the stories of other people for I, suggesting P2 and I5, with S1 and R6. At the same time, while she has limited, but successful use of F7, her greatest challenge as a monarch is obviously E4. The presence of L can also be seen as something unvalued when compared to R, but which is very much present in how she uses her S and how she defaults to conventional duty when her values are not conflict, suggesting the background effect of L8. This makes SLI by far the most likely typing for Her Majesty.

Sources: While I focused on real-life sources for analysing the Queen, including her Wikipedia page and the different links provided further up, I should add that the Netflix Series, The Crown is a remarkably insightful portrayal of the young Queen, Prince Philip and several others and would strongly recommend that people see its first season.

To learn more about SLI, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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