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Olivia Billard

'To what extent has the role of the monarchy changed since Queen Victoria?'

For her EPQ, Olivia gained an insight into Queen Victoria’s reign by researching the specific changes that came before it, such as the Glorious Revolution (where King James II was overthrown) which shaped and continues to shape the monarchy. Her project consisted of 3 distinct sections: The Political and Constitutional Role of the Monarch, The Representational and Public Service Role of the Monarch, and The Financial Role of the Monarch. Her overall project is a detailed evaluation of the evolution of the British monarchy.


What did you learn from completing this project?

From completing this project and in terms of knowledge, I have gained a further understanding of modern British history which I did not possess before. Furthermore, I have also gained much more of an insight into the reign of Victoria, something I knew very little about before I started this project. In terms of writing expertise, not only have my planning and organisational skills improved, but I have improved my overall writing skills, allowing me to write in a detailed, concise and coherent manner.  I have also become better at planning and executing research, thanks to the large volume of information available for my project.

What did you enjoy?

The research of previous monarchs in particular was something I enjoyed a lot. I have a great interest in history and politics and so my project allowed me to delve further into this. At the same time, I did also enjoy learning about what has happened during the reign of the current monarch, as it explains so much of what we see today of not just the monarch but the royal family as a whole, especially in terms of royal celebrations.

What advice would you give to someone starting an EPQ?

The advice I would give to others taking the EPQ would be to choose a topic which you are genuinely interested in. An interesting topic means you will be more motivated to complete the project because it won’t feel like a chore as its something you enjoy. Moreover, pick the style of topic which fits your skill set - I chose to write a 5000 word report as I am used to writing essays due to taking 3 essay subjects at a-level. I would also advise them to complete research early so that you aren’t researching as you write, as this could have made my project significantly more difficult, especially because it is such a large scope. In addition to this, completing research early means that writing can also be started in good time and so you won’t be rushing as the deadline approaches.

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