Queen Elizabeth II is the queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms. She married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Andrew, Duke of York; and Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Elizabeth has been Queen since 1952, making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth).
Her parents were greatly surprised when she was born, as they had expected a boy who would one day inherit the throne. Instead, Elizabeth became heir presumptive to the throne when her father ascended to it in 1936 following the abdication crisis.
The early years: from birth to becoming Queen
Queen Elizabeth II’s early years were spent with relative normalcy for a member of the British Royal Family. She was born on April 21, 1926, to Prince Albert, Duke of York, and his wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Her grandfather was King George V, and her uncle was Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father became King George VI, and she became heir presumptive.
Elizabeth spent her childhood living at various royal residences throughout the United Kingdom. In 1930, she accompanied her parents on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on those continents.
In 1932, she began school at Windsor Castle with Governess Marion Crawford. The following year, she moved to Reigate in Surrey to attend more conventional classes with other children her age.
The Queen during WWII: an inspiration to the nation
When Britain went to war in 1939, then-13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were moved from London to Windsor Castle for safety. As the country’s symbol of hope during the darkest days of the war, the young princess became known as “the Queen of the Home Front.”
Elizabeth made regular radio broadcasts during the war, calling on citizens to help with the war effort however they could. In one famous broadcast, she said: “I say to you all, ‘never give in — never, never, never.’ We will fight on until victory is won.”
The royal family also did their part to boost morale by staying in London during the Blitz instead of being evacuated like many others. Bombs hit Buckingham Palace on several occasions, but Elizabeth refused to leave. After the war ended, Elizabeth continued serving the country as queen.
A life of service: the Queen’s dedication to her country and commonwealth
Queen Elizabeth II has dedicated her life to public service, and we are truly grateful. Born in 1926, the Queen has lived through some of the most turbulent times in British history. She was only six when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.
Her father, Bertie, became King George VI, and she became heir presumptive. World War II broke out a few short years later, and the royal family was forced to evacuate from London to Windsor Castle for their safety. The Queen would have been just 14 years old at the time.
Despite these difficult beginnings, the Queen has dedicated her life to public service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, and they had four children together: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Queen Elizabeth II: Promise made, promise kept
Queen Elizabeth II is a woman of her word. When she became queen in 1952, she promised to serve the people of Britain and the Commonwealth for her entire life. And that’s exactly what she’s done.
For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant presence in the lives of British citizens. She’s been a source of strength and stability during hardship and change. She’s seen Britain through its darkest days and celebrated its greatest triumphs.
The queen has always been committed to her duties, even as she’s faced personal challenges in her own life. She’s weathered public and private storms but never wavered in her dedication to the British people. Queen Elizabeth II is a true servant leader.
Thank you, Your Majesty: tributes from around the world
As the world bids farewell to one of the most influential and longest-reigning monarchs in history, tributes from around the globe have been pouring in for Queen Elizabeth II.
From her early days as a young princess learning the ropes of royal life to her years as a wartime leader during World War II, and finally, to her more recent years as a grandmother and great-grandmother, Elizabeth has touched the lives of people all over the world in a very special way.
For many, she has been a symbol of strength, stability and continuity during some of the most turbulent times in recent history. As one British politician said, she has been “a rock of strength for our nation.” Others have praised her for her tireless work ethic and dedication to duty.
A legacy that will live on forever
As we say goodbye to an extraordinary woman, we can only reflect on the immense impact she has had not only on our country but on the world. Queen Elizabeth II will go down in history as one of the most beloved and respected monarchs ever.
She has been a symbol of strength and stability during some of the most turbulent times in our collective history, and her legacy will live on forever. Thank you, Your Majesty, for everything.