Elizabeth Alexandra MRY, also known as Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022). She was the Queen of England (United Kingdom) and other Commonwealth realms.
Her reign began on the 6th of February, 1952, till 2022, when she passed away. She was the longest-serving monarch in British history, reigned for 70 years and 214 days.
She was the longest-ever serving female monarch that has been recorded in history. Queen Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York.
Her father (later King George VI) ascended to the throne in 1936 when his brother (Edward VIII) relinquished the throne.
This made the then ten years old Princess Elizabeth the heir to the throne. Queen Elizabeth II had a private education and started undertaking public duties during the second world war. She served in the auxiliary territorial service during the second world war.
When her father died in February 1952, 25 years old Elizabeth became the Queen of seven independent commonwealth nations: The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, and Sri Lanka which was previously called (Ceylon), as well as head of the Commonwealth.
The early life of Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth was the first child of prince Albert, Duke of York later became (King George), and the wife of Elizabeth Duchess of York, who later became The Queen Mother.
She was born in her maternal Grandfather’s home in London, and she was baptized in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, she was then named after her mother.
Queen Elizabeth II’s only sibling was princess Margaret, born in 1930. The two had their education at home under their mother’s supervision and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Their education was focused on music, language, history, and literature. A biography of the two princesses was published by Crawford in 1950, it was titled “The Little Princesses”.
The book was published, much to the dismay of the Royal Family. It described how much Queen Elizabeth loved horses and dogs.
It also described her behaviour toward responsibilities and her orderliness. She was described by Winston Churchill when she was just two years old as “a character”. She had an aura of authority as an infant.
Marital Life Queen Elizabeth
In 1939, Queen Elizabeth II met prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. They also met again in 1937.
They happen to be second cousins removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria.
After the third meeting in July of 1939, a 13-year-old Elizabeth fell in love with Phillip, who was 18 and exchanged letters.
On the 9th of July, 1947, the engagement of Queen Elizabeth was announced at the age of 21.
The engagement was controversial because Phillip had no financial prowess, he was foreign-born, and he had sisters that married German noblemen with Nazi links.
Some of the king’s advisors did not deem him fit to be good enough because he was a Prince without a background or kingdom.
Before they got married, Phillip renounced his Greek and Danish Titles. He officially changed from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and took on the style of Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten.
He took the surname of his mother’s British Family. Elizabeth and Phillip married on the 20th of November, 1947, at Westminster Abbey.
The total gifts they received were over 2500 from around the world. Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to her first child, Charles, in November 1948. Princes Anne, the second child, was born in August 1950.
When George VI’s health declined in 1951, Elizabeth stood in for him at events. Her private secretary, Martin Charteris, took a draft accession in case the king passed away.
On the 6th of February 1952, when they had just returned to their Kenyan home, this was after their tour to Australia and New Zealand.
They returned to Sagana lodge, and after spending a night at Tree Tops Hotel, word arrived of the death of Elizabeth’s father.
Philip broke the news to her, and she chose to stick with her regnal name, “Elizabeth”. Therefore, she was called Elizabeth II. This offended many Scottish people, as she was the first Elizabeth to rule over them.
Queen Elizabeth’s part in Decolonization
Elizabeth II played a vital role during the era of decolonization. The 1960s and 70s saw the acceleration of the decolonization of countries from Africa and the Caribbean.
More than 20 countries gained independence from Britain during this era. The decolonization was welcomed with open arms by countries that sought it as she believed it was time for them to be on their own and govern their selves.
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