[188] Her Platinum Jubilee is planned for 2022. [49], Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. 24, 69, Brandreth, pp. [70][d] Elizabeth's coronation gown was embroidered on her instructions with the floral emblems of Commonwealth countries:[74] English Tudor rose; Scots thistle; Welsh leek; Irish shamrock; Australian wattle; Canadian maple leaf; New Zealand silver fern; South African protea; lotus flowers for India and Ceylon; and Pakistan's wheat, cotton, and jute. [38], Princess Elizabeth went in 1947 on her first overseas tour, accompanying her parents through southern Africa. 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[88] In 1965 the Conservatives adopted a formal mechanism for electing a leader, thus relieving her of involvement. In 1947 she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Elizabeth II is the current Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. 114–117, Hardman, p. 310; Lacey, p. 387; Roberts, p. 101; Shawcross, p. 218, accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, the surname of his mother's British family, Commonwealth realm § From the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II's Address to the United Nations General Assembly, her associated national and Commonwealth tours, wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, List of titles and honours of Elizabeth II, Princess Beatrice, Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, List of special addresses made by Elizabeth II, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, television licences in the United Kingdom, "The World War II Auto Mechanic in This Photo Is Queen Elizabeth II. 226–238; Pimlott, pp. Her godparents were: King George V and Queen Mary; Lord Strathmore; Television coverage of the coronation was instrumental in boosting the medium's popularity; the number of, Bradford, p. 22; Brandreth, p. 103; Marr, p. 76; Pimlott, pp. [201][202] Scenes of a relaxed, informal home life have occasionally been witnessed; she and her family, from time to time, prepare a meal together and do the washing up afterwards. [215] Referendums in Tuvalu in 2008 and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2009 both rejected proposals to become republics. Early in 1947 Princess Elizabeth went with the king and queen to South Africa. 559–561, Bradford, p. 226; Hardman, p. 96; Lacey, p. 328; Pimlott, p. 561, Brandreth, p. 356; Pimlott, pp. [122] Belying reports of acrimony between them, Thatcher later conveyed her personal admiration for the Queen,[123] and the Queen gave two honours in her personal gift—membership in the Order of Merit and the Order of the Garter—to Thatcher after her replacement as prime minister by John Major. [96], Elizabeth's pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward, in 1959 and 1963, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. [143], In August 1997, a year after the divorce, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. [160] The Queen's 11-day visit to Australia in October 2011 was her 16th visit to the country since 1954. In his new book, The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor, Irving writes how Queen Elizabeth might be the last serving female sovereign in England. [210] Her popularity sank to a low point in the 1990s. 124–125; Pimlott, p. 86, Bond, p. 10; Brandreth, pp. The marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. [112], Months later, in October, the Queen was the subject of another attack while on a visit to Dunedin, New Zealand. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The first three months of her reign, the period of full mourning for her father, were passed in comparative seclusion. During World War II she and her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, perforce spent much of their time safely away from the London blitz and separated from their parents, living mostly at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, and Windsor Castle. In 1957, after state visits to various European nations, she and the duke visited Canada and the United States. Her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Beginning in the latter part of the first decade of the 21st century, the public standing of the royal family rebounded, and even Charles’s 2005 marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles found much support among the British people. [111] The Queen's composure and skill in controlling her mount were widely praised. Elizabeth II, in full Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, officially Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, (born April 21, 1926, London, England), queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from February 6, 1952. Elizabeth, now queen, at once flew back to England. [100], In February 1974, the British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, advised the Queen to call a general election in the middle of her tour of the Austronesian Pacific Rim, requiring her to fly back to Britain. [164][165] On 4 June, Jubilee beacons were lit around the world. As a constitutional monarch, the Queen is head of state, but her executive powers are limited by constitutional rules. 420 ff. [87] Six years later, in 1963, Macmillan resigned and advised the Queen to appoint the Earl of Home as prime minister, advice she followed. Although The Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or [36] Welsh politicians suggested she be made Princess of Wales on her 18th birthday. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example. [31] She trained as a driver and mechanic and was given the rank of honorary junior commander (female equivalent of captain at the time) five months later. Visit . Elizabeth was born into royalty as the daughter of the second son of King George V. After her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 (subsequently becoming duke of Windsor), her father became King George VI, and she became heir presumptive. The following month she surpassed George III to become the second longest-reigning monarch in British history, behind Victoria. [157] On 20 March 2008, at the Church of Ireland St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, the Queen attended the first Maundy service held outside England and Wales. [75], From Elizabeth's birth onwards, the British Empire continued its transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations. The Associated Press reported on the story in 1987, after the hospital — Royal Earlswood Hospital in Redhill, England, south of London — confirmed that Katherine Bowes-Lyon, a then-60-year-old cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and a niece of Queen Mother Elizabeth, had been a patient there since 1941.. 109–110, Bond, p. 96; Marr, p. 257; Pimlott, p. 427; Shawcross, p. 110, Hardman, p. 137; Roberts, pp. In late 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth was a Protestant royal who faced perpetual threats to her life and reign. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. [19] A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed specifically so she could socialise with girls her own age. Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne at just 25 years old in 1952 is certainly a fascinating story.Now one of the more compelling parts is back in … [204] After the trauma of the Second World War, it was a time of hope, a period of progress and achievement heralding a "new Elizabethan age". [195] Aside from her official religious role as Supreme Governor of the established Church of England, she is a member of that church and also of the national Church of Scotland. [11] The book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, and her attitude of responsibility. [12] Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character. Queen Victoria. The British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. She is head of the British Royal Family, has 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, and is 94 years, 8 months, and 23 days old.. She is the 32nd great-granddaughter of King Alfred the Great who was the first effective King of England 871-899. Buckingham Palace officials said in a … [15] When her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second in line to the throne, after her father. She never married and consciously styled herself as the Virgin Queen, wedded to the nation. In addition, as the country struggled with a recession, resentment over the royals’ lifestyle mounted, and in 1992 Elizabeth, although personally exempt, agreed to pay taxes on her private income. During the tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, she made the following pledge: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. [108], According to Paul Martin Sr., by the end of the 1970s the Queen was worried the Crown "had little meaning for" Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister. Queen Elizabeth I – Tudor Queen. The two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford. 240–241; Lacey, p. 166; Pimlott, pp. Lifestyle. 522–526, Lacey, p. 319; Marr, p. 315; Pimlott, pp. It was reported, most notably in The Sunday Times of 20 July 1986, that the Queen was worried that Margaret Thatcher's economic policies fostered social divisions and was alarmed by high unemployment, a series of riots, the violence of a miners' strike, and Thatcher's refusal to apply sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. [79] During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen her. [166] In November, the Queen and her husband celebrated their blue sapphire wedding anniversary (65th). Height: 5' The royal family's matriarch got the line started with her petite stature, and … 159–161; Pimlott, pp. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. The great irony is that Elizabeth I proved to be one of England’s best monarchs. Find the latest news and updates on Queen Elizabeth, Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of 12 countries. [66] Margaret decided to abandon her plans with Townsend. Since Elizabeth rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. Heath only resigned when discussions on forming a coalition foundered, after which the Queen asked the Leader of the Opposition, Labour's Harold Wilson, to form a government. [168], The Queen, who opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, making her the first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two countries. [169] For the London Olympics, she played herself in a short film as part of the opening ceremony, alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond. They divorced in 1978; she did not remarry. After her father died in 1952, Eliz… The criticism intensified following Diana’s death in 1997, especially after Elizabeth initially refused to allow the national flag to fly at half-staff over Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II greeting children at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center during a visit to the United States, May 2007. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. [109] Patriation removed the role of the British parliament from the Canadian constitution, but the monarchy was retained. He was a prince without a home or kingdom. Under pressure from public opinion, she began to pay income tax for the first time, and Buckingham Palace was opened to the public. [234] Upon her accession, she inherited the various arms her father held as sovereign. 66–67, 84, 87–89; Bradford, pp. I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart. [225] She was number one on the list when it began in the Sunday Times Rich List 1989, with a reported wealth of £5.2 billion, which included state assets that were not hers personally,[226] (approximately £13 billion in today's value). 195–207 and Shawcross, pp. There are few public figures out there who are quite as regal and mysterious as the queen, who has reigned over England for over 66 years, and has obviously lived quite a fabulous life. [177][178][179] She became the oldest current monarch after King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died on 23 January 2015. 621–622, Bond, p. 134; Brandreth, p. 359; Lacey, pp. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [199] Her main leisure interests include equestrianism and dogs, especially her Pembroke Welsh Corgis. The queen’s other children were Princess Anne (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise), born August 15, 1950, and created princess royal in 1987; Prince Andrew (Andrew Albert Christian Edward), born February 19, 1960, and created duke of York in 1986; and Prince Edward (Edward Anthony Richard Louis), born March 10, 1964, and created earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn in 1999. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant. [67] In 1960, she married Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon the following year. Despite technically being a princess of the German Duchy of Teck, she was born and raised in England. As the child of a younger son of King George V, the young Elizabeth had little prospect of acceding to the throne until her uncle, Edward VIII (afterward duke of Windsor), abdicated in her father’s favour on December 11, 1936, at which time her father became King George VI and she became heir presumptive. "[93] Before her tour through parts of Quebec in 1964, the press reported extremists within the Quebec separatist movement were plotting Elizabeth's assassination. If her parents had had a later son, he would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession, which was determined by male-preference primogeniture at the time. In 1971, Jock Colville, her former private secretary and a director of her bank, Coutts, estimated her wealth at £2 million (equivalent to about £28 million in 2019[220]). Elizabeth II and coronation guests, June 2, 1953. "[28], In 1943, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed colonel the previous year. 104–114; Pimlott, pp. [55], Following their wedding, the couple leased Windlesham Moor, near Windsor Castle, until July 1949,[50] when they took up residence at Clarence House in London. [192] Plans for her death and funeral have been prepared by British government and media organisations since the 1960s.[193]. [114], From April to September 1982, the Queen was anxious but proud of her son, Prince Andrew, who was serving with British forces during the Falklands War. Elizabeth was persuaded to send a force into Scotland to aid the Protestant rebels, and though the campaign was inept, the resulting Trea… Also in May, Elizabeth made a historic trip to Ireland, becoming both the first British monarch to visit the Irish republic and the first to set foot in Ireland since 1911. [121] Thatcher's biographer, John Campbell, claimed "the report was a piece of journalistic mischief-making". She was also called Good Queen Bess or the Virgin Queen or Gloriana. 123, 154, 176; Pimlott, pp. Parties and events took place throughout the Commonwealth, many coinciding with her associated national and Commonwealth tours. [17], Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College,[18] and learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Their first child, Prince Charles (Charles Philip Arthur George), was born November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace. [167] On 18 December, she became the first British sovereign to attend a peacetime Cabinet meeting since George III in 1781. Elizabeth didn't have another child for an entire decade after welcoming Princess Anne (being the Queen of England is a pretty time-consuming gig). When she toured Canada and visited President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C., in October 1951, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration in case the King died while she was on tour. In his new book, The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor, Irving writes how Queen Elizabeth might be the last serving female sovereign in England. Queen Elizabeth II is one of a kind. Published 17 December 2020. But in the summer, after she had moved from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, she undertook the routine duties of the sovereign and carried out her first state opening of Parliament on November 4, 1952. Queen Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603) ruled over England and Ireland for a period of 44 years and 127 days, making her the ninth longest reigning British monarch. Updates? [144] Afterwards, for five days the Queen and the Duke shielded their grandsons from the intense press interest by keeping them at Balmoral where they could grieve in private,[145] but the royal family's seclusion and the failure to fly a flag at half-mast over Buckingham Palace caused public dismay. The Duke's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, advocated the name House of Mountbatten. Some of the papers played long and loud tunes on the string of Philip's foreign origin. [102], A year later, at the height of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, the Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, was dismissed from his post by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, after the Opposition-controlled Senate rejected Whitlam's budget proposals. Mary boasted being "the nearest kinswoman she hath". Her achievements in exploration, the arts, and international and domestic politics were so outstanding that her period of reign has ever since been called The Golden Age of England. Her financial and property holdings have made her one of the world’s richest women. [105] In 1978, the Queen endured a state visit to the United Kingdom by Romania's communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, and his wife, Elena,[106] though privately she thought they had "blood on their hands". She was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. 558–559; Roberts, p. 94; Shawcross, p. 204, Bradford, p. 229; Lacey, pp. On September 9, 2015, she surpassed Victoria’s record reign of 63 years and 216 days. [191] On 20 April 2018, the government leaders of the Commonwealth of Nations announced that she will be succeeded by Charles as head of the Commonwealth. In 2012 Elizabeth celebrated her “Diamond Jubilee,” marking 60 years on the throne. 132–139; Lacey, pp. [59] She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms and the royal party hastily returned to the United Kingdom. Elizabeth I was one of England’s most famous and powerful queens and an iconic figure in world history. Royal family portrait, August 22, 1951. Her sister and mother died in February and March respectively, and the media speculated whether the Jubilee would be a success or a failure. 175–176; Pimlott, pp. She was queen from 17 November 1558 until she died in March 1603. [93] Harold Macmillan wrote, "The Queen has been absolutely determined all through ... She is impatient of the attitude towards her to treat her as ... a film star ... She has indeed 'the heart and stomach of a man' ... She loves her duty and means to be a Queen. [40] They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. Princess Elizabeth was christened in a lace gown originally worn by Queen Elizabeth I. [97] In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices. On 6 February 1952, they had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of the King and consequently Elizabeth's immediate accession to the throne. [232], Elizabeth has held many titles and honorary military positions throughout the Commonwealth, is Sovereign of many orders in her own countries, and has received honours and awards from around the world. For example after the, Bond, p. 35; Pimlott, p. 180; Roberts, p. 82; Shawcross, p. 50, Bond, p. 35; Pimlott, p. 280; Shawcross, p. 76, Bond, pp. [229] (The Paradise Papers, leaked in 2017, show that the Duchy of Lancaster held investments in two tax haven overseas territories, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. She returned to Buckingham Palace the following day. Elizabeth I was a long-ruling queen of England, governing with relative stability and prosperity for 44 years. [78] She became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those nations. 222–226; Marr, p. 237; Pimlott, pp. [52] The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, was not invited either. [131] Republican feeling in Britain had risen because of press estimates of the Queen's private wealth—which were contradicted by the Palace—and reports of affairs and strained marriages among her extended family. [130], In a speech on 24 November 1992, to mark her Ruby Jubilee on the throne, Elizabeth called 1992 her annus horribilis (horrible year). 572–577; Roberts, p. 94; Shawcross, p. 168, Brandreth, p. 358; Hardman, p. 101; Pimlott, p. 610, Bond, p. 134; Brandreth, p. 358; Marr, p. 338; Pimlott, p. 615, Bond, p. 134; Brandreth, p. 358; Lacey, pp. 269–271; Lacey, pp. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The newspaper was forced to pay her legal fees and donated £200,000 to charity. [103] As Whitlam had a majority in the House of Representatives, Speaker Gordon Scholes appealed to the Queen to reverse Kerr's decision. In line with her earlier attempts at modernizing the monarchy, the queen subsequently sought to present a less-stuffy and less-traditional image of the monarchy. [172] A week later, she signed the new Charter of the Commonwealth. Princess Anne is in the baby carriage. As in 1927, when they had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Queen Elizabeth has already broken records as the longest-reigning monarch, not just in Great Britain, but throughout the world. The celebrations were somewhat diminished by the deaths of Elizabeth’s mother and sister early in the year. Later that year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. 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