The longest serving monarch in British history, Elizabeth was officially crowned Queen in 1953 and her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 marked 60 years on the throne. In 2016 Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday.
Princess Elizabeth was born in April 1926 and she has lived through some amazing times and is patron to over 600 charities!
Brought up with strong sense of duty, Elizabeth was home schooled, joined the Girl Guides and loved to swim.
Elizabeth made her first live radio broadcast at 14 with sister Margaret in 1940 as an attempt to boost public morale through the Children’s Hour. Elizabeth also joined the auxiliary territorial service as part of the war effort and as support her father, now King George VI.
Elizabeth and Margaret celebrated VE day with the public in 1945 as anonymous passers by. Described as one of the most memorable nights of her life in an interview with the BBC in 1985 she said:
“I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief”.
Never expecting to end up first inline to the throne, her fathers bad health post war meant that she took on more and more responsibility over the next few years and in 1947 married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who she had met during the war. There was some disapproval but he changed his religion, gave up existing titles abroad and they were married. The wedding dress was paid for with ration tokens!
The coronation in 1953 was the first to ever be televised and since then the Royal Family have had to deal with the media as no other has before. The Queen has been shot at, stalked, had anti-monarchist songs sung about her and lost her house in a fire and we have all had front row seats.
Throughout the good and the bad, Queen Elizabeth II has remained a constant familiar, guiding the Commonwealth and devoting her life to serve the public just as she promised she would when she was 21 years old.