Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s oldest monarchdied at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022. She was 96. historical 70 years reign lasted several wars, one pandemic, 15 British prime ministers and 14 American presidents! His eldest son, Prince Charles, was sworn in as King of England on September 10, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in London as Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926. She was the first child of Prince Albert and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). The young princess was only 13 when the Second World War broke out on September 1, 1939. But her youth did not prevent her from contributing to the British war effort.
October 13, 1940, one month after Germany intense the attack on the UK has begun – Elizabeth appeared on BBC’s The Children’s Hour to comfort children living away from home during the war. The future queen enlisted in the Women’s Branch of the British Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1945. She served as a driver and mechanic and was later promoted to Junior Commander, the United Kingdom equivalent of a captain in the US Army.
In 1947, Elizabeth married Lt. Philip Mountbatten, former Prince of Greece and Denmark, at Westminster Abbey in London. The couple had four children: Charles in 1948, Anne in 1950, Andrew in 1960 and Edward in 1964.
During her 70-year reign, the British monarch has visited 117 countries and welcomed more than 100 international heads of state to the UK. His historical visit to Germany in 1965 was the first by a Briton sovereign in 52 years. This symbolized the reconciliation of both nations after World War II.
The queen too witnessed the dissolution of the British Empire in decades after the Second World War. When Elizabeth came to the throne, Britain commanded over 70 overseas territories. At the time of her death, the monarch was recognized as head of state by only 15 Commonwealth countries. The voluntary political association understand former British colonies including Australia and Canada.
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II broke Queen Victoria’s engagement save as longest-serving British monarch (63 years old). Two years later, she became the first British sovereign to celebrate a sapphire jubilee – 65 years on the throne. In February 2022, the Queen made history by celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. The Milestone made her the second longest reigning monarch in the history of the world. The French King Louis XIV, who reigned for more than 72 years, remains at the forefront.
The record reign is ironic given that Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen when she was born. But soon after the death of his grandfather, King George V, his eldest son, Edward VIII, relinquished the throne. As he had no children at the time, Elizabeth’s father, Albert, inherited the crown, positioning her in the front line to become a monarch.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022. She will be buried in St George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, alongside her husband Prince Philip, her parents and of his sister Princess Margaret. The beloved monarch is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Resources: Royal.UK, Washingtonpost.com, historypress.co.uk, pbs.org, nbcnews.com