The reign of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was the longest of any monarch in the history of the United Kingdom. In June of 2022, she held a celebration called the Platinum Jubilee to mark the occasion of having been on the throne for 70 years.
Who Was Queen Elizabeth II?
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953, following her coronation as queen on February 6, 1952. She was the mother of Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, as well as the grandmother of Princes William and Harry. She was also the mother of Princess Diana, who was the mother of Princess Anne. She strove to make her reign more contemporary and attentive to the changing needs of the public while yet upholding the traditions that are connected with the throne. She holds the record for the longest reigning queen in British history.
Elizabeth passed away on September 8th, 2022, when she was 96 years old.
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926, in London to her parents, Prince Albert, Duke of York (known as King George VI), and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of the United Kingdom.
The majority of people did not expect that Elizabeth would one day reign over Great Britain when she was born, therefore they were caught off guard. Elizabeth, who was given the nickname Lilibet throughout her childhood, was able to enjoy the first ten years of her life with all of the perks of being a princess without having to worry about the pressures of being the heir apparent.
Both Elizabeth’s father and mother lived in two different residences during Elizabeth’s childhood: one was in London, and the other was Royal Lodge, the family’s property in Windsor Great Park. Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret received their education from private tutors in the comfort of their own homes. Academic subjects such as French, mathematics, and history were taught alongside extracurricular activities such as singing, dance, and painting.
As a result of their relocation to Windsor Castle in 1939, when World War II broke out, Elizabeth and her sister were forced to avoid the city of London as much as possible. It was from this location in 1940 that she gave the first of her many renowned radio broadcasts. The purpose of this specific address was to reassure the children of Britain who had been separated from their families and homes as a result of the war. The princess, who was just 14 years old at the time, had a composed and authoritative demeanor as she assured them that “in the end, everything will be well; because God will care for us and give us victory and peace.”
Soon after, Elizabeth began taking on additional responsibilities in the public eye. Elizabeth made her first public appearance in 1942 when she inspected the troops as the colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards, a position that had been appointed to her by her father. In addition to this, she started accompanying her parents on formal travels around Britain.
Elizabeth enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945 so that she might contribute to the war effort. She received her education with other ladies from the United Kingdom in order to become a skilled driver and technician. Elizabeth gained insight into a new world outside of the realm of royalty during her brief stint as a volunteer, which lasted only a few months. She had another memorable encounter outside of the realm of the monarchy when she and Margaret were given the opportunity to blend in among the general populace without being identified on Victory in Europe Day.
Ascension to the Crown
In 1936, Elizabeth’s grandpa, George V, passed away, and his eldest son, who was Elizabeth’s uncle and later became King Edward VIII, succeeded him as monarch. Edward, on the other hand, was over heels in love with Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, and he was forced to make a choice between the crown and his heart. In the end, Edward made his decision to marry Simpson, and he gave up his right to the throne.
The occurrence altered the path that her life would take and ultimately resulted in her being the heir apparent to the British throne. In 1937, her father has anointed King George VI, and in order to highlight continuity with his own father, he took the name George for himself. With the death of King George in 1952, her mother Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth, and after that, her mother became Queen Mother, and her daughter Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II.
On June 2, 1953, at the age of 25, Elizabeth crowned Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony took place.
When Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, passed away on February 6, 1952, she became the reigning queen and accepted the obligations that came with the position. People from all around the world were able to see the pomp and ceremony of the coronation since it was aired on television for the very first time in history.
Husband Prince Philip
On November 20, 1947, Elizabeth wed her distant cousin Philip Mountbatten at London’s Westminster Abbey. Philip Mountbatten took the Mountbatten surname from his mother’s side of the family.
When Elizabeth was just 13 years old, she had her first acquaintance with Philip, who was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece. From the beginning, she couldn’t get enough of him. During the years, the two remained friends and eventually developed romantic feelings for one another.
They made an interesting pair. In contrast to the loud and outgoing personality of Philip, Elizabeth was restrained and reserved in her speech. While Mountbatten had connections to the royal dynasties of Denmark and Greece, her father, King George VI, was apprehensive about the marriage. This was due to the fact that Mountbatten did not have a significant amount of riches and was seen by some as having a harsh disposition.
Around the time of their wedding, Great Britain was still in the process of recuperating from the devastation caused by World War II. Elizabeth gathered clothes coupons in order to get fabric for her bridal gown.
The decision to give the family the name Windsor, which was supported by both her mother and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, resulted in conflict between her and her husband. In 1960, she made a U-turn and issued orders that her descendants who did not carry royal titles (or needed last names for legal purposes such as weddings) would use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. She made this decision because she felt that the name Mountbatten-Windsor was more appropriate than Windsor. Throughout the years, Philip has been responsible for a great deal of trouble in the realm of public relations as a result of his off-the-cuff, inflammatory statements and speculations around suspected extramarital affairs.
On April 9, 2021, Philip passed away at the age of 99.
The year after Elizabeth and Philip were married, in 1948, their son Charles was born, and the following year, in 1950, their daughter Anne was born. Elizabeth and Philip did not spare any time in creating an heir. In the years 1960 and 1964, respectively, Elizabeth gave birth to her two further boys, Andrew and Edward.
1969 was the year that the Queen formally anointed Charles as her heir apparent by bestowing upon him the title of Prince of Wales. The event was broadcasted on television, and hundreds of millions of people across the world watched it.
In 1981, when Charles was 32 years old, he married Diana Spencer, who was then 19 years old and was better known as Princess Diana. Years later, accusations began to circulate that his family had forced him into the marriage. Massive crowds gathered in the streets of London to see the wedding, and millions more watched the event unfold on television. During that time period, the public’s support for the monarchy was at an all-time high.
Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren
In 1982 and 1984, respectively, Charles and Diana gave birth to Elizabeth’s grandchildren Prince William, who became the Duke of Cambridge upon his own marriage in 2011, and Prince Harry. William is currently the second in line to the throne after his mother. Elizabeth has established herself as a loving grandma to her grandchildren, William and Harry. Throughout the planning process for his and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, Prince William has stated that she provided him with important assistance and counsel.
On July 22, 2013, Elizabeth’s grandson William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their first child, George Alexander Louis. Officially known as “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge,” he is a potential heir to the throne.
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born to William and Kate Middleton on May 2, 2015. She is the couple’s second child and the sixth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Louis Arthur Charles was born to the couple on April 23, 2018, making him their third child overall.
With the arrival of their first child, a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, 2019, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, his wife, added to the number of great-grandchildren the queen possesses.
Peter Phillips, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, Zara Tindall, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn are the queen’s additional grandchildren in addition to Prince William and Prince Harry. The queen also has a great-grandson named James, Viscount Severn. In addition, she was a great-grandmother to ten people.
Both of Elizabeth II’s parents held the titles of Duke and Duchess of York during their lifetimes. Prince Albert, Duke of York, was the second son of Queen Mary and King George V. He was her father. Her mother was a noblewoman by the name of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Elizabeth had close relationships with the majority of the kings ruling throughout Europe. The British monarch’s Queen Victoria (who reigned from 1837 to 1901) and King George III are among her forebears (ruled from 1760 to 1820).
Elizabeth’s lengthy and mostly peaceful reign was marked by huge changes in the lives of her people, in the power of her country, in how Britain is perceived overseas, and in how the monarchy is regarded and depicted in the media. These developments occurred throughout the time that Elizabeth was queen. Elizabeth is a constitutional monarch, hence she does not have the authority to weigh in on political issues, nor does she disclose her political opinions. Despite this, she holds frequent meetings with each of her prime ministers.
After the war, Britain was still in control of a sizeable empire as well as several dominions and dependents when Elizabeth became queen. On the other hand, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, a large number of these colonies and holdings attained their independence, and the British Empire transformed into the Commonwealth of Nations. As a result of her position as head of the Commonwealth and a representative of Britain, Elizabeth II traveled to a number of other nations, including a historic journey to Germany in 1965. Elizabeth was the first queen of the United Kingdom to visit that country in its current form in more than half a century.
Elizabeth’s love of travel did not abate during the 1970s and 1980s; she went almost everywhere. In 1973, she went to Ottawa, Canada, to take part in the Commonwealth Conference. Four years later, in 1976, she went to the United States to take part in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of America’s independence from Britain. When a little over a week had passed, she found herself in Montreal, Canada, to kick off the Summer Olympics. Her trip to the Middle East in 1979, during which she visited Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, brought her acclaim and admiration from people all over the world.
During the Falklands War in 1982, Elizabeth was concerned about her second son, Prince Andrew, who was serving as a helicopter pilot for the British Royal Navy. Because of the dispute over the Falkland Islands, Argentina, and the United Kingdom went to war with each other, and the conflict lasted for many weeks. Even though more than 250 British soldiers were killed in the fight, Prince Andrew made it back home to his mother in good health. This was a great comfort for his mother.
When Elizabeth visited the Republic of Ireland in 2011, she proved that the monarchy still has symbolic and diplomatic authority by becoming the first British monarch to do so since the country’s independence in 1911. (when all of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom).
Elizabeth, throughout her reign as queen, brought about a modernization of the monarchy by doing away with some of its antiquated customs and by opening up formerly restricted areas to the general public. The Civil List was a method of public support for the monarchy that dated back around 250 years before it was discontinued in 2012 in Britain. This decision was made as Britain and other nations suffered financially. Even though they continue to get some help from the government, the royal family’s expenditure has been reduced by the queen.
As she neared her 90th birthday, Queen Elizabeth continued to fulfill her royal tasks without wavering, despite the fact that she was occasionally asked to make way for Prince Charles. She continued to participate in more than 400 events each year and remained committed to giving her support to a large number of philanthropic organizations and activities.
On the other hand, in late 2017, the monarchy took what was considered to be a significant step toward transitioning to the next generation. On November 12, Charles handled the traditional Remembrance Sunday duty of placing a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial, while the queen watched from a nearby balcony.
Elizabeth made a rare intervention into political matters in August 2019, when she agreed to a request by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue (suspend) Parliament until October 14, which was less than three weeks before Britain was scheduled to leave the European Union. Elizabeth’s intervention was a result of Johnson’s request to prorogue Parliament.
Relationship With Prime Ministers
During Elizabeth’s reign, a total of 15 prime ministers were appointed to their positions, and the queen and each prime minister held a weekly meeting in which they discussed private matters. (Elizabeth has also seen almost one-quarter of all of the Presidents of the United States of America throughout history; she hosted Joe Biden on a state visit in June of 2021.)
She had a connection with the legendary Winston Churchill that was similar to that of a father figure, and she was subsequently able to relax a little bit and be more casual with the leaders of the Labour Party, Harold Wilson, and James Callaghan. On the other hand, she and Margaret Thatcher had a very formal and cold relationship, with the prime minister having a tendency to be a grating lecturer to the queen on a range of matters. In contrast to this, the queen’s relationship with Margaret Thatcher was quite formal and distant.
Although Tony Blair believed that some ideas concerning the monarchy were becoming increasingly archaic, he did respect Queen Elizabeth for making a public statement following the passing of Princess Diana.
Later on, the head of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, who is Elizabeth’s distant fifth cousin once removed, developed a cordial relationship with the monarch. In 2014, he issued an apology for having revealed in a chat the fact that she had opposed the vote in Scotland to seek independence from Great Britain.
It was said that Theresa May was not forthcoming with information on the plans for Britain to depart the European Union (Brexit), and there was a rumor going around that Queen Elizabeth was upset about the fact that she was not informed of prospective exit tactics.
Threats to Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family
Queen Elizabeth put in a lot of hard effort to preserve the monarchy’s reputation and make plans for its continued existence. Throughout her lifetime, however, she witnessed several threats made against the monarchy. The once-venerated institution withstood a lot of storms, including those in which the royal family was threatened with death.
Elizabeth had a tremendous loss on a personal level in 1979 when Lord Mountbatten, her husband’s uncle, passed away as the result of a terrorist bombing. On August 27th, off the coast of Ireland, Mountbatten and many members of his family were onboard Mountbatten’s yacht when the vessel exploded. He was one of four people that passed away, including three others, including one of his grandkids. The Irish Republican Army (IRA), an organization that fought against the administration of the British in Northern Ireland, claimed responsibility for the attack.
In June of 1981, Elizabeth found herself in a potentially hazardous situation. As she was riding in the Trooping the Colour, a special military procession to honor her formal birthday, a guy in the crowd brandished a pistol at her. He was threatening to shoot her. He discharged the weapon, but thankfully it was only filled with blanks when he did so. The queen was not wounded in any way, other than having her nerves seriously tested.
The next year, Elizabeth narrowly escaped an even more terrifying encounter when an intruder broke into Buckingham Palace and accosted her while she was in her sleep. The press began to make innuendos and assumptions about the status of the royal marriage after learning that Prince Philip had been absent during the occurrence in question and had not provided an explanation.
The marriage of Elizabeth’s son Charles to Diana made headlines for years before the couple announced their separation in 1992, followed by their legal divorce in 1996. This occurred after the marriage of Charles, Elizabeth’s son, to Diana. Following the passing of Princess Diana in a vehicle accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, Elizabeth was subjected to considerable scrutiny from the media. The title of “People’s Princess” had been given to her immensely well-liked ex-daughter-in-law previously.
At the time, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and the couple’s two sons, Prince William, and Royal Harry, were visiting the queen at her estate at Balmoral, which is located in Scotland. Elizabeth was harshly attacked for her lack of response when she maintained her silence for several days while the rest of the country mourned the loss of Princess Diana.
There were rumors going around that the queen did not want to honor Diana with a royal funeral, and these rumors only served to feed the public’s animosity toward the monarch. When nearly a week had passed after the passing of Princess Diana, Elizabeth made her way back to London and gave a statement regarding the departed royal.
Elizabeth was originally against the romantic engagement between her son Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Similarly, Charles’s mother was against the romance. Charles and Camilla had a relationship that lasted for years before he met his family, but it stopped when his family put too much pressure on him, and it didn’t start up again until after Charles married Diana.
While she had a reputation for being a purist when it came to ritual and custom, she gradually showed through the years that she was becoming more open-minded. Elizabeth and Prince Philip skipped the civil ceremony for Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005, but they did go to the religious blessing and host a banquet in their honor at Windsor Castle. The wedding was between Charles and Camilla.
In 1992, another one of Elizabeth’s children, Prince Andrew, found himself in the headlines of the tabloids after photographs were published that showed his wife, Sarah Ferguson, engaging in amorous behavior with another man. The pair split up not long after that.
In November of 2017, many news outlets revealed that the queen has around $13 million stashed away in offshore accounts. The alleged “Paradise Papers” had been leaked to a German publication, which then shared the information with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). This led to the news that was recently reported.
The Duchy of Lancaster, which is responsible for managing the queen’s assets, has acknowledged that some of those investments are held in offshore accounts, but it has argued that all of those transactions are legal.
Later in 2017, the woman who had been the proprietor of the lingerie firm Rigby & Peller for more than half a century, during which time she had provided services to Queen Elizabeth, published a tell-all autobiography in which she detailed some of her experiences working with the royal family. In spite of the author’s insistence that “the book doesn’t include anything bad,” the royal warrant for Rigby & Peller was revoked by the queen early in 2018.
In 2019, after years of the scandal surrounding his questionable business pursuits and friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew was forced to step down from public duties as a result of a media firestorm. This followed years of the scandal surrounding his questionable business pursuits.
Only a few weeks later, in January 2020, the family was once again thrust into the public front as a result of the stunning choice made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to walk aside from their position as senior royals. This decision brought the family back into the limelight.
With the turn of the 21st century, Elizabeth was besieged by two devastating setbacks. 2002 was the year that Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee, often known as her 50th year on the throne. It was also the year that she said her final goodbyes to both her sister Margaret and her mother.
Margaret, who was recognized for having a more daring spirit than previous royals and who was forbidden from marrying an early love, passed away in February after suffering a stroke. She was known for being more adventurous than other royals. A little time later, on March 30th, at the age of 101, Elizabeth’s mother, often known as the Queen Mother, passed away at Royal Lodge. She had only been there for a few weeks.
In 2012, Elizabeth marked her Diamond Jubilee, which marked her 60th year as a queen with a celebration. On June 4th, as part of the celebrations for the diamond jubilee, the BBC hosted a special performance with a number of well-known musicians, including Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, and Kylie Minogue. During this momentous occasion, Elizabeth was supported by her husband Philip, son Charles, and grandsons Harry and William, among other members of her extended family.
She overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria on September 9, 2015, to become Britain’s longest-ruling queen. Queen Victoria was Britain’s longest-ruling monarch, having reigned for 63 years.
On February 6, 2017, the Queen marked her Sapphire Jubilee, the milestone of 65 years on the throne. She is the first British monarch to ever achieve this milestone. This day also commemorates the passing of her father on the anniversary of his death. The Queen made the decision to spend the day in Sandringham, her rural home located north of London, where she went to church and opted to spend the day in peace.
In order to commemorate the event, gun salutes were fired by the Royal Artillery in Green Park and at the Tower of London. In addition, the Royal Mint produced eight brand-new commemorative coins to mark the occasion of the Sapphire Jubilee of the Queen.
The year 2022 marked Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee, and the nation celebrated throughout that year. Elizabeth was the first British monarch to attain that landmark, which signifies 70 years on the throne, and she did so when she became the Queen.
On September 8, 2022, Elizabeth passed away in a calm and tranquil manner at her estate in Balmoral. She had reached the age of 96.
The monarch spent a significant portion of her life surrounded by canine companions. The first corgi she ever had was while she was a teenager, and she went on to possess more than 30 descendants of that dog until the death of the last one, Willow, in 2018. She was notably well-known for her passion for corgis.
In addition to being a horse lover, Elizabeth was also an equestrian who bred thoroughbreds and spent many years following horse racing.
Elizabeth was not one to seek the limelight and preferred low-key activities. She was known to like reading mysteries, working on crossword puzzles, and even watching professional wrestling on television.