When Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926 nobody ever expected her to become queen. As the first born child to Prince Albert and Princess Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who were at the time the Duke and Duchess of York, Queen Elizabeth II was third in the line of succession. Queen Elizabeth II’s Uncle Edward, who was the Prince of Wales, was Prince Albert’s older brother and was first in line to succeed the throne.
When the king died on 20 January 1936 Queen Elizabeth II’s Uncle Edward VII succeeded the throne and ruled for a short while. Later on in the year King Edward VII made a decision that would forever change Queen Elizabeth II’s life; King Edward VII abdicated. He had to make a choice between his American wife, Wallis Simpson or the Throne of England; the end result left England in the hands of Prince Albert and Princess Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon which left Queen Elizabeth II second in line to the throne. Queen Elizabeth II also has a younger sister, Princess Margaret of Snowdon.
World War II
On 3 September 1939 Britain entered World War II which didn’t end until 1945. During the war many of London’s children were evacuated to avoid frequent aerial bombing. The suggestion was made that the two princesses should also be evacuated but Queen Elizabeth quickly rejected the idea. She stated that the princesses would not go without her, she would not go without the King, and the King would never leave.
When Queen Elizabeth II was just 14 she made her first radio broadcast during the BBC’s Children’s Hour which addressed children and adults who had been evacuated from the city. In 1943 when Queen Elizabeth II was 16, she made her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards regiment to which she was appointed Colonel the year before. In 1945 at the age of 18 Queen Elizabeth II joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary Second Subaltern. Queen Elizabeth II was trained as a driver and mechanic and was promoted to honorary Junior Commander five months later.
Marriage and Coronation
In 1934 and 1937 Queen Elizabeth II met her future husband Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark who was her second cousin once removed. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Queen Elizabeth II-though only 13 years old-said she fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters.
Their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947. Before the marriage Prince Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles and converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism. Just before the wedding, Prince Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style His Royal Highness.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married at Westminster Abby on 20 November 1947. Together the Royal couple have 4 children; Charles the Prince of Wales, Anne the Princess Royal, Andrew the Prince of York and Edward the Earl of Wessex.
On June 2nd, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II was crowned the monarch of the United Kingdom. Hundreds of millions listened on the radio for the first time and watched the coronation on live television. On 6 February 2012, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, having spent 60 years on the throne. This makes The Queen the second longest reigning British monarch, after her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria