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. As monarch of Fiji, Elizabeth supported the attempts of Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau to assert executive power and negotiate a settlement. , Elizabeth has been portrayed in a variety of media by many notable artists, including painters Pietro Annigoni, Peter Blake, Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, Terence Cuneo, Lucian Freud, Rolf Harris, Damien Hirst, Juliet Pannett, and Tai-Shan Schierenberg.  The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary, favoured the retention of the House of Windsor, and so on 9 April 1952 Elizabeth issued a declaration that Windsor would continue to be the name of the royal house. In each of her realms she has a distinct title that follows a similar formula: Queen of Jamaica and her other realms and territories in Jamaica, Queen of Australia and her other realms and territories in Australia, etc. After her return there was an announcement of her betrothal to her distant cousin Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten of the Royal Navy, formerly Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. The surname Windsor proudly retained by Queen Elizabeth II was first assumed by the British royals during World War I.  In the broadcast, she expressed admiration for Diana and her feelings "as a grandmother" for the two princes. 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.. The article briefly mentions Elizabeth and describes that the reason she was excommunicated was to start a rebellion to overthrow the queen and allow a Catholic to become England's monarch. 119, 126, 135, Letters Patent, 22 October 1948; Hoey, pp. , In the years to follow, public revelations on the state of Charles and Diana's marriage continued. " Senior politicians were against the match and the Church of England did not permit remarriage after divorce. This was rejected by their mother, who declared, "The children won't go without me. 108–110; Lacey, pp.  On 4 June, Jubilee beacons were lit around the world. 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.  In 1993, Buckingham Palace called estimates of £100 million "grossly overstated". Buckingham Palace officials said in a … On October 7 she and her husband set out on a highly successful tour of Canada and Washington, D.C. After Christmas in England she and the duke set out in January 1952 for a tour of Australia and New Zealand, but en route, at Sagana, Kenya, news reached them of the king’s death on February 6, 1952.  In March, her second son, Prince Andrew, and his wife, Sarah, separated; in April, her daughter, Princess Anne, divorced Captain Mark Phillips; during a state visit to Germany in October, angry demonstrators in Dresden threw eggs at her; and, in November, a large fire broke out at Windsor Castle, one of her official residences.  The crisis fuelled Australian republicanism. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Gloucestershire Royal Hospital's COVID-19 Vaccination Hub. She declined, saying she would not interfere in decisions reserved by the Constitution of Australia for the Governor-General. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Elizabeth I (Born Princess Elizabeth; September 7, 1533–March 24, 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs. , She is patron of over 600 organisations and charities. In 1992, a year that Elizabeth referred to as the royal family’s annus horribilis, Prince Charles and his wife, Diana, princess of Wales, separated, as did Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, duchess of York.  The election resulted in a hung parliament; Heath's Conservatives were not the largest party, but could stay in office if they formed a coalition with the Liberals. Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926)[a] is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.[b]. ", Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. Elizabeth's first policy toward Scotland was to oppose the French presence there. , 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. , 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. 558–559; Roberts, p. 94; Shawcross, p. 204, Bradford, p. 229; Lacey, pp. 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. Proposals, such as appointing her Constable of Caernarfon Castle or a patron of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh League of Youth), were abandoned for several reasons, including fear of associating Elizabeth with conscientious objectors in the Urdd at a time when Britain was at war. Queen Elizabeth II reading a speech from the throne at the state opening of Parliament, 1958.  Lessons concentrated on history, language, literature, and music. The England inherited by Elizabeth in 1558 was deeply divided. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example. , Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930. 56–57, Bradford, p. 45; Lacey, p. 148; Marr, p. 100; Pimlott, p. 75, Brandreth, pp. Elizabeth II is the current Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, in London. Born third in the line of succession, Elizabeth became the presumptive heir to the throne in 1936, following the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII and the ascension of her father, George VI. 2–3; Lacey, pp.  Her main leisure interests include equestrianism and dogs, especially her Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Omissions? In October 2006, she missed the opening of the new Emirates Stadium because of a strained back muscle that had been troubling her since the summer. He was a prince without a home or kingdom. Later that year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis.  She stated: "We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers, and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans.  She again undertook an extensive tour of her realms, which began in Jamaica in February, where she called the farewell banquet "memorable" after a power cut plunged the King's House, the official residence of the governor-general, into darkness. 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. Visiting the Royal Residences. During her “Silver Jubilee” in 1977, she presided at a London banquet attended by the leaders of the 36 members of the Commonwealth, traveled all over Britain and Northern Ireland, and toured overseas in the South Pacific and Australia, in Canada, and in the Caribbean. 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. Elizabeth, now queen, at once flew back to England.  No attempt was made, but a riot did break out while she was in Montreal; the Queen's "calmness and courage in the face of the violence" was noted. In late 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth was a Protestant royal who faced perpetual threats to her life and reign.  They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, Brexit, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa.  Because Britain had not yet completely recovered from the devastation of the war, Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, which was designed by Norman Hartnell. Elizabeth had survived and was finally Queen of England.  In the late 1960s, attempts to portray a more modern image of the monarchy were made in the television documentary Royal Family and by televising Prince Charles's investiture as Prince of Wales. 66–67, 84, 87–89; Bradford, pp. Since Elizabeth rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. 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. ) Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle are personally owned by the Queen. , Amid preparations for the coronation, Princess Margaret told her sister she wished to marry Peter Townsend, a divorcé‚ 16 years Margaret's senior, with two sons from his previous marriage. Royal family portrait, August 22, 1951. 378–392; Roberts, pp.  In 1961 she toured Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Iran. 183–185, Brandreth, pp. As a constitutional monarch, she has not expressed her own political opinions in a public forum. 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. 621–622, Bond, p. 134; Brandreth, p. 359; Lacey, pp. She was also called Good Queen Bess or the Virgin Queen or Gloriana. 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. 476–477; Shawcross, p. 192, Bond, p. 115; Pimlott, p. 487; Shawcross, p. 127, Pimlott, pp. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. Moreover, Anne divorced, and a fire gutted the royal residence of Windsor Castle. In 2015 she surpassed Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. 14–16, Crawford, p. 26; Pimlott, p. 20; Shawcross, p. 21, Brandreth, p. 124; Lacey, pp.  She became the oldest current monarch after King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died on 23 January 2015. 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). 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.  In 2002, she inherited an estate worth an estimated £70 million from her mother. When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. The two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford. Her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. , Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms since 1952, Note: Within parentheses, the year when inducted into the Order, *From marriage to husband's death ^From marriage to accession as Queen. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young and likely to marry and have children of his own, who would precede Elizabeth in the line of succession. In 2002 Elizabeth celebrated her 50th year on the throne. 169–172, Brandreth, pp. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. In 1961 she made the first royal British tour of the Indian subcontinent in 50 years, and she was also the first reigning British monarch to visit South America (in 1968) and the Persian Gulf countries (in 1979). , Elizabeth's personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years.  She later became the longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state following the death of King Bhumibol of Thailand on 13 October 2016, and the oldest current head of state on the resignation of Robert Mugabe on 21 November 2017.  The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, was not invited either. The princess’s education was supervised by her mother, who entrusted her daughters to a governess, Marion Crawford; the princess was also grounded in history by C.H.K. Elizabeth II with (from left) Princess Anne, Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, and Prince Charles.  She was 21 when their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947. 13–15; Pimlott, pp. In late 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth was a Protestant royal who faced perpetual threats to her life and reign. In a magazine, which he owned and edited, Lord Altrincham accused her of being "out of touch". Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. Parties and events took place throughout the Commonwealth, many coinciding with her associated national and Commonwealth tours. The first official portrait of Elizabeth was taken by Marcus Adams in 1926.  Lord Altrincham's accusation in 1957 that her speeches sounded like those of a "priggish schoolgirl" was an extremely rare criticism. She was represented at the summit in Sri Lanka by Prince Charles. " Newspaper editor Donald Trelford wrote in The Observer of 21 September 1986: "The royal soap opera has now reached such a pitch of public interest that the boundary between fact and fiction has been lost sight of ... it is not just that some papers don't check their facts or accept denials: they don't care if the stories are true or not."  The Queen's composure and skill in controlling her mount were widely praised. Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison supported the idea, but the King rejected it because he felt such a title belonged solely to the wife of a Prince of Wales and the Prince of Wales had always been the heir apparent. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). , During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee.  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.  On 9 July, she awoke in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace to find an intruder, Michael Fagan, in the room with her. 21–22, Brandreth, p. 124; Crawford, p. 85; Lacey, p. 112; Marr, p. 88; Pimlott, p. 51; Shawcross, p. 25, Crawford, pp. Photos, videos and interviews of the UK Head of State. , She and her husband undertook an extensive tour of the United Kingdom, while her children and grandchildren embarked on royal tours of other Commonwealth states on her behalf. The Duke's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, advocated the name House of Mountbatten.  In November, the Queen and her husband celebrated their blue sapphire wedding anniversary (65th). Mary was considered by many to be the heir to the English crown, being the granddaughter of Henry VIII's elder sister, Margaret.  In post-war Britain, it was not acceptable for Philip's German relations, including his three surviving sisters, to be invited to the wedding. A million people attended each day of the three-day main Jubilee celebration in London, and the enthusiasm shown by the public for the Queen was greater than many journalists had expected. , The Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee marked 60 years on the throne, and celebrations were held throughout her realms, the wider Commonwealth, and beyond. The marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. 269–271; Lacey, pp.  Six years later, in 1963, Macmillan resigned and advised the Queen to appoint the Earl of Home as prime minister, advice she followed.  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. 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. 336–337, 470–471; Roberts, pp. Over 20 countries gained independence from Britain as part of a planned transition to self-government.  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. 123, 154, 176; Pimlott, pp. 84–86, Bond, p. 97; Bradford, p. 189; Pimlott, pp. Lord Salisbury and Lord Kilmuir, the Lord Chancellor, consulted the British Cabinet, Churchill, and the Chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, resulting in the Queen appointing their recommended candidate: Harold Macmillan. Elizabeth I was a long-ruling queen of England, governing with relative stability and prosperity for 44 years. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elizabeth-II, Vision - Queen Elizabeth II: Duty Comes First, The Home of the Royal Family - Her Majesty The Queen, Government of Canada - Canadian Heritage - Biography of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Canadian Encyclopedia - Biography of Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth II - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Elizabeth II - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). 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. 159–161; Pimlott, pp. Storyline This film details the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, as played by Cate Blanchett. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Queen Elizabeth II serves 25,000 days on British throne. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, have received their COVID-19 vaccinations, royal officials said Saturday. Queen Elizabeth I – Tudor Queen. Queen Elizabeth II greeting children at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center during a visit to the United States, May 2007. 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