Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926 r.1952-present)
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Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926 r.1952-present)

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Queen Elizabeth was born in 1926, and succeeded to the throne on the death of her father in 1952. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, has reigned throughout a period of immense constitutional change, especially concerning the role of the monarchy in today's society. Her deep involvement and abiding interest in the Commonwealth has been a source of stability.

This portrait, a master copy for the Queen's Official State Portrait, shows Elizabeth in tiara, with white embroidered dress, gold and ermine trimmed robe, and the Order of the Garter. It was painted between 1953-1954 by Sir James Gunn.

She doesn't make all that difference between Labour and Conservative , and for her an election simply means that just when she has begun to know us, she has to met another terrible lot of politicians.
- Richard Crossman, Diaries, 22nd June 1970.

(2) Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926 r.1952-present)


Additional Information on
Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926 r.1952-present)

Born in 1926 in London, Elizabeth is the daughter of Albert, Duke of York, later George VI, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Until her uncle, Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, Elizabeth had little prospect of succeeding to the throne, but when her father became King, as eldest daughter, she became his heir. She and her sister Princess Margaret were educated at home by her mother and a governess, Marion Crawford - 'Crawfie'. Visiting teachers instructed them in music, languages and history, particularly C.H.K. Marten, later the Provost of Eton College.

During the war Elizabeth and her sister were sent away from the dangers of London, which their parents bravely chose to face, and so lived at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and Windsor. In early 1947 Elizabeth travelled with her parents to South Africa, a young officer on board being Philip Mountbatten and on their return their marriage was announced, taking place at Westminster Abbey in November 1947. Their first child, Charles, later created Prince of Wales, was born the following year at Buckingham Palace.

During 1951, when her father's health began to fail, Elizabeth increasingly took on his duties, culminating in successful tours of Canada and Washington D.C. with her husband. They then set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand early the next year but received the news of her father's death en route in Kenya and returned immediately to London. After a three-month period of court mourning, they moved in the summer from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace and took on the duties of state, including her first State Opening of Parliament in November 1952. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey on June 2nd 1953.

On July 1st 1969, her eldest son and heir to the throne, Charles was invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle. Of her other children, Princess Anne (now The Princess Royal) was born in 1950, Prince Andrew (now Duke of York), in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964. All these children have the surname Windsor. On the birth of her grandson, Prince William, to Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales in June 1982, the succession was secured through her eldest son.

Diligent in her duties and with seemingly endless tact and determination, the Queen has remained the rock on which the Royal Family has been based, in spite of the troubles that have periodically afflicted the family. She has had a lifelong affection for horses, rides regularly, and has been a successful racehorse owner and breeder. Her considerable personal fortune was founded by her father after the agreement in the 1930's that the Royal Family would no longer pay taxes. Her decision to voluntarily pay tax from the late 1990's onwards was widely seen as fair and just. The decision to allow television interviews from 1970 onwards, while being welcomed as showing the Royal Family as modern and open, has perhaps led to the excessive hounding of them by the media in recent years.


QUOTATIONS

My chief claim to fame seems to be that I am the father of Princess Elizabeth.
- King George VI.

At the age of two she had an air of authority and reflectivenes, astonishing in an infant.
- Winston Churchill, letter to his wife, 1928.

She knows more about world affairs than most diplomats who visit her, and has complained to her Foreign Office about its elementary briefings.
- Anthony Sampson, The Changing Anatomy of Britain, 1982.

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