On this day 91 years ago, the most powerful and influential person in England was born. However, she was not born into a simple family who helped her rise to fame, she was born special into a very well recognized family. This family was the royal family, and this girl was Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21st, 1926, to parents Albert Fredrick Arthur George (later King George VI) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Mother). At the time of her birth, her father Albert was second in line for the throne after his older brother Edward, and Elizabeth was third. Since her father wasn’t expected to assume the throne, she was raised very normally and didn’t have to take special classes since she wasn’t close to becoming a reigning monarch.
On January 20th, 1936, her grandfather King George V died, and her Uncle Edward took over and became King Edward VIII. Since her uncle was young, she was never expected to become Queen because they thought that he would marry and have kids of his own, leaving Elizabeth even farther from the crown. Her life then changed dramatically months later after her Uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to her Father Albert, after he shared his plans to marry the twice divorced American Wallace Simpson, making Elizabeth the new heir presumptive.
Once her father became king, she then traded her normal life and schooling for a hectic life of learning how to run a country and how to hold herself in public. Her and her father were very close, and, even though it was a stressful time for her and her father, the two had something to bond over. He often helped her with her lessons. King George VI thought that she was too young to take her on his tours of the commonwealth, so she stayed back in England with her sister Princess Margaret.
In September of 1939, Britain entered the Second World War, many of the people evacuated their children to avoid bombings, and Elizabeth’s mother stated “the children won’t go without. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave.” Her mother’s statement helped ease the minds of many citizens after they saw that even the monarch was not sending their kids away. Queen Elizabeth proved very helpful during this time by raising funds for basic needs for soldiers and joining the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she trained as a driver and a mechanic. On V-E Day, her and her sister Margaret took to the streets and celebrated with the commoners.
Two years after the second world war ended, she accompanied her mother and father on a tour through Southern Africa. During this tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth, she pledged that no matter how long or short her life is, it will be devoted to her service and the service of what she called the “great imperial family to which we all belong.”
This family was about to grow by one, when Elizabeth first met her future husband Prince Phillip in the years 1934 and 1937, at the young age of 13. They later began to write letters to each other even though he was five years her senior. The two later became engaged in 1947 and later married on November 20th, 1947.
A year after marrying, Elizabeth and Phillip welcomed their first child, Prince Charles, on November 14th. Their second child, a daughter, Princess Anne was in 1950, with Prince Andrew and Edward following in the years 1960 and 1964.
Elizabeth’s life would forever be changed again in February of 1952 when her beloved father King George VI died, leaving her the new monarch. She was officially crowned Queen on June 2nd, 1953, in a ceremony that closely resembled the coronations of the kings and queens that preceded her. Her coronation was the first to be televised and was watched by millions throughout Britain and the commonwealth.
Since her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II has lived through 12 prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, as well as 12 sitting US Presidents and many wars.
In her later years, she has been limited to what she does and where she travels due to her age and her declining health. However, her health and age didn’t stop her from becoming the longest serving British monarch in 2015, after breaking the previous record of 63 years, which was held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She then went on to become the longest reigning queen regnant in history, longest-serving current head of state, and world’s longest reigning monarch.
Even though she is turning 91, Queen Elizabeth II is nowhere close to stopping. In fact, she has stated that she doesn’t wish to abdicate the throne to her son Prince Charles, but will let him take on more tasks while she will make fewer public engagements.
“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.” This is exactly what she will until she breathes her last breath. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.