Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom. She became queen regnant after her father, King George VI, died in 1952. In 1952, she became the head of state of seven independent states, including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). She was the longest-serving monarch of Britain with a reign of 70 years and 214 days and the second-longest monarch of a sovereign country. She was also the Queen of 15 Commonwealth realms at the time of her death. She died peacefully in September 2022 at the age of 96.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on Wednesday, 21 April 1926 (age 46 years; as of 2022) at 2:40 (GMT) in Mayfair, London, United Kingdom. Her zodiac sign is Taurus. She and her younger sister, Margaret, were homeschooled. They received a private education at home from her mother and their private tutor, Marion Crawford. They were taught history, language, literature, and music. Elizabeth was taught history by the C.H.K. Marten, who later became Provost of Eton. During the Second World War, she undertook public duties and served in the women’s branch of the British Army, Auxiliary Territorial Service. During her Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1944, she was trained to drive a truck and become a mechanic to serve in Second World War. Five months later, she received the rank of honorary junior commander.
Height: 5′ 3″
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: White
Eye Colour: Blue
Elizabeth belonged to the Royal family of the United Kingdom.
Parents & Siblings
She was born to King of the United Kingdom, George VI, and Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at her maternal grandfather Lord Strathmore’s home in London. She has one younger sister named Margaret Rose, Countess of Snowdon. Margaret died on 9 February 2002 of a brain stroke at the age of 71.
Husband & Children
On 20 November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh and former Prince of Greece and Denmark in Westminster Abbey, at the age of 21. The couple had four children together, three sons and one daughter. On 14 November 1948, she gave birth to her first child, Charles Philip Arthur George (Prince of Wales), who became the King of the United Kingdom on 8 September 2022. Her first daughter, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (Princess Royal), was born on 15 August 1950. She gave birth to her second son Andrew Albert Christian Edward (Duke of York) on 19 February 1960 and her third son, Edward Antony Richard Louis (Earl of Wessex), on 10 March 1964.
Her eldest son, Prince Charles got married to Diana Spencer (Princess of Wales) in 1981. Charles and Diana got divorced in 1996. In 2005, he got married to Camilla Parker Bowles (Queen Consort of the United Kingdom). However, Queen Elizabeth II did not like his decision of divorcing Diana and marrying Camilla.
In 1973, Anne (Princess Royal) got married to Mark Phillips, an Olympic gold medal-winning horseman for Great Britain; however, the couple got divorced in 1992. In 1992, she got married to Timothy Laurence, a retired Royal Navy officer.
In 1986, Prince Andrew (Duke of York) got married to Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), a publicist and media producer. They got divorced in 1996.
Prince Edward (Earl of Wessex) got married to Sophie Rhys Jones (Countess of Wessex) in 1999.
Children of Charles III (King of the United Kingdom)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had two children, William Arthur Philip Louis (William, Prince of Wales) and Henry Charles Albert David (Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex). In 2011, Charles’ elder son, William got married to Catherine Middleton. The couple has three children, two sons named George Alexander Louis and Louis Arthur Charles and one daughter named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Prince William is the heir apparent to his father, Charles, King of the United Kingdom. Charles’ younger son, Harry got married to the former actress Meghan Markle (Dutchess of Sussex). The couple has two children, Archie Mountbatten Windsor and Lilibet Maountbatten Winsdor.
Children of Anne (Princess Royal)
Anne and Mark Phillips have two children named Peter Mark Andrew Phillips, a British businessman, and Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips, a British equestrian. Peter Phillips got married to Autumn Kelly in 2008; however, got divorced in 2021. The couple has two children, Savannah Anne Kathleen, who is the first great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II, and Isla Elizabeth. In 2011, Zara got married to Michael James Tindall, a British former rugby player. The couple has three children named Mia Grace, Lena Elizabeth, and Lucas Philip.
Children of Andrew (Duke of York)
Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have two daughters, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary and Eugenie Victoria Helena. In 2020, Beatrice got married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and they have a daughter named Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi. Eugenie got married to Jack Brooksbank in 2018. She gave birth to a baby boy, August Brooksbank, in February 2021.
Children of Edward (Earl of Wessex)
Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones have two children named Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (Lady Louise Windsor) and James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor (James, Viscount Severn).
Prince Philip was Elizabeth’s third cousin from Corfu, Greece. Elizabeth is related to Queen Victoria on her father’s side, and Philip was related to Queen Victoria on his mother’s side. In 1934, she met Philip Mountbatten for the first time at a royal family wedding and then they met again in 1937. In July 1939, she met Philip for the third time at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. Reportedly, after meeting him for the third time, she fell in love with him, at the age of 13. Later, they started sending letters to each other. On 9 July 1947, their engagement was announced.
The Queen had faith in Christianity. She often talked about the peace and comfort that it gave to her, especially during her annual Christmas Broadcasts. In the 2014 Christmas broadcast, she shared what she learned from Jesus Christ. She said,
For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”
5th Queen of England
Unexpected Heiress to The Throne
During the rule of Elizabeth’s grandfather, George V, from 1910 to 1936, his eldest son, Edward VIII was chosen to be the next King. After he became the King in 1936, he proposed to Wallice Simpson, an American socialite. Wallice divorced her first husband and filed for a divorce from her second husband. The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and other officials opposed his decision to marry her as she was a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands, which was not good for the image of a queen consort. At that time, the Church of England did not approve of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. So, to marry Wallice, he decided to leave the throne, and he abdicated on 11 December 1936. After his abdication, Elizabeth’s father, George VI became the King Of the UK, and his coronation took place on 12 May 1937. Elizabeth II became the heir presumptive of the throne. Since, Elizabeth had no brother, who would have been the successor of the throne, she became the heir apparent. After the demise of her father on 6 February 1952, at the age of 25, she became the 5th queen of England. On 2 June 1953, her coronation took place. While addressing people she gave her speech in which she said,
The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now. 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.”
On her Platinum Jubilee, on 6 February 2022, she delivered a message on the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service. And so as I look forward to continuing to serve you with all my heart, I hope this Jubilee will bring together families and friends, neighbours and communities – after some difficult times for so many of us – in order to enjoy the celebrations and to reflect on the positive developments in our day-to-day lives that have so happily coincided with my reign.”
Awards, Honours, Titles
- 21 April 1926 – 11 December 1936: Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York
- 11 December 1936 – 20 November 1947: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth
- 20 November 1947 – 6 February 1952: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
- 6 February 1952 – 8 September 2022: Her Majesty The Queen
- Team: Arsenal Football Club
Elizabeth II died on 8 September 2022 at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire in the United Kingdom.
- Queen Elizabeth’s close family members used to call her Lilibet.
- Her first name, Elizabeth, was taken from her mother, Queen Elizabeth I, her middle name, Alexandra, from her paternal great-grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark, and her last name, Mary, from her paternal grandmother, Mary of Teck.
- Reportedly, her husband, Prince Philip, used to call her by the pet name ‘Cabbage.’ In the 2006 Netflix series “The Crown,” British biographer and historical consultant Robert Lacey mentioned that during the 74-year marriage Prince used to affectionately call her cabbage.
- She could speak French fluently, which she learned from several native-speaking governesses.
- Elizabeth was the British royal family’s only female member who served in the military.
- In April 1929, she was photographed as a baby for the cover of Time magazine.
- When Elizabeth turned 6 years old, she was gifted a ‘Y Bwthyn Bach’ (which means ‘Little House’), an adorable thatched wendy house. It was gifted to her by the people of Wales on her birthday. The miniature cottage consisted of miniature radio, a china set, a portrait of the queen’s mother, books, pots, pans, brooms, and a working telephone.
- The queen never used a last name. The official title that was given to the queen was
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”
- Elizabeth was served as a queen by 15 Prime Ministers of the UK, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May, Boris Jhonson, and more.
- During her reign of 70 years, she took about 260 official overseas trips.
- Her favourite dog breed was the corgi and had about 30 dogs of the same breed. She created a new breed of dog called dorgi, which is a hybrid of corgi and dachshund named. She invented this breed when her corgi mated with a dachshund, which was her sister, Princess Margaret’s dog, Pippin.
- She was the only person in England who could drive in the United Kingdom without a driving license or license plate on her vehicle as all the UK’s driver’s licenses are issued in her name.
- Queen Elizabeth had two birth dates. The First was the 21st of April, which was her real birthday, and the second took place on the second Saturday in June of every year, which was considered to be her official birthday. More than 250 years ago, King George II began this tradition to celebrate an “official” birthday in summers rather than chilling winters.
- As the queen, she was privileged to travel around the world without a passport because all the British passports are issued in her name.
- In October 1940, she made her first radio broadcast during the Second World War. She sent her first email in 1976 and posted her first Instagram post in 2019.
- Her hobbies include horse riding, pigeon racing, and football. She has a flock of 200 pigeons, which she kept at her country estate of Sandringham.
- She had multiple animals which were gifted to her from different countries including an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar and a pair of sloths. All of these animals live in a zoo in London.
- Reportedly, when Elizabeth was about to get married, she bought the cloth for her wedding dress with the clothing ration coupons that were used during the Second World War. Also, the British government gifted her 200 more coupons. Even the girls that were about to get married, gave their own coupons, which they were saving for their own weddings, to Elizabeth; however, since, royal family members cannot accept any present from the public, so she returned the coupons to the girls. Her wedding gown was made of Chinese silk by Norman Hartnell.
- In 1947, on Elizabeth’s wedding day, while getting ready for the ceremony, she wore the diamond-studded crown made in 1919 that belonged to her grandmother, Queen Mary, and it broke two hours before the ceremony. The headpiece was immediately taken to the workshop of the royal jewellery house Garrard for welding under heavy police security.
- The place where Elizabeth was born was, later, turned into a famous Cantonese restaurant called Hakkasan. She was born at a townhouse at 17 Bruton Street in London, which was the home of her maternal grandparents.
- Reportedly, all the unmarked swans in Britain’s waterways belonged to the queen. Also, all the dolphins and whales in British waters were owned by her and were called the “fishes royal.”
- When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip got married in 1947, they received more than 2500 presents. Gifts include 500 tins of pineapple, a necklace of $83 million, 131 pairs of nylon stockings, which were sent by women all around the UK as they were available in a limited supply at that time, and more.
- Queen always wore bright-coloured outfits with matching hats. The reason behind this was her short height. She always wore dresses in bright shades of pink, yellow, and green to stand out in the crowd. It was easier to see her when she wore neon and pastel shades during public interaction.
- Elizabeth had a daily routine to take a gin cocktail in the morning to start her day, a glass of wine with lunch, a dry martini in the evening, and a glass of champagne at night. Her other favourite drinks were Bacardi rum, Gordon’s gin, Bulmers cider and Pimm’s liqueur. Reportedly, in October 2021, her doctors advised her to stop drinking alcohol and start drinking water and juice.
- While her stay at Balmoral castle, bagpipers used to be played under her window for 15 minutes to wake her up at 7:30 every morning.
- Elizabeth wore only one shade of nail polish since 1989 called Ballet Slippers by Essie, which is in a shade of palest pearly pink. Her hairdresser introduced the queen to this colour after ordering it for her for the first time. Surprisingly, it just costs $7.
- Since the 1950s, she has been carrying handbags made by London’s luxurious brand, Launer, which has been making bags for the royal family members since the 1940s. Queen generally carried three different handbags made by the brand, which included the leather ‘Diva’ bag, the ‘Traviata,’ and also a custom-made one.”
- According to a report in 2020, it was revealed that the queen could send hidden signals to her staff using her handbag. If she wanted an event to end in the next five minutes then she would place her handbag on the table, and if the bag is kept on the floor then it means that she would like someone to interrupt her ongoing conversation and save her from it.
- Reportedly, she never carried cash in her purse as her face is imprinted on notes in about 33 countries; however, she always kept an ironed and folded bank note for church-service collections. She also kept a small camera, a suction-mounted bag hook to hang her purse anywhere, a crossword clipped from a newspaper, mints, a spare pair of gloves, a handkerchief, and a cellphone for contacting her family members. She also kept her signature pink lipstick, by Elizabeth Arden or Clarins.
- She is provided with a private ATM at Buckingham Palace by Coutts, which is one of the most trustworthy banks in Britain.
- Queen didn’t need to pay any kind of income or capital gains taxes; however, according to the royal family’s website, she had been paying the taxes willingly, since 1993.
- In 1969, before the landing of Apollo 11, the American spaceflight, many world leaders were asked to write “messages of goodwill” that were taken to the moon on a silicon disk. According to NASA, the disk was placed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin under the American flag, which was planted where Apollo 11 landed. In her message to the moon, the queen wrote,
On behalf of the British people I salute the skill and courage which have brought man to the moon. May this endeavor increase the knowledge and wellbeing of mankind.”
- During her reign, the queen posed for 150 portraits. On the occasion of her diamond jubilee in 2012, a holographic portrait of her named ‘Equanimity’ was created by Chris Levine and Rob Munday. They created a three-dimensional image by layering 1000 images one over the other. Later, they repurposed it and called it “The Diamond Queen.”
- For the 2012 London Olympics, a 007-centric skit was prepared for the opening ceremony. The director of the skit requested the queen to use her resemblance in a clip, but the queen wanted to appear in a speaking role with actor Daniel Craig, who played James Bond. Her dresser Angela Kelly revealed that the queen memorised her dialogue “Good evening, Mr. Bond,” flawlessly.
- The queen’s character has been portrayed in about 100 movies and TV shows.
- On 8 May 1985, Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, took their parents’ permission to go out on the streets and join the people crowded outside to celebrate the end of the Second World War. She considers that evening one of the most memorable moments of her life. According to an Instagram post by the royal family, in 1985, she recalled that evening and said,
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.”
- The queen is popular for her sense of humour and has a knack for mimicry. The queen’s chaplain Bishop Michael Mann once said,
The queen imitating the Concorde landing is one of the funniest things you could see.”
Her former security guard once revealed an incident when the queen was roaming in public wearing a headscarf and a group of tourists at Balmoral Estate did not recognize her and asked her if she had ever met the queen. The queen replied,
No, But he has,” while pointing at the policeman standing nearby.
- The queen appointed a poet laureate, a poet appointed as an officer of the royal household, who write poems in celebration of court and national events. As of 2022, a poet laureate is paid about £5,750 (about $7,000) with a barrel of sherry. In 2019, she appointed Simon Armitage as the next poet laureate, who will serve for the next 10 years.
- The queen can not be accused or forced to give evidence in court. According to the royal family website, there is a statement that reads,
Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Sovereign […] the Queen is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law.”
- In 2022, on the occasion of the queen’s birthday and her 70 years on the throne, Mattel, an American toy manufacturing and entertainment company, created a royal doll with Elizabeth’s image. In an Interview, Lisa Mcknight, Executive Vice President of Mattel, said, The Queen is the perfect addition to the Barbie Tribute Collection, intended to honour women whose contributions have had a great impact. We’re proud to celebrate her historic milestone and encourage kids to learn more about her legacy.”
- In 2015, she bought a three-bedroom apartment of 3,000 square feet, priced at $7.9 million, situated near the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Its architecture and interiors are designed by the British architect Norman Foster.