Elizabeth II (1926-)
Elizabeth II is
the Queen of Great Britain. She was born in Windsor on 21 April 1926. Her full
name is Elizabeth-Mary-Alexander Windsor. Her pet name is Lilibet.
Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret were
educated at home. On the outbreak of war in 1939, they were evacuated to
Windsor Castle. In 1945, Elizabeth joined the war effort, training as a driver
in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (WATS). In November 1947, she
married a distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten (formerly Prince Philip of Greece
and Denmark), who was created duke of Edinburgh. The
couple has four children. Her first son Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales
and heir apparent to the throne, was born in 1948, the Princess Anne, now the
Princess Royal (1950), the Prince Andrew, now the Duke of York, (1960), and the
Prince Edward, in 1964. The Queen and the Duke celebrated their silver wedding
anniversary in London in 1972.
VI died on 6 February 1952 while Elizabeth and Philip were in Kenya. She
returned home immediately, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
In 1992, which Elizabeth termed her annus horribilis ("horrible year"), two other sons separated
from their wives, her daughter divorced, and a severe fire destroyed part of Windsor Castle. Revelations on the state of her eldest
son Charles's marriage continued, and he divorced in 1996. The following year,
her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris. The media criticised the royal family for
remaining in seclusion in the days before Diana's funeral, but Elizabeth's personal popularity rebounded once
she had appeared in public and has since remained high. Her Silver and Golden
Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and
2002; planning for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 is underway.
It is interesting to know …
Since 1952, the queen has gathered over 387,700 honors and awards. And it's not
only for her stable of horses or collection of roses. The queen became the
first member of the Royal Family to be awarded a gold disc from the recording
industry for the record CD sales of the Golden Jubilee rock concert.
As much as Queen Elizabeth II loves
Scotland and her regal home in London, she's spent a good portion of her time
in the air. The queen has travelled to 129 different countries on 256 official
overseas visits. The queen visited Canada 23 times vs. Australia 15 times.
Dogs win out in the Royal household. The
queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan who
was a present for her 18th birthday. Currently five corgis pad around the
palace and in case you want to send them treats, they're called: Emma, Linnet,
Monty, Holly and Willow.
The queen has dabbled in science too.
She's introduced a new breed of dog known as the "dorgi" when one of
Her Majesty's corgis was mated with a dachshund. Cider, Berry, Candy and Vulcan
all keep the five corgis company. As
well as corgis and dorgis, the Queen also breeds and trains Labradors and
Cocker Spaniels at Sandringham. There is a special Sandringham strain of black
Labrador founded in 1911.
Queen speaks fluent French and often uses the language for Audiences and State
Visits. Her Majesty does not require an interpreter.
Over the reign, Her Majesty has given
regular Tuesday evening audiences to 12 British Prime Ministers.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
introduced small, informal luncheon parties at Buckingham Palace to meet
distinguished people from all professions, trades and vocations. The first
lunch was held on 11th May 1956 and the tradition continues to this day. There
are usually 6-8 guests and two members of the Household attending.
The Queen is patron of more than 620
charities and organisations.
The Queen has sent around 100,000
telegrams to centenarians in the UK and the Commonwealth and more than 280,000
telegrams to couples in the UK and the Commonwealth celebrating their diamond
wedding (60 years) anniversary.
Every year The Queen sends Christmas trees
to Westminster Abbey, Wellington Barracks, St Paul's Cathedral, St Giles,
Edinburgh, The Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Crathie Church and local schools and
churches in the Sandringham area.
The Queen is a keen photographer and
enjoys taking photographs of her family. The Duke of York is also a keen
photographer and has taken a number of photographs of The Queen.
The Queen has 30 godchildren.
The Queen sent her first e-mail in 1976
from an Army base.