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Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

More Royal Family:

Prince Charles

Prince William

Prince Harry

Most recently in the news for calling together her personal staff for an emergency meeting on May 3, 2017 in London, it was strongly rumored that Queen Elizabeth was preparing the palace for the loss of her husband, Prince Philip.

As it happened, the following morning Buckingham Palace merely announced that Prince Philip, at age 95, was prepared to retire from public life and will no longer be making public appearances.

The royal couple were married amid much pomp at at Westminster Abbey in London on November 20, 1947. This year will mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

Now 91 years of age, Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II remains one of the world's longest-serving heads of state.

In December 2007 she made headlines when she surpassed Queen Victoria as the oldest British monarch in history.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on September 9, 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria.

On February 6 of this year, she became the first British monarch to celebrate a sapphire jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.

Among her other official duties, Elizabeth also currently serves as Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Happy Anniversary, Your Majesty

In 2012 the entire Commonwealth to explode in celebrations marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The centerpiece of the celebrations called for a maritime parade that took place along the River Thames in London on June 3, 2012, with 1,000 boats participating in the largest flotilla parade on the Thames in over 350 years. The historic extravaganza occurred just weeks before the London Summer Olympics.

The 210-foot luxury cruiser The Spirit of Chartwell had top billing as the
Royal Barge, carrying The Queen in the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant
in London on June 3, 2012 in celebration of her sixty year reign.

Related Bios & Pictures | Quotes

The Young Princess

The oldest daughter of King George VI (then Duke of York) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later the beloved Queen Mother) she was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926. Already on the cover of Time magazine by age three, Elizabeth was the subject of gentle press attention that lasted well into her teens.

News coverage soon turned to tabloid frenzy, however, when Elizabeth ascended to the throne following the death of her father on February 6, 1952. Months later, she was officially crowned queen in a much-watched coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.

She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in November 1947. Son and royal heir apparent Prince Charles was the first child born to the young royal couple on November 14, 1948 with three more children following: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

A Traditional Queen in the Modern World

Although controversies continue to surround the rest of the royal family, (including the personal difficulties of her children, and scandals involving her grandchildren - see Prince Harry) the Queen herself remains widely respected.

She has rarely made her political views public, and is believed to be moderately liberal in her outlook.

She is known to have had little affection for the arch conservative Margaret Thatcher, for example, regarding that prime minister's treatment of the poor during the 1980's.

While various royal family squabbles made headlines around the world, the next decade also witnessed Elizabeth's "Annus Horribilis" a horrible year in 1992 when a raging fire destroyed a large swath of Windsor Castle. Still in the tradition of maintaining the British stiff upper lip, Elizabeth lived to see a code of loyalty and royal duty fast slipping away in the modern world.

This was never more evident than upon the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when Elizabeth was said to have become completely baffled by Diana's status as a media star, along with the tremendous outpouring of emotion at Diana's state funeral.

Annie Leibovitz portrait of Elizabeth II
Portrait by photographer
Annie Leibovitz, 2007.

In 2006, actress Helen Mirren played the monarch during the period following Diana's death in the film The Queen, suggesting that Elizabeth seriously considered abdicating as she struggled to cope with the public's grief over Diana.

However, in more recent years, the queen has steadily grown more mellow, and even in public may be seen laughing heartily at a funny story, or moved to tears at emotional civic ceremonies.

Today, she is one of the world's most photographed women in the world often seen at home with her prized pet Corgis -- but has yet to grant any reporter, in any capacity, a personal interview and remains one of the planet's most wanted "celebrity scoops."

Elizabeth still travels extensively on official state visits, but in the recent past has increasingly given over responsibilities for official ceremonies to Prince Charles who will one day ascend to the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II, at age 91, has no intention of abdicating. However she was reportedly aware of a mock state funeral ceremony recently performed by the palace in preparation for her death. By 2008, she became the oldest reigning monarch in British history, surpassing King George III and Queen Victoria, both of whom died before reaching the age of 82.

Related Information, Biographies & Pictures :

Official Web Site of the British Monarchy

50 Facts About the Queen's Reign

Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

Britain Express - Queen Elizabeth II biography

Quotes :

• I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great Imperial Family to which we all belong." ~ As Princess Elizabeth, in her 21st birthday speech.

• Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.

• 1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis'."

• We have all been trying to help William and Harry come to terms with the devastating loss that they and the rest of us have suffered. ~ On the death of Princess Diana.

• They have overcome Beecher's Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other obstacles. They have come through and I'm very proud and wish them well. ~ On the engagement of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

also see in Holidays & Observances -> The Queen's Birthday

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