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.
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
Royal Barge, carrying The Queen
in the Thames Diamond Jubilee River
in London on June 3, 2012
in celebration of her sixty year reign.
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.
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
at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
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.
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, 2007.
In 2006, actress
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.