Queen Elizabeth II: A Lifetime of service and dedication, not only to her country but also to her family
Queen Elizabeth II reigned as monarch of the UK and 15 Commonwealth countries for 7o years. Her life was one of dedicated service to her country and its people.
Following the death of her father, King George VI, the Queen succeeded the throne in 1952 at just 25 years of age. Following that came seven decades of unwavering guidance from the country’s longest-serving monarch in history.
Below, Chapter Z looks back on Queen Elizabeth II exemplary life.
On April 21st 1926, Queen Elizabeth was born to Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon and Prince Albert of York (later King George VI). At the time, it was believed that the baby who would later rule the country would never take the throne. At the time of her birth, her grandfather reigned as king (King George V) and his firstborn son, the Queen’s uncle, was first in line. It was only his lack of children that later resulted in the Queen’s reign.
On 20 January 1936, King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, died. Leaving Edward VIII as king of the country. However, later that year Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry American Wallice Simpson. This made the Queen’s father King and, consequently, Princess Elizabeth heiress presumptive.
It was in 1939, at the age of 13, that Princess Elizabeth met Cadet Capt Philip of Greece (who she would later marry). Just months later, in September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany.
During the beginning of the war, Elizabeth and her sister Margret were evacuated to Windsor for safety. Later in 1940, Elizabeth made her first broadcast to the nation. Two years later, she attended her first public engagement at the age of 16.
For her 18th birthday in 1944, Elizabeth received her first corgi, Susan, a gift that would spark a life-long love for the small breed.
And, on July 10th 1947, the Palace announced Princess Elizabeth’s engagement to Lt Philip Mountbatten. However, the pair had secretly been engaged since the previous year. In November 1947, Elizabeth and Philip were wed. They welcomed their first child, now King Charles, in 1948.
Princess Anne was born in August 1950, making the heir to the throne a mother of two.
It was only two years later, in 1952, that Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her father. At the time of her father’s death, she and Philip were on a tour of east Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This made her the first monarch since George I to be out of the country during the time of succession.
On June 3rd 1953, Queen Elizabeth was coronated at Westminster Abbey. The coronation was the first ever to be televised.
In 1960 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had their third child, Andrew. This was followed by the birth of their fourth and final child Prince Edward, who was born in 1964.
During the final year of the 1960s, Prince Charles was made the Prince of Wales and Lord Snowdon designed a new coronet for the occasion.
In June 1977, the Queen celebrated her first jubilee: 25 years on the thrown. The silver jubilee saw millions of Brits line the streets in London and across the country to celebrate her majesty and her service.
However, the rest of the late 1970s we rife with trouble for the Queen’s family as Prince Philip’s uncle was killed by an IRA bomb and Anthony Blunt, the former surveyor of the Queen’s pictures, was exposed as a communist spy
In the early months of 1981, Prince Charles announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer, the pair married that July. And, the following year had their first of two children, Prince William.
Two years later, Charles and Diana announce the birth of their second baby boy, Prince Harry.
In 1992, prime minister John Major announced that Charles and Diana were to separate following years of speculation of marital unrest. Then, in 1996, Charle and Diana’s marriage was official dissolved. Unfortunately, a year later, Diana died in a car crash in Paris.
Speaking of Diana’s untimely death, the Queen said, “as your Queen and as a grandmother, she [Diana] was an exceptional and gifted human being.” She continued, “In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.”
Later in 1997, the Queen and Price Philip celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.
In 2002, after a long illness, the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret died. Just weeks after Margaret’s death, the Queen Mother also passed at the age of 101.
That same year, the Queen marked 50 years on the throne and celebrated her golden jubilee.
Following two great losses at the beginning of the decade, the later years of the 2000s offered more positive news stories for the Queen as she celebrated her 80th birthday in 2006 and her 60th wedding anniversary in 2007. In late 2007, the Queen also surpassed Queen Victoria as the oldest reigning monarch.
In April 2011, the Queen’s grandson, Prince William married Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony raked in over 26 million TV viewers alone.
In 2012, the Queen took on her first acting role and opened the 2012 London Olympics in a comedic sketch.
In 2013, Queen Elizabeth welcomed her first great-grandchild, Prince George, who became third in line to the throne. Two years later and George’s little sister was born, Princess Charlotte.
And, in 2015, more good news came for Queen Elizabeth II as she became the longest reigning monarch in history, a momentous achievement. The following few years saw the Queen celebrate more impressive milestones, including her 90th birthday in 2016, Saphire jubilee and platinum wedding anniversary in 2017 and two more great-grandchildren in 2018 and 2019. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor being the first child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who he married in 2018.
The 2020s started with the outbreak of COVID-19, an illness that swept the world, leading to worldwide lockdowns and a shocking death toll. As a result, the Queen made a rare address to the nation in April 2020, her fifth address in her then 68-year reign.
In 2021, the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip died peacefully at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle, just two months before his 100th birthday.
The summer of 2021 brought some more uplifting news as Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan The Duchess of Sussex had their second child, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
In the summer of 2022, the Queen celebrated an occasion never celebrated before, her platinum jubilee, marking 70 years of reign. The celebrations included four days of festivities over a bumper bank holiday weekend. Following the outpouring of admiration the country showed for their monarch, the Queen said, “I am humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate”.
On September 6th 2022, just two days before her death, the Queen, who had dedicated her life to service, was still at work and appointed the 15th Prime Minister, Liz Truss, since the beginning of her reign at Balmoral Castle.