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Queen Elizabeth IIElizabeth II

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was not expected to become queen, but her destiny changed when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson. Her father, the Duke of York, became King George VI, and as the eldest child Elizabeth became first in line to the throne. When she was 25, her father died of lung cancer and she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

During her 60+-year reign, the monarchy has been transformed from a mystery-shrouded national institution into a family of celebrities whose weddings, travels, antics, and funerals are followed by millions of royal-watchers around the world.

Chronology of Her Life and Reign

April 21, 1926 Born in London, the eldest child of The Duke and Duchess of York.

1936 Her father succeeded to the throne and became King George VI.

1937 Enrolled as a Girl Guide; later became a Sea Ranger.

1938 Became president of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in Hackney.

1939 Won the Children's Challenge Shield at London's Bath Club.

October 1940 Broadcast a message during the BBC's children's program to children being evacuated for safety reasons.

1942 Appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards.
April 20, 1942 Carried out her first public engagement -- an inspection of the Grenadier Guards.

April 1943 Carried out her first solo public engagement -- a day with a Grenadier Guards tank battalion.

April 1944 Appointed a Counsellor of State.

1945 Made a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Reached the rank of Junior Commander by the end of the war.

1947 Made her first official overseas visit -- a tour of South Africa, with her parents and sister (Princess Margaret).
June 1947 Received the freedom of the City of London.
July 1947 Received the freedom of the City of Edinburgh.
November 1947 Created a Lady of the Garter.
marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Lt MountbattenNovember 20, 1947 Married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

1948 Her first child, Charles, was born.

1950 Her first daughter, Anne, was born.

February 6, 1952 King George VI died.

Queen Elizabeth II after coronationJune 2, 1953 Officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

1960 Her third child, Andrew, was born.

1964 Her last child, Edward, was born.

November 14, 1973 Princess Anne married Lieutenant Mark Phillips.

1977 The Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated throughout the Commonwealth.

July 29, 1981 Prince Charles married Diana Spencer.

July 23, 1986 Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson.

June 19, 1999 Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones.


King Edward VIII
King George VI
Wedding of Princess Elizabeth
Princess Margaret
Princess Anne
Prince Andrew

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  The Robinson Library > General and Old World History > Great Britain > England > 20th Century

This page was last updated on July 07, 2016.

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