Queen Elizabeth II Obituary
Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926 in London, England. The eldest daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later known as King George VI) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later known as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother), Elizabeth II was not born into the role of heir apparent.
Elizabeth and her younger sister, Margaret, enjoyed a quiet childhood with all the advantages of being part of the royal family, without the pressure of being next in line for the crown. It was not until 1936 that Elizabeth’s uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated from the royal family and shifted the crown’s lineage, resulting in Prince Albert becoming King George VI and giving Elizabeth the role of next in line for the throne.
Four years later at the age of 14, Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast as a way to reassure British children during the outbreak of World War II. Soon after this, Elizabeth began to make more public appearances and take on more responsibility as a member of the royal family. In 1945, Elizabeth joined the war-effort as part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, a women’s branch of the British Army, taking on roles as both driver and mechanic.
In July 1947, the king announced that Philip Mountbatten had proposed to Elizabeth. They were married four months later on November 20, 1947 in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
King George VI initially disapproved Mountbatten, due to his lack of wealth as well as his family’s controversial ties to Germany and the Nazi party. In order to gain the King’s approval, Mountbatten denounced his royal ties to both Denmark and Greece and became a lieutenant in His Majesty’s Royal Navy. It is said that Mountbatten is the only man Elizabeth ever had feelings for, meeting him when she was just 13 years old and exchanging letters throughout his time serving in the British Navy.
After her father’s death in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, formally beginning her stay as the longest reigning British monarch. The queen was 25 years old at the time. This ceremony, taking place at Westminster Abbey, was the first coronation to ever be broadcast live on television.
Elizabeth had a historical reign as Queen of England that included many visits to a number of countries, including her historical 1961 trip to ease tensions with Ghana, which resulted in her iconic dance with Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah. In 1965, the queen traveled to Germany, becoming the first British monarch to do so in more than five decades.
The queen also made several visits to the United States and Canada throughout her reign, once visiting to celebrate the 200th anniversary of America’s independence from Britain, then traveling to Montreal to help open the Olympics. In 1979 Elizabeth went on a trip to several Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
Queen Elizabeth II was considered the most famous working mother in the world as she raised her four children, King Charles III (Former Prince of Wales), Royal Princess Anne, Andrew, former Duke of York and Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Her Majesty worked hard to modernize the monarchy while maintaining traditions that had been upheld for many generations. One of her most notable efforts included a 2011 visit to the Republic of Ireland, resulting in her becoming the first British monarch to visit in over 100 years. The last time a British monarch had traveled to Ireland, the entire country was still part of the United Kingdom.
The queen also relinquished tradition in 2012 by abolishing the Civil List, a public funding system for the monarch that dated back about 250 years. While the royal family continues to receive government support, the queen cut back on spending and abolished public funding.
Throughout her time as Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II met 14 American presidents and had 15 Prime Ministers placed into her power.
Despite her long reign as queen, Queen Elizabeth was always described as shy, soft spoken and was not a lover of the spotlight that was placed on her and her family. Her Majesty enjoyed quiet time spent reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards with her grandchildren and was happiest when spending time with her animals. Queen Elizabeth owned over 30 corgis in her life, all bred from the one that was given to her as a teenager. She was also a horse enthusiast.
Queen Elizabeth II is survived by her four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, as well as eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
As the reign of Queen Elizabeth II ends, the new Royal Line of succession is as follows:
- King Charles III, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II
- Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, eldest son of Prince Charles
- Prince George of Cambridge, eldest son of Prince William
- Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, daughter of Prince William
- Prince Louis of Cambridge, younger son of Prince William
- Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, younger son of Prince Charles
- Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, son of Prince Harry
- Lillibet Mountbatten-Windsor, daughter of Prince Harry
Rachel Newnam is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.