Elizabeth II: biography
When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday, she became the oldest monarch in the world and the longest-reigning leader in the British history. Elizabeth comes from the Windsor dynasty; she is considered to be the Queen of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, and eight other small countries. During Elizabeth’s reign, the British Empire disintegrated completely, and the colonies gained their independence. Despite much criticism, Elizabeth is a popular figure in her country.
Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, into the family of Prince Albert, future King George VI, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The girl was named after her mother, but the full name also includes the names of her grand grandmother and grandmother. Elizabeth had a sister Margaret who was four years younger than she; the woman died at 71.
The girl received the first title after she was born: she became Princess of York. At that moment, her father and uncle Edward VIII were the primary candidates for the throne; besides, any boy who could be born had the right to become a king. Initially, it was the uncle who ascended to the throne. In a year, his brother changed him.
Elizabeth II and her parents moved to the luxurious castle: Buckingham Palace. The girl spent there her childhood and youth. She was home-schooled and received the excellent arts education. She studied art, religion, and law, particularly, the Constitution of Great Britain. Elizabeth II speaks French fluently; she learned the language herself.
For the first time, Elizabeth addressed her citizens when she was 13. During the World War II, she delivered a radio speech and supported the children who suffered from bombings. At 16, the young woman started appearing in public; in a year, she became the Counsellor of State and joined a women’s self-defense group. Princess learned driving and mechanics; she became a lieutenant. She was the only country’s leader who served in the army in that war.
The day Elizabeth reached the legal age, she officially promised to serve to the British Empire and people, although her reign was still under consideration. After her father’s death, on February 6, 1952, Elizabeth became the Queen. It is interesting that the coronation ceremony was broadcast for the first time in the history of the country. Many people believe this event was the starting point of the popularity of TV in Britain.
By the moment Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, her domain was broader than it is today. At that period, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon were its part; later, these regions got their independence from Britain. It is interesting that Elizabeth II almost immediately visited each country; she was the first monarch who visited Australia and New Zealand.
Traditionally, Queen Elizabeth II has very little influence on the country’s politics. Her task is to represent the country at international summits and maintain the respect for the monarchy. Throughout her reign, the woman has had proper relations with all Prime Ministers of the country. Although she is beyond political races and does not express her opinion publicly, many state leaders feel obligated to ask her for a piece of advice. Margaret Thatcher mentioned in her memoirs she appreciated Elizabeth’s opinion.
Throughout the long reign, Elizabeth received much praise, but she was often criticized as well. Both fans and enemies underline the Queen’s humanity. The events of 1986 serve as the perfect illustration. Elizabeth II was going to one of her subordinate countries when she learned the civil war in Yemen escalated. She ordered to change the course of her yacht and take as many civil people as possible. Thanks to Elizabeth’s help, more than a thousand people were evacuated.
In 2015, “the hottest Canadian politician” Justin Trudeau visited Buckingham Palace. The Queen emphasized the unique case: they had met forty years ago when Justin’s father took his three-year-old son to the meeting. Elizabeth told him it was “nice to see you again ... but under different circumstances”; in his turn, Trudeau replied: “The last time we met you were much taller.”
Today, the Queen’s height is 152 cm., and her weight is 55 kg.
Elizabeth’s personal life changed right after she reached the legal age. Princess married the British fleet officer Philip Mountbatten who became Duke of Edinburgh after the marriage. Elizabeth’s husband is Queen Victoria’s descendant; he has Greek and Dutch roots. Elizabeth and Philip met when the would-be Queen was eight; their romantic relationship began in 1939 when Princess visited the Naval War College where Philipp studied.
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband have four children: Charles, Anna, Andrew, and Edward; the latter two were born after the woman became the Queen. The genealogical tree of the family continues to grow: the children have their own large families, and Elizabeth’s grandchildren and grand-grandchildren have been born. The famous public figure, Princess Diana was Charles’s wife and the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. When Elizabeth II reacted on Princess’s Diana’s death belatedly, she was criticized.
Breeding pedigree dogs and horse riding are Elizabeth’s favorite hobbies. In the course of time, she changed horses with cars; even today, she drives. Besides, the Queen used to be fond of gardening even when she aged.
Elizabeth II is considered the most frequently traveling state leaders: she has visited more than 130 countries. Her personality attracts much attention and inspires artists. There are many monuments to Elizabeth II; numerous bridges, buildings, parks, and alleys were named in her honor. Stamps and coins after the Queen were created. There is even a species of roses named after Elizabeth.
Elizabeth II often becomes the character of movies. Many actresses have personified Queen: Helen Mirren, Sarah Gadon, Claire Foy, and others. Elizabeth herself took part in shooting the promo-video for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Together with James Bond played by Daniel Craig, she went to the Olympic Stadium by helicopter and “went skydiving.” 87-year-old Elizabeth received BAFTA as “the most memorable Bond girl yet.”
The royal family members cannot have accounts on social networks. However, there is a person who works on the official Instagram and Twitter pages where approved photos and posts are published.
It is known that a whole crew works on the Queen’s clothes. Experts believe Elizabeth’s favorite color is blue: she has appeared in it more often. This may be related to the woman’s eye color which is also blue. Fashion designers always mark her elegance and refined taste.
Despite her age, Elizabeth II prefers not to wear makeup; she only uses lipsticks and does everything on her own.
Queen has the collection of hats; there are more than 5000 items there. The monarch has worn each of them in public.
By Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, the documentary about her was released. The director John Bridcut was allowed to see the royal family’s private video recordings.
In January 2017, the Queen’s subjects were worried by the monarch’s health condition: Elizabeth II caught a cold. For this reason, she missed the Christmas and New Year ceremonies.
In June, Queen delivered the Speech from the Throne. Elizabeth II presented the program of the government for the next two years.
In September, Elizabeth II declared she was going to wait for the moment when some other leader will change “Mr. Putin” in Russia. According to Elizabeth. Vladimir Vladimirovich lost the connection with the reality, so there is nothing to talk about with him. The woman was sure there would be the times when the Russians would respect the British again.
In December, Queen took part in hunting in Sandringham parish. The press reported that a dog put the injured pheasant to the monarch’s feet; the woman did not hesitate to finish off the bird with her cane.
In November 2017, Prince William’s brother Harry was officially engaged with the actress Meghan Markle. The wedding ceremony was scheduled for May 19, 2018, but the Queen was not giving her permission for a long time. According to the law regulating the royal family members’ marriages, a monarch should give the written consent to a marriage. A week before the celebration, Buckingham Palace published Elizabeth’s approval. People were sure she would not allow Harry to marry the former actress who had been married before.
On May 19, 2018, the whole world was watching the royal ceremony. 600 guests were invited to the wedding: David and Victoria Beckham, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and other stars. During the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth II showed no delight and never smiled. After the ceremony, Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex.
The British society started waiting for the moment Markle announced her pregnancy and gave birth to a child.
In February, Elizabeth II leased the land in the center of Kiev. The media were guessing what for Queen needed that. As it turned out, the embassies of Canada and Australia were situated there; these countries were the members of the Commonwealth of Nations and acknowledged the authority of Britain.
On June 18, Elizabeth II was present The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire ceremony.
On June 19, the significant social event - Ascot Racecourse – stared. Her Majesty visited the event.
In the same month, the Queen’s cousin Ivar Mountbatten declared he was going to marry his boyfriend James Coyle. Two years before, the man provoked an outcry in the royal family when he announced he was gay. Until 2011, Ivar was married to Penelope Thompson; three children were born in this marriage. Ivar’s ex-wife knew the truth about her husband and supported him. It is Penny who will walk Ivar down the aisle. The woman immediately found common ground with Mountbatten’s lover. This marriage is going to be the first same-sex marriage in the royal family.
In the 1990s, the massive scandal involving Prince Charles erupted. The man married Diana Spencer whom the society and the royal family liked; in fact, the Queen’s son loved Camilla Shand. The monarchs were against the marriage to the woman of a humble origin. In a while, Camilla found a boyfriend but did not stop seeing Charles. Diana knew her husband cheated on her. Elizabeth II tried to save the marriage, but all the attempts were futile. In 1992, the recordings of phone talks between Charles and Camilla were published. Listening to the words pronounced by the lovers made the royal family sick.
Diana was furious. Eventually, the marriage turned into the war and finished with the divorce.
After Diana’s tragic death, some people accused Charles of what had happened. Rumors had it the woman was murdered, and Elizabeth II was allegedly aware of those events.
There were also the rumors that Prince Philipp cheated on his wife. The woman gave no comments.
In 2012, the scandal involving Prince William and Kate Middleton broke out. The couple spent free time in the private villa in France. They believed they were alone at the beach, wore swimsuits, and sometimes took them off. At that moment, the paparazzi took pictures of the spouses.
In her time, the Queen’s sister Margaret was the center of gossip columns. The young woman was not allowed to marry the person she loved, and she started frequenting suspicious places. People were talking Elizabeth’s closest relative got addicted to cocaine. Later, she married the man she did not love and divorced 18 years later. The woman did not stop her cheesy entertainment. As a result, she ended up in a wheelchair, unhappy.
The media reported Elizabeth could help her sister and approve the draft law which would give her the chance to marry her lover. This did not happen.
Once, the Queen was “buried.” The incident occurred on BBC Channel live. The TV presenter Danny Kelly announced Queen died; later, the channel administration had to apologize to the royal family officially.
In 2016, rumors had it Queen Elizabeth II was going to abdicate in favor of Prince William and Kate Middleton, not Prince Charles. However, this information was never confirmed.
On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy became the US President. Four months later, Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline were invited to dine with Queen. John gave Elizabeth II his photo portrait as a present. Historians continue to guesstimate what the new President’s action meant. Queen was surprised but accepted the gift.
Jacqueline confessed she was nervous before the meeting, but Queen greeted the couple warmly and showed the First Lady the art collection to calm her down. Nine months later, Jacqueline revisited Elizabeth II, alone; she was excited by the meeting. The woman was going to invite the Queen to her place, but everything was postponed when it turned out Elizabeth was pregnant.
On April 12, 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space in the entire history. The man was the world’s hero; foreign governments and organizations invited him. Great Britain also sent the invitation. Queen expressed her wish to talk to Garagin during the breakfast. Violating the norms, she asked the cosmonaut to sit next to her and asked him questions. Those present marked the atmosphere was relaxed.
Queen Elizabeth II is the only citizen of Great Britain without a passport.
Nobody except for her husband can touch the Queen in public. Elizabeth II never raises her voice and gives interviews.