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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary at 2.40 am (GMT) on April 21 1926 at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. The house in which she was born is now a fancy Cantonese restaurant called Hakkasan.

Queen Elizabeth has two birthdays: one on her actual birthday, April 21, and one the second Saturday of June, because April weather is too cold for a parade.

EARLY LIFE

She was the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), the second son of King George V and Queen Mary.

Her mother was  Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth), the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon.

She was named after her mother. Her nickname was "Lilibet".

Princess Elizabeth had one sister, Princess Margaret, who was born in 1930.

The two little princesses Elizabeth & Margaret did not go to school but were taught by a governess, Miss Marion Crawford, a young Scottish woman.

Princess Elizabeth aged 3, April 1929

Princess Elizabeth's daily routine varied little from day to day. At the age of 5, Elizabeth rose at 6 AM and went out for a riding lesson with a groom. After breakfast she and her sister went to their parents' room. They spent the rest of the morning with their governess. After lunch they had lessons in French, voice, and piano. In the afternoon they played in the garden, usually with their governess.

The Princess' rarely had the company of other children, but they had many pets, particularly horses and dogs.

Queen Elizabeth became a homeowner at six years old, when the people of Wales gifted her a house on the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge.

12-year-old Princess Elizabeth performed her first public duty without the King or Queen on March 4, 1939. The occasion was the National Pony Society show at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, where, with Princess Margaret, she presented rosettes.

Elizabeth was 13 years old when World War II started. When London was bombed. Elizabeth and Margaret were moved to Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth acted in a number of Pantomimes during World War II including playing the part of Prince Florizel in Cinderella in 1941.

Princess Elizabeth registered for war service shortly after her sixteenth birthday on April 26, 1942. She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a mechanic.


In 1947, Princess Margaret made her first official trip outside Britain when she went with her parents to South Africa.

REIGN

Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth when her father, King George VI, died on February 6, 1952. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.


Princess Elizabeth proclaimed herself Queen a couple of days later, watched by 150 dignitaries at St James’s Palace. She said: "My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over."

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, 16 months after the death of her father. It was the first coronation to be televised and millions watched worldwide.

One of the reasons for choosing June 2nd was that meteorological records identified the date as the most likely day of the year to be sunny. It turned out gloomy, cloudy, windy and very rainy.


Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of sixteen countries in the world: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The Queen's speech was televised for the first time in 1957. It was recorded in the Long Library at Sandringham.

On February 8, 1960 Queen Elizabeth II issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants would take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".

During the Trooping the Color in 1981, the Queen was shot at, but she carried on. It was later discovered that the shots were blanks.

In 1982, a man called Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace in the morning, and found the Queen's bedroom. He woke her up, and sat on her bed, until the guards came to take him away.

In 1991, she became the first British monarch to speak to a joint session of the United States Congress.

In May 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip made a state visit to the United States, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement.

Elizabeth II, as the Monarch of the United Kingdom, is the "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England and sworn protector of the Church of Scotland.

The Queen is a committed Christian  and regularly goes to church wherever she is: at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, St. Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham House, Crathie Kirk at Balmoral Castle, and Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, when she stays there in Holyroodhouse, her official home in Scotland.

The Queen often meets with leaders from other religions as well. On October 17, 1980, she became the first British Monarch to visit the Vatican, where she was welcomed by Pope John Paul II. She gave Pope John Paul II gifts of a book on Windsor Castle and two signed photographs. Queen Elizabeth made another visit twenty years later in 2000 to mark the 20th anniversary of their first meeting.


On December 20, 2007 Elizabeth II became the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's longest-reigning monarch on September 9, 2015 when she passed the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria at 17:30 BST. At that moment, The Queen had reigned for 23,226 days (63 years and seven months), 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes.

The Queen, 2015. By UK Home Office - Wikipedia Commons

The Queen’s working day, according to Vanity Fair magazine, starts at 8am with kippers or kidneys with toast — and a crossword puzzle before the Bagpiper to the Sovereign begins to play.

Technically the Queen still owns the dolphins, sturgeons and whales in the waters around the UK.

PERSONAL LIFE

The Queen is 5 foot 4 inches — 11 in shorter than her grandson Prince William.


She is famously a lover of corgis, and has had more than 30 of the dogs during her reign. A Pembroke Welsh Corgi called Roseval Golden Eagle was Princess Elizabeth's first corgi of many;it was given to her and sister Margaret in 1933 by their father King Edward VI

Princess Elizabeth was given a corgi called ‘Susan’ as a present for her 18th birthday in 1944.

The Queen learnt to drive in 1945 when she joined the Army.

Since 1947, the Queen has been married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria.

Prince Philip was born into the royal families of Greece and Denmark. Just before they were married, he became a citizen of the United Kingdom, and changed his name to Philip Mountbatten. He became the Duke of Edinburgh on the day he married.

Princess Elizabeth fell in love with Philip Mountbatten after they met at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Though she was only 13 years old, they began to exchange letters.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey before 2,000 guests.


Elizabeth and Philip received 2,500 wedding gifts from around the world.



Because Britain had not yet completely recovered from the devastation of the war, Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material for her wedding dress, which was designed by Norman Hartnell.

The Queen and Prince Philip have four children. Charles, Prince of Wales was born 14 November 1948. Their second child is a daughter. She is Anne, Princess Royal. She was born 15 August 1950. The Royal couple had two more sons. Prince Andrew, Duke of York was born 19 February 1960. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex was born 10 March 1964.

With the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960, Her Majesty became the first reigning Sovereign to have a child since 1857 when Queen Victoria welcomed her youngest child, Princess Beatrice.

The Queen used the Latin phrase "annus Horribilis", meaning ‘horrible year’, to sum up 1992. During the 12 months there was a fire at Windsor Castle, Princess Anne divorced Mark Phillips, Prince Andrew separated from Sarah, Duchess of York, and the book Diana: Her True Story revealed the affair between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Elizabeth II is friends with many world leaders. Her first Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Robert Menzies called her "My Dear" and recited a poem that said "I will love her till I die".

When someone is talking about the Queen, she is called "The Queen" or "Her Majesty". When someone is talking to her, she is called "Your Majesty". After the first time, the person talking to the Queen can say "Ma'am". It is pronounced "Mam".

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, famously could not contain his excitement upon seeing Elizabeth II in the flesh at a 2002 royal gala. On seeing the English monarch, he shouted: “Hey, Queen!” He recalled to The Guardian: “I yelled it out. She didn't say anything back.”

She has a good sense of humour. A TV documentary showed a cushion at Balmoral with the slogan: ‘It’s good to be Queen.’

Taking afternoon tea is Her Majesty’s favorite part of the day, including a strong cup of tea with a few drops of milk.

For an aperitif the Queen likes a dry martini, stirred not shaken, finished with a twist of lemon rind.

Queen Elizabeth II has for alcoholic drinks a day - a gin before lunch, a wine during lunch, a dry martini with dinner, and a glass of champagne following dinner.

Queen Elizabeth carries a gold powder compact and dark pink lipstick in her handbag at all times for essential retouching. She also always carries a mirror, mint lozenges, a pen, and reading glasses in her purse.

Queen Elizabeth owns one of the world's largest private collections of postage stamps.

The Queen's wealth is private. It is difficult to estimate how much she is worth. She owns Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle, and other large properties but does not own Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, or the royal collection of art. In 2010, Forbes magazine estimated her personal fortune at about US$450 million (£300 million).

Sources Hello magazine, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, Wikipedia, Daily Mail

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