When the then Duchess of York, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, wife of the then Duke of York and later King George VI, gave birth to her first child Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (Queen Elizabeth II) by Caesarean section on 21 April 1926, nobody really expected her to become a reigning Queen.
At her birth, she was the third in line to the throne after her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father, the Duke of York.
It would require a twist of fate of immense proportions – and it did. In an unprecedented turn of events, on the death of her grandfather, King George V, her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, abdicated the throne, paving the way for her father to become king.
Queen Elizabeth II was brought up at home under the supervision of her mother, and the lessons she received focused on history, language, literature, and music.
As Queen, she witnessed tremendous changes around the world. During her reign, she led the decolonization of Africa, the end of the Cold War and, most recently, Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. She has celebrated her Silver (1977), Golden (2002) Diamond (2012) and most recently her Sapphire Jubilee in 2017.
She is the longest living and longest-reigning British monarch in history. Queen Elizabeth II also holds the record as the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the oldest and longest-reigning head of state.
She is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was born Prince of Greece and Denmark. Before the official announcement of his engagement to Elizabeth in July 1947, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalized British citizen. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947.
After his wife was sworn in as Queen in 1952, Philip resigned from active military service at the rank of Commander. He is the oldest male member of the British Royal Family.
Queen Elizabeth II Children
The Queen has four children;
Charles, Prince of Wales, born 4 November 1948
Anne, Princess Royal, born 15 August 1950
Prince Andrew Duke of York, born 23 July 1986
Prince Edward Earl of Wessex, born March 10, 1964.
Their first son Prince Charles is the father of Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales.
Father and Mother
Her father was King George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George) King of the United Kingdom from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952, King George was the second son of King George V and therefore he was not expected to ascend the throne. He became king after his elder Edward abdicated the throne.
Queen Elizabeth’s mother was Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, the wife of King George VI, who was Queen of the United Kingdom, a title given to her to distinguish her from her daughter who reigned for much of her life as Queen.
She died in her sleep on 30 March 2002 at the age of 101 years and 238 days. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite holds the record as the longest living member of the royal family in British history.
The only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II was Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. Until her death, Margaret was considered a controversial member of the royal family because of her romantic affairs with several men (some of them extramarital). Her personality looked like the opposite of her more cultured and controlled sister, the Queen.
Margaret fell in love with the divorced Captain Peter Townsend. The royal family, the British government and the Church of England refused to associate with a divorced man. Margaret eventually married Antony Armstrong-Jones, with whom she had two children – David Armstrong-Jones, Lady Sarah Chatto. The couple divorced in 1978.
Margaret, a heavy drinker, and smoker died at the age of 71 on 9 February 2002 in the hospital of King Edward VII.
Trying to liberate the assets of the Head of the Royal Family from her personal fortune is no easy task, for obvious reasons, as much of her wealth is tied up in assets that she holds in trust for the Crown or the British Government.
The Queen’s sources of income include the state’s grants, a huge collection of property, including Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, The Crown Estate, a collection of land and property in the United Kingdom worth £12 billion. The urban properties are worth £9.1 billion sterling.
Queen Elizabeth owns studs, an extensive fruit-growing area and marine areas throughout the United Kingdom. The Queen owns a huge collection of art and jewelry and has also inherited one of the world’s largest stamp collections from her grandfather. The Queen also receives an annual government grant of $12.9 million. Her personal net worth is estimated at $550 million, which is considered a conservative estimate.