Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is the Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Being the monarch of the United Kingdom, she is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Queen’s reign is the second longest for a British Monarch next to Queen Victoria. The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002 and 2012 is the year of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Early Days

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on 21 April 1926 in Mayfair, London to the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Albert and Elizabeth, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She had a younger sister Princess Margaret Rose and the sisters enjoyed their childhood with all fun and happiness. She became the ‘heiress presumptive’ styled ‘Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth’ when her father took the throne.

Education

Princess Elizabeth along with her sister Princess Margaret was educated at home under the supervision of her mother. She trained herself in the arts, music, horse-riding and swimming and enjoyed being involved in different activities. After becoming the ‘heiress presumptive’, her public interest began to grow. She leant constitutional history, law and French in preparation of her future reign as a Queen. Elizabeth was a Girl Guide and became a sea ranger when she was just 11. During the war years, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were evacuated to Windsor Castle.

Marriage

Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Greece and Denmark, now the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London. Elizabeth and Philip exchanged their love when Elizabeth was just 13 and the couple married after 8 years overcoming several controversies. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have four children: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The Queen and the Duke celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2007.

Accession and Coronation

Princes Elizabeth’s father King George VI died in 1952 and the Queen took the throne after her father’s death. The Queen’s coronation took place a year after in 1953 in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. 8000 guests including Prime Ministers from Commonwealth countries and Head of States attended the ceremony and the event was broadcast on television. This was for the first time in the history of the UK the largest public broadcast and the event was watched by millions of people all over the world.

The Sovereign

Queen Elizabeth is both Head of State and Head of the Nation. The Queen is responsible for all constitutional acts and representation of Britain for different activities. She represents the identity, unity and pride of the nation. As the Head of the Nation, the prime responsibility of the Queen is to honour people who have been outstanding in their part with relation to the country.

The Queen’s official Birthday is celebrated in June and the Queen’s Birthday Honours list is announced on this day. People from all walks of life get their rewards and honors for their achievement and service to the nation.

The Commonwealth

Queen Elizabeth is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Established 60 years ago, the Commonwealth includes more than 50 countries. King George VI was the first Head of the Commonwealth. After his death, Queen Elizabeth was made the Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen makes a Commonwealth Day address every year and this is broadcast around the world.

Jubilee Celebrations

In 1977, Queen Elizabeth reached her 25 year mark of reign and the silver jubilee celebrations were held throughout England and the Commonwealth. After reaching her 50 year mark in 2002, the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee. 2012 is more special as the queen is celebrating her diamond jubilee for reaching her 60 year mark as a Queen.

All through her years of reign, she has been phenomenal and has given her nation the best.