Elizabeth II – Queen of England
Elizabeth II is the reigning Queen of England from 1952 to the present. She became the Queen on February 6, 1952 at the age of twenty-five, after the death of her father, King George VI. She is the longest reigning monarch in the history of the UK. Elizabeth is the oldest head of state in Europe. She is the head of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the Queen of fifteen independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Canada, New Zealand, Papua – New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Jamaica. She is also the head of the Anglican Church and the supreme commander of the Armed forces of the UK.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926 in London, UK. She comes from the Windsor dynasty. In 1930, Princess Margaret, the only Elizabeth’s sister, was born. Elizabeth received a good education at home. She studied history of the constitution, law, religion, art, French and was engaged in horse riding. In 1940 she gave her first radio address.
The Second World War began when Elizabeth was 13 years old. In February 1945 Elizabeth joined Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service and was trained as a mechanic-driver of ambulance, received the rank of lieutenant. Her military service lasted five months.
In 1947, 21-year-old Elizabeth married 26-year-old Philip Mountbatten – an officer of the British Navy, a member of the Greek and Danish royal families, and great-grandson of Queen Victoria. They met in 1934 and fell in love. A year after the wedding, in 1948, Elizabeth gave birth to their son Prince Charles. And on August 15, 1950 their daughter Princess Anne was born. In 1960, the Queen gave birth to her second son Prince Andrew and in 1964 the third son, Prince Edward, was born.
King George VI, father of Elizabeth, died on February 6, 1952. Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom. The ceremony of the coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953 and was the first coronation of the British monarch broadcasted on television.
In 1953-1954 the Queen made a six-month tour to Commonwealth states, the British colonies and other countries of the world. Elizabeth II became the first monarch to visit Australia and New Zealand.
In 1957, she visited the US and Canada as Queen of Canada.
On December 25, 1957, Elizabeth became the first British monarch who congratulated citizens on Christmas on television.
In 1961, she visited Cyprus, the Vatican, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Iran and Ghana.
In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II opened (as Queen of Canada) XXI Olympic Games in Monreale.
The full title of Elizabeth II is Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
In 2006 a biopic The Queen was released. Helen Mirren played the role of the Queen. The film is the winner of BAFTA award. The actress won Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards.
In 2009, Channel 4 filmed feature mini-series The Queen directed by Edmund Coulthard and Patrick Reams. Five actresses – Emilia Fox, Samantha Bond, Susan Jameson, Barbara Flynn and Diana Quick played the role of the Queen in different periods of her life.
In 2009 the film Margaret was released. Rosemary Leach played the main role.
– As queen, Elizabeth does not control the British government. Instead, she serves as a symbol of her country at ceremonies and public events in Britain and around the world.
– She is the only person in the UK who drives a car without a license.
– She is the patron of over 600 charities and organizations.
– She doesn’t need a passport to travel.
– She was the first British monarch to visit China in 1986.
– She attended her first football match in 1953.
– The Queen has received strange gifts during her reign, for example seven-year elephant Jumbo, presented by the president of Cameroon in 1972, and two black beavers presented after her visit to Canada. She received two turtles after her visit to the Seychelles in 1972. Jaguars and sloths were presented to her by Brazil. The animals were transferred to the London Zoo.
– The Queen fell in love with Prince Philip in 1939 when she was 13.
– She likes to read detective stories by Agatha Christie and Dick Francis.
– When she was four years old, she received a gift from her grandfather, King George the V, her first horse – Shetland pony named Peggy.