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Queen Elizabeth II - A Short Biography

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

By Ryan Young





Queen Elizabeth II - A Short Biography

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Copyright © 2017 C&D Publications

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author. Reviewers may quote brief passages in reviews.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Growing Up in a Royal Family

Chapter 2 – Marriage and Coronation

Chapter 3 – Commonwealth of Nations

Chapter 4 – Attacks on the Queen and Royal Family

Chapter 5 – Family Matters

Chapter 6 – Recent Events

Timeline of Queen Elizabeth II

Acknowledgements

Further Reading

About the Author





Introduction

Queen Elizabeth II is an iconic individual in our world; she commands respect and ire, depending on one’s opinions or political leanings. She has witnessed the world change on an epic scale since her birth: Royal abdication, the Great Depression, WWII, the dismantling of the British Empire, Indian independence, the rise of the US as a super power, the fall of the Soviet Union, and on and on. She has stood as a symbol of stoicism for all and a constant in an ever-changing world. The Queen has maintained a balance of tradition coupled with an eye on modernity and progress. At present, she is the ceremonial head of state in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Canada, British Virgin Islands, and figure head of the British Commonwealth, which consists of 53 nations that were former British colonial territories during the Imperial Era. Among these are South Africa, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Bermuda, Jamaica, and many others. In addition, Elizabeth II as Britain’s monarch is also the head the Protestant Anglican Church, also known as the Church of England.

This short book covers the exciting and sometimes turbulent life of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II.





Chapter I: Growing Up in a Royal Family

I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”- Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was born in London on April 21, 1926, and was delivered by caesarean section. She was named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary and her father was Prince Albert, the future King George VI. Her father and mother, then known as the Duke and Duchess of York, divided their time between a home in London and the Royal Lodge. Elizabeth, nicknamed “Lilibet,” and her younger sister Margaret, who was born in 1930, were educated at home by their mother Elizabeth and their governess Marion Crawford. Education with private tutors has been common practice for the children of the royal line for many decades. By all accounts, Elizabeth was an intelligent, well-behaved, and pleasant child who even then exuded an air of authority and dignity.



Figure - Coronation portrait of King George VI.

In 1936, the path of Elizabeth's life would change drastically with the death of her grandfather King George V. Her uncle, David, became the King, taking the monarch name of Edward VIII, although he was not the king long enough to receive an official coronation ceremony at West Minster Abbey. A scandal quickly ensued over the fact that Edward VIII was in love with an American divorcée named Wallis Simpson, and he was immediately confronted with choosing between the British Crown and his love for Miss Simpson. In addition, the couple openly touted their support for the Nazi regime in Germany, which was one of the reasons for the government pushing for the king to leave Simpson or abdicate the throne. In the end, Edward VIII chose Miss Simpson over the crown and Elizabeth's father, Albert, nicknamed “Bertie,” became King George VI. George by all accounts was a kind man who carried out his duties as king to the best of his abilities, and the British people came to revere him as a father figure who shepherded the nation through the nightmare of World War II. With Elizabeth’s father now king, she as the eldest child became the heir to the British crown—a role she had not initially been raised to fill.

At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret were moved out of London for their safety. They were relocated to Windsor Castle in Berkshire County, just west of London. There had been a push from several members of the House of Lords and the Ministry of Defense to send Elizabeth and Margaret to Canada for the duration of the war as Canada was geographically the safest British dominion for the sisters to ride out the conflict. The possibility of a cross-channel invasion of Britain by the Germans was very real. From Windsor Castle, the 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth made the first of her famous radio broadcasts during the BBC’s Children’s Hour, with the theme of the first speech being to reassure the children of Britain who had been evacuated from their homes that Britain would win the war and everything would return to normal for them and their families as soon as possible.


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