The Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth II

The eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty served as the longest monarch in the history of Britain. She was born in London in 1926 and became a queen at the young age of 25 after her father King George died in 1952. On her 21st birthday, Elizabeth pledged that she will devote her whole life for the service of Britain and its Commonwealth nations.

During her lifetime, Elizabeth had witnessed and lived through the second World War. As the Germans bombed the Buckingham Palace in 1940, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were sent to the Windsor Palace. By 1945, the future Queen of England joined Auxiliary Territorial Service – the women’s army service of Britain, where she worked as a car mechanic.

On 2 June 1953, six maids of honour accompanied the soon-to-be Queen Elizabeth II through the church of Westminster Abbey in London for her coronation ceremony. Here, the Archbishop placed St. Edward’s gold crown upon her and the congregation shouted in unison, “All hail the Queen.”

During the war, she and the Prince of Greece, Philip, exchanged letters as their romance blossomed. Finally, on 20 November 1947, they both got married at Westminster Abbey. After the wedding, Prince Philip took the title of  Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen Elizabeth II was known for putting her duties before anything else. According to BBC, she reformed the monarchy by engaging with the public extensively. Her commitment to the Commonwealth was very strong. She has visited every Commonwealth country at least once .

The Queen made several stops in countries like Russia, China and the US. She has also hosted world leaders like former President of Africa Nelson Mandela and the former President of US Barack Obama. Her Majesty was known for her popularity among the people of England who adored her for carrying her duties of a queen with grace and honour.

During her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth worked with 15 prime ministers of the United Kingdom. Given her vast experience of home and foreign affairs, all the prime ministers valued her advice. As a monarch who lasted from the industrial age to the digital age, Queen Elizabeth  was arguably a much-admired symbol who held to her duties till her last days.

On Thursday, Britain was plunged into mourning as news of Queen Elizabeth’s demise broke. Thousands of heartbroken mourners gathered outside the Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to their queen. The funeral, which will take place 10 days from now on 19 September, will be attended by various heads of state, prime ministers and other key European figures.

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