Our Queen

I wrote this to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubille earlier this year. It's a summary of the Queen's life and reign but it's possible I might have missed out on some facts. Any critiques would be appreciated!


1. Early Life


The 21st of April 1926 seemed as if it were to be relatively unremarkable. This turned out to be false; at 2.40 in the morning, the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York was born- a child who would later become the reigning sovereign of Britain and the 15 realms of Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II. Upon her birth, the infant was third in line of succession to the coveted throne after her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales (who would afterwards become King Edward VIII) and her father before being able to ascend to power, which seemed unlikely to all.


17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London would forevermore hold certain significance to the Princess, (who was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary after her paternal great-grandmother Queen Alexandra and paternal grandmother Queen Mary), as this was where she was born. However, throughout her early years she lived at 145 Piccadilly, the home in London which her parents took shortly after her birth, and also at White Lodge in Richmond Park.


In addition to this, her paternal grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary and her maternal grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore allowed the Princess to spend time at their country homes. When she was six, the Duke and Duchess of York moved to Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their country home along with the Princess’ new sister, Princess Margaret Rose (who was born two years previously in 1930.) Their family environment was a happy one. In the grounds of Royal Lodge resided Princess Elizabeth’s own small house, Y Bwthyn Bach (the Little Cottage), which was given to her by the people of Wales in 1932.


However, Princess Elizabeth’s private family life was no longer private upon the death of her grandfather King George V in 1936. Her uncle, the eldest son of the late King George, took the throne and became King Edward VIII; however, his reign would be fraught with drama. Before the end of the year, he’d decided to abdicate the throne to be with American divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson.


After the abdication crisis, Elizabeth’s father reluctantly rose to become King George VI. In 1937, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret watched their parents’ coronation in Westminster Abbey. It was then that the young Princess realised that the next coronation she would attend would be her own. 

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