The Info List - Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
(Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926)[a] is Queen of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI
George VI
and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII
King Edward VIII
in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Andrew, Duke of York; and Edward, Earl of Wessex. When her father died in February 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. She has reigned through major constitutional changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages and the Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
fire in 1992 (her annus horribilis) and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy remains high, as does her personal popularity.


1 Early life 2 Heir presumptive

2.1 Second World War 2.2 Marriage

3 Reign

3.1 Accession and coronation 3.2 Continuing evolution of the Commonwealth 3.3 Acceleration of decolonisation 3.4 Silver Jubilee 3.5 1980s 3.6 1990s 3.7 2000s 3.8 2010s

4 Public perception and character

4.1 Finances

5 Titles, styles, honours, and arms

5.1 Titles and styles 5.2 Arms

6 Issue 7 Ancestry 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

Early life Elizabeth was born at 02:40 (GMT) on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V. Her father, the Duke of York (later King George VI), was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth), was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She was delivered by Caesarean section
Caesarean section
at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair.[1] She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
on 29 May,[2][b] and named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, and Mary after her paternal grandmother.[4] Called "Lilibet" by her close family,[5] based on what she called herself at first,[6] she was cherished by her grandfather George V, and during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by later biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery.[7]

Princess Elizabeth aged three, April 1929

Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930. The two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.[8] Lessons concentrated on history, language, literature and music.[9] Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family.[10] The book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, and her attitude of responsibility.[11] Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant."[12] Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved".[13] Heir presumptive

Princess Elizabeth aged seven, painted by Philip de László, 1933

During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father, the Duke of York. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as the Prince of Wales was still young. Many people believed he would marry and have children of his own.[14] When her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father. Later that year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson
provoked a constitutional crisis.[15] Consequently, Elizabeth's father became king, and she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a later son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession.[16] Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College,[17] and learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses.[18] A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Company, was formed specifically so she could socialise with girls her own age.[19] Later, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger.[18] In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured Canada
and the United States. As in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia
and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours.[20] Elizabeth "looked tearful" as her parents departed.[21] They corresponded regularly,[21] and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.[20] Second World War

Elizabeth in Auxiliary Territorial Service
Auxiliary Territorial Service
uniform, April 1945

In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War, which lasted until 1945. During the war, many of London's children were evacuated to avoid the frequent aerial bombing. The suggestion by senior politician Lord Hailsham[22] that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada
was rejected by Elizabeth's mother, who declared, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave."[23] Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret stayed at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, until Christmas 1939, when they moved to Sandringham House, Norfolk.[24] From February to May 1940, they lived at Royal Lodge, Windsor, until moving to Windsor Castle, where they lived for most of the next five years.[25] At Windsor, the princesses staged pantomimes at Christmas in aid of the Queen's Wool Fund, which bought yarn to knit into military garments.[26] In 1940, the 14-year-old Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during the BBC's Children's Hour, addressing other children who had been evacuated from the cities.[27] She stated: "We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well."[27]

Elizabeth (far left) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
with her family and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
on 8 May 1945

In 1943, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed colonel the previous year.[28] As she approached her 18th birthday, parliament changed the law so she could act as one of five Counsellors of State in the event of her father's incapacity or absence abroad, such as his visit to Italy in July 1944.[29] In February 1945, she was appointed as an honorary second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service with the service number of 230873.[30] She trained as a driver and mechanic and was given the rank of honorary junior commander five months later.[31][32] At the end of the war in Europe, on Victory in Europe Day, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret mingled anonymously with the celebratory crowds in the streets of London. Elizabeth later said in a rare interview, "We asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised ... I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief."[33] During the war, plans were drawn up to quell Welsh nationalism
Welsh nationalism
by affiliating Elizabeth more closely with Wales. Proposals, such as appointing her Constable of Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
or a patron of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh League of Youth), were abandoned for various reasons, which included a fear of associating Elizabeth with conscientious objectors in the Urdd, at a time when Britain was at war.[34] Welsh politicians suggested she be made Princess of Wales
Princess of Wales
on her 18th birthday. Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison
Herbert Morrison
supported the idea, but the King rejected it because he felt such a title belonged solely to the wife of a Prince of Wales and the Prince of Wales had always been the heir apparent.[35] In 1946, she was inducted into the Welsh Gorsedd
of Bards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.[36] Princess Elizabeth went in 1947 on her first overseas tour, accompanying her parents through southern Africa. During the tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, she made the following pledge: "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."[37] Marriage Main article: Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937.[38] They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark
King Christian IX of Denmark
and third cousins through Queen Victoria. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth – though only 13 years old – said she fell in love with Philip, and they began to exchange letters.[39] She was 21 when their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947.[40] The engagement was not without controversy; Philip had no financial standing, was foreign-born (though a British subject who had served in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
throughout the Second World War), and had sisters who had married German noblemen with Nazi links.[41] Marion Crawford wrote, "Some of the King's advisors did not think him good enough for her. He was a prince without a home or kingdom. Some of the papers played long and loud tunes on the string of Philip's foreign origin."[42] Later biographies reported Elizabeth's mother initially opposed the union, dubbing Philip "The Hun".[43] In later life, however, the Queen Mother told biographer Tim Heald that Philip was "an English gentleman".[44] Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, officially converted from Greek Orthodoxy
Greek Orthodoxy
to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother's British family.[45] Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
and granted the style His Royal Highness.[46] Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. They received 2,500 wedding gifts from around the world.[47] Because Britain had not yet completely recovered from the devastation of the war, Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, which was designed by Norman Hartnell.[48] In post-war Britain, it was not acceptable for the Duke of Edinburgh's German relations, including his three surviving sisters, to be invited to the wedding.[49] The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, was not invited either.[50] Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, on 14 November 1948. One month earlier, the King had issued letters patent allowing her children to use the style and title of a royal prince or princess, to which they otherwise would not have been entitled as their father was no longer a royal prince.[51] A second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950.[52] Following their wedding, the couple leased Windlesham Moor, near Windsor Castle, until July 1949,[47] when they took up residence at Clarence House
Clarence House
in London. At various times between 1949 and 1951, the Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
was stationed in the British Crown Colony of Malta as a serving Royal Navy
Royal Navy
officer. He and Elizabeth lived intermittently in Malta for several months at a time in the hamlet of Gwardamanġa, at Villa Guardamangia, the rented home of Philip's uncle, Lord Mountbatten. The children remained in Britain.[53] Reign Accession and coronation Main article: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Coronation of Elizabeth II, 2 June 1953

During 1951, George VI's health declined, and Elizabeth frequently stood in for him at public events. When she toured Canada
and visited President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
in Washington, D.C., in October 1951, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration in case the King died while she was on tour.[54] In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia
and New Zealand by way of Kenya. On 6 February 1952, they had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of the King and consequently Elizabeth's immediate accession to the throne. Philip broke the news to the new Queen.[55] Martin Charteris asked her to choose a regnal name; she chose to remain Elizabeth, "of course".[56] She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms and the royal party hastily returned to the United Kingdom.[57] She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace.[58] With Elizabeth's accession, it seemed probable the royal house would bear her husband's name, becoming the House of Mountbatten, in line with the custom of a wife taking her husband's surname on marriage. The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary, favoured the retention of the House of Windsor, and so on 9 April 1952 Elizabeth issued a declaration that Windsor would continue to be the name of the royal house. The Duke complained, "I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children."[59] In 1960, after the death of Queen Mary in 1953 and the resignation of Churchill in 1955, the surname Mountbatten-Windsor
was adopted for Philip and Elizabeth's male-line descendants who do not carry royal titles.[60]

Coronation portrait of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
by Sir Herbert James Gunn

Amid preparations for the coronation, Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret
told her sister she wished to marry Peter Townsend, a divorcé‚ 16 years Margaret's senior, with two sons from his previous marriage. The Queen asked them to wait for a year; in the words of Martin Charteris, "the Queen was naturally sympathetic towards the Princess, but I think she thought – she hoped – given time, the affair would peter out."[61] Senior politicians were against the match and the Church of England did not permit remarriage after divorce. If Margaret had contracted a civil marriage, she would have been expected to renounce her right of succession.[62] Eventually, she decided to abandon her plans with Townsend.[63] In 1960, she married Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon
Earl of Snowdon
the following year. They divorced in 1978; she did not remarry.[64] Despite the death of Queen Mary on 24 March, the coronation on 2 June 1953 went ahead as planned, as Mary had asked before she died.[65] The ceremony in Westminster Abbey, with the exception of the anointing and communion, was televised for the first time.[66][c] Elizabeth's coronation gown was embroidered on her instructions with the floral emblems of Commonwealth countries:[70] English Tudor rose; Scots thistle; Welsh leek; Irish shamrock; Australian wattle; Canadian maple leaf; New Zealand
New Zealand
silver fern; South African protea; lotus flowers for India and Ceylon; and Pakistan's wheat, cotton, and jute.[71] Continuing evolution of the Commonwealth Further information: Historical development of the Commonwealth realms, from the Queen's accession

Elizabeth's realms (pink) and their territories and protectorates (dark red) at the beginning of her reign

From Elizabeth's birth onwards, the British Empire
British Empire
continued its transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations.[72] By the time of her accession in 1952, her role as head of multiple independent states was already established.[73] In 1953, the Queen and her husband embarked on a seven-month round-the-world tour, visiting 13 countries and covering more than 40,000 miles by land, sea and air.[74] She became the first reigning monarch of Australia
and New Zealand
New Zealand
to visit those nations.[75] During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia
were estimated to have seen her.[76] Throughout her reign, the Queen has made hundreds of state visits to other countries and tours of the Commonwealth; she is the most widely travelled head of state.[77] In 1956, the British and French prime ministers, Sir Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
and Guy Mollet, discussed the possibility of France joining the Commonwealth. The proposal was never accepted and the following year France signed the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union.[78] In November 1956, Britain and France invaded Egypt in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to capture the Suez Canal. Lord Mountbatten claimed the Queen was opposed to the invasion, though Eden denied it. Eden resigned two months later.[79]

Elizabeth and Commonwealth leaders at the 1960 Commonwealth Conference

The absence of a formal mechanism within the Conservative Party for choosing a leader meant that, following Eden's resignation, it fell to the Queen to decide whom to commission to form a government. Eden recommended she consult Lord Salisbury, the Lord President of the Council. Lord Salisbury and Lord Kilmuir, the Lord Chancellor, consulted the British Cabinet, Winston Churchill, and the Chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, resulting in the Queen appointing their recommended candidate: Harold Macmillan.[80] The Suez crisis and the choice of Eden's successor led in 1957 to the first major personal criticism of the Queen. In a magazine, which he owned and edited,[81] Lord Altrincham accused her of being "out of touch".[82] Altrincham was denounced by public figures and slapped by a member of the public appalled by his comments.[83] Six years later, in 1963, Macmillan resigned and advised the Queen to appoint the Earl of Home as prime minister, advice she followed.[84] The Queen again came under criticism for appointing the prime minister on the advice of a small number of ministers or a single minister.[84] In 1965, the Conservatives adopted a formal mechanism for electing a leader, thus relieving her of involvement.[85]

has original text related to this article: Queen Elizabeth II's Address to the United Nations General Assembly

In 1957, she made a state visit to the United States, where she addressed the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
on behalf of the Commonwealth. On the same tour, she opened the 23rd Canadian Parliament, becoming the first monarch of Canada
to open a parliamentary session.[86] Two years later, solely in her capacity as Queen of Canada, she revisited the United States and toured Canada.[86][87] In 1961, she toured Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Iran.[88] On a visit to Ghana the same year, she dismissed fears for her safety, even though her host, President Kwame Nkrumah, who had replaced her as head of state, was a target for assassins.[89] Harold Macmillan wrote, "The Queen has been absolutely determined all through ... She is impatient of the attitude towards her to treat her as ... a film star ... She has indeed 'the heart and stomach of a man' ... She loves her duty and means to be a Queen."[89] Before her tour through parts of Quebec in 1964, the press reported extremists within the Quebec separatist movement were plotting Elizabeth's assassination.[90][91] No attempt was made, but a riot did break out while she was in Montreal; the Queen's "calmness and courage in the face of the violence" was noted.[92] Elizabeth's pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward, in 1959 and 1963, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign.[93] In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices. Her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia
and New Zealand
New Zealand
in 1970.[94] Acceleration of decolonisation

The Queen with Edward Heath
Edward Heath
and American First Lady Pat Nixon, 1970

The 1960s and 1970s saw an acceleration in the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean. Over 20 countries gained independence from Britain as part of a planned transition to self-government. In 1965, however, the Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, in opposition to moves towards majority rule, declared unilateral independence from Britain while still expressing "loyalty and devotion" to Elizabeth. Although the Queen dismissed him in a formal declaration, and the international community applied sanctions against Rhodesia, his regime survived for over a decade.[95] As Britain's ties to its former empire weakened, the British government sought entry to the European Community, a goal it achieved in 1973.[96] In February 1974, the British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, advised the Queen to call a general election in the middle of her tour of the Austronesian Pacific Rim, requiring her to fly back to Britain.[97] The election resulted in a hung parliament; Heath's Conservatives were not the largest party, but could stay in office if they formed a coalition with the Liberals. Heath only resigned when discussions on forming a coalition foundered, after which the Queen asked the Leader of the Opposition, Labour's Harold Wilson, to form a government.[98] A year later, at the height of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, the Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, was dismissed from his post by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, after the Opposition-controlled Senate rejected Whitlam's budget proposals.[99] As Whitlam had a majority in the House of Representatives, Speaker Gordon Scholes
Gordon Scholes
appealed to the Queen to reverse Kerr's decision. She declined, saying she would not interfere in decisions reserved by the Constitution of Australia
Constitution of Australia
for the governor-general.[100] The crisis fuelled Australian republicanism.[99] Silver Jubilee In 1977, Elizabeth marked the Silver Jubilee of her accession. Parties and events took place throughout the Commonwealth, many coinciding with her associated national and Commonwealth tours. The celebrations re-affirmed the Queen's popularity, despite virtually coincident negative press coverage of Princess Margaret's separation from her husband.[101] In 1978, the Queen endured a state visit to the United Kingdom by Romania's communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, and his wife, Elena,[102] though privately she thought they had "blood on their hands".[103] The following year brought two blows: one was the unmasking of Anthony Blunt, former Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, as a communist spy; the other was the assassination of her relative and in-law Lord Mountbatten
by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.[104] According to Paul Martin, Sr., by the end of the 1970s the Queen was worried the Crown "had little meaning for" Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister.[105] Tony Benn
Tony Benn
said the Queen found Trudeau "rather disappointing".[105] Trudeau's supposed republicanism seemed to be confirmed by his antics, such as sliding down banisters at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
and pirouetting behind the Queen's back in 1977, and the removal of various Canadian royal symbols
Canadian royal symbols
during his term of office.[105] In 1980, Canadian politicians sent to London to discuss the patriation of the Canadian constitution found the Queen "better informed ... than any of the British politicians or bureaucrats".[105] She was particularly interested after the failure of Bill C-60, which would have affected her role as head of state.[105] Patriation
removed the role of the British parliament from the Canadian constitution, but the monarchy was retained. Trudeau said in his memoirs that the Queen favoured his attempt to reform the constitution and that he was impressed by "the grace she displayed in public" and "the wisdom she showed in private".[106] 1980s

Elizabeth riding Burmese at the 1986 Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour

During the 1981 Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour
ceremony, six weeks before the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer, six shots were fired at the Queen from close range as she rode down The Mall on her horse, Burmese. Police later discovered the shots were blanks. The 17-year-old assailant, Marcus Sarjeant, was sentenced to five years in prison and released after three.[107] The Queen's composure and skill in controlling her mount were widely praised.[108] Months later, in October, the Queen was the subject of another attack while on a visit to Dunedin, New Zealand. New Zealand
New Zealand
Security Intelligence Service documents declassified in 2018 revealed that 17-year-old Christopher John Lewis fired a shot with a .22 rifle from the fifth floor of a building overlooking the parade, but missed.[109] Lewis was arrested, but never charged with attempted murder or treason, and sentenced to three years in jail for unlawful possession and discharge of a firearm. Two years into his sentence, he attempted to escape a psychiatric hospital in order to assassinate Prince Charles, who was visiting the country with Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince William.[110] From April to September 1982, the Queen was anxious but proud of her son, Prince Andrew, who was serving with British forces during the Falklands War.[111] On 9 July, the Queen awoke in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
to find an intruder, Michael Fagan, in the room with her. In a serious lapse of security, assistance only arrived after two calls to the Palace police switchboard.[112] After hosting US President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
in 1982 and visiting his California ranch in 1983, the Queen was angered when his administration ordered the invasion of Grenada, one of her Caribbean realms, without informing her.[113] Intense media interest in the opinions and private lives of the royal family during the 1980s led to a series of sensational stories in the press, not all of which were entirely true.[114] As Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of The Sun, told his staff: "Give me a Sunday for Monday splash on the Royals. Don't worry if it's not true—so long as there's not too much of a fuss about it afterwards."[115] Newspaper editor Donald Trelford wrote in The Observer of 21 September 1986: "The royal soap opera has now reached such a pitch of public interest that the boundary between fact and fiction has been lost sight of ... it is not just that some papers don't check their facts or accept denials: they don't care if the stories are true or not." It was reported, most notably in The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
of 20 July 1986, that the Queen was worried that Margaret Thatcher's economic policies fostered social divisions and was alarmed by high unemployment, a series of riots, the violence of a miners' strike, and Thatcher's refusal to apply sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. The sources of the rumours included royal aide Michael Shea and Commonwealth Secretary-General
Commonwealth Secretary-General
Shridath Ramphal, but Shea claimed his remarks were taken out of context and embellished by speculation.[116] Thatcher reputedly said the Queen would vote for the Social Democratic Party – Thatcher's political opponents.[117] Thatcher's biographer John Campbell claimed "the report was a piece of journalistic mischief-making".[118] Belying reports of acrimony between them, Thatcher later conveyed her personal admiration for the Queen,[119] and the Queen gave two honours in her personal gift – membership in the Order of Merit
Order of Merit
and the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
– to Thatcher after her replacement as prime minister by John Major.[120] Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
said Elizabeth was a "behind the scenes force" in ending apartheid.[121][122] In 1987, in Canada, Elizabeth publicly supported politically divisive constitutional amendments, prompting criticism from opponents of the proposed changes, including Pierre Trudeau.[121] The same year, the elected Fijian government was deposed in a military coup. As monarch of Fiji, Elizabeth supported the attempts of the Governor-General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, to assert executive power and negotiate a settlement. Coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka
Sitiveni Rabuka
deposed Ganilau and declared Fiji a republic.[123] By the start of 1991, republican feeling in Britain had risen because of press estimates of the Queen's private wealth – which were contradicted by the Palace – and reports of affairs and strained marriages among her extended family.[124] The involvement of younger members of the royal family in the charity game show It's a Royal Knockout was ridiculed,[125] and the Queen was the target of satire.[126] 1990s In 1991, in the wake of coalition victory in the Gulf War, the Queen became the first British monarch to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress.[127]

Philip and Elizabeth, October 1992

In a speech on 24 November 1992, to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession, Elizabeth called 1992 her annus horribilis, meaning horrible year.[128] In March, her second son, Prince Andrew, and his wife, Sarah, separated; in April, her daughter, Princess Anne, divorced Captain Mark Phillips;[129] during a state visit to Germany in October, angry demonstrators in Dresden
threw eggs at her;[130] and, in November, a large fire broke out at Windsor Castle, one of her official residences. The monarchy came under increased criticism and public scrutiny.[131] In an unusually personal speech, the Queen said that any institution must expect criticism, but suggested it be done with "a touch of humour, gentleness and understanding".[132] Two days later, the Prime Minister, John Major, announced reforms to the royal finances planned since the previous year, including the Queen paying income tax from 1993 onwards, and a reduction in the civil list.[133] In December, Prince Charles
Prince Charles
and his wife, Diana, formally separated.[134] The year ended with a lawsuit as the Queen sued The Sun newspaper for breach of copyright when it published the text of her annual Christmas message two days before it was broadcast. The newspaper was forced to pay her legal fees and donated £200,000 to charity.[135] In the years to follow, public revelations on the state of Charles and Diana's marriage continued.[136] Even though support for republicanism in Britain seemed higher than at any time in living memory, republicanism was still a minority viewpoint, and the Queen herself had high approval ratings.[137] Criticism was focused on the institution of the monarchy itself and the Queen's wider family rather than her own behaviour and actions.[138] In consultation with her husband and the Prime Minister, John Major, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, and her private secretary, Robert Fellowes, she wrote to Charles and Diana at the end of December 1995, saying a divorce was desirable.[139] In August 1997, a year after the divorce, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. The Queen was on holiday with her extended family at Balmoral. Diana's two sons by Charles – Princes William and Harry – wanted to attend church and so the Queen and Prince Philip took them that morning.[140] After that single public appearance, for five days the Queen and the Duke shielded their grandsons from the intense press interest by keeping them at Balmoral where they could grieve in private,[141] but the royal family's seclusion and the failure to fly a flag at half-mast over Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
caused public dismay.[122][142] Pressured by the hostile reaction, the Queen agreed to return to London and do a live television broadcast on 5 September, the day before Diana's funeral.[143] In the broadcast, she expressed admiration for Diana and her feelings "as a grandmother" for the two princes.[144] As a result, much of the public hostility evaporated.[144] In November 1997, the Queen and her husband held a reception at Banqueting House to mark their golden wedding anniversary.[145] She made a speech and praised Philip for his role as a consort, referring to him as "my strength and stay".[145] 2000s

Elizabeth in 2007

In 2002, Elizabeth marked her Golden Jubilee. Her sister and mother died in February and March respectively, and the media speculated whether the Jubilee would be a success or a failure.[146] She again undertook an extensive tour of her realms, which began in Jamaica
in February, where she called the farewell banquet "memorable" after a power cut plunged the King's House, the official residence of the governor-general, into darkness.[147] As in 1977, there were street parties and commemorative events, and monuments were named to honour the occasion. A million people attended each day of the three-day main Jubilee celebration in London,[148] and the enthusiasm shown by the public for the Queen was greater than many journalists had expected.[149] Though generally healthy throughout her life, in 2003 she had keyhole surgery on both knees. In October 2006, she missed the opening of the new Emirates Stadium
Emirates Stadium
because of a strained back muscle that had been troubling her since the summer.[150] In May 2007, The Daily Telegraph, citing unnamed sources, reported the Queen was "exasperated and frustrated" by the policies of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, that she was concerned the British Armed Forces were overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that she had raised concerns over rural and countryside issues with Blair.[151] She was, however, said to admire Blair's efforts to achieve peace in Northern Ireland.[152] She became the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary in November 2007.[153] On 20 March 2008, at the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, the Queen attended the first Maundy service held outside England and Wales.[154] 2010s The Queen addressed the United Nations for a second time in 2010, again in her capacity as Queen of all Commonwealth realms and Head of the Commonwealth.[155] The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, introduced her as "an anchor for our age".[156] During her visit to New York, which followed a tour of Canada, she officially opened a memorial garden for British victims of the September 11 attacks.[156] The Queen's visit to Australia
in October 2011 – her sixteenth visit since 1954 – was called her "farewell tour" in the press because of her age.[157] By invitation of the Irish President, Mary McAleese, the Queen made the first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British monarch in May 2011.[158]

Elizabeth visiting Birmingham
in July 2012 as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour

Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marked 60 years on the throne, and celebrations were held throughout her realms, the wider Commonwealth, and beyond. In a message released on Accession Day, Elizabeth wrote:

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness ... I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart.[159]

She and her husband undertook an extensive tour of the United Kingdom, while her children and grandchildren embarked on royal tours of other Commonwealth states on her behalf.[160][161] On 4 June, Jubilee beacons were lit around the world.[162] In November, the Queen and her husband celebrated their sapphire wedding anniversary.[163] On 18 December, she became the first British sovereign to attend a peacetime Cabinet meeting since George III in 1781.[164]

The Queen visiting the Home Office
Home Office
in 2015

The Queen, who opened the 1976 Summer Olympics
1976 Summer Olympics
in Montreal, also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
and Paralympics in London, making her the first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two different countries.[165] For the London Olympics, she played herself in a short film as part of the opening ceremony, alongside Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig
as James Bond.[166] On 4 April 2013, she received an honorary BAFTA for her patronage of the film industry and was called "the most memorable Bond girl yet" at the award ceremony.[167] On 3 March 2013, Elizabeth was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital as a precaution after developing symptoms of gastroenteritis. She returned to Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
the following day.[168] A week later, she signed the new Commonwealth charter.[169] Because of her age and the need for her to limit travelling, in 2013 she chose not to attend the biennial meeting of Commonwealth heads of government for the first time in 40 years. She was represented at the summit in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
by her son, Prince Charles.[170] The Queen surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-lived British monarch on 21 December 2007, and the longest-reigning British monarch and longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in the world on 9 September 2015.[171][172][173] She is also the "longest-reigning sovereign in Canada's modern era".[174] (King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
reigned over Canada (New France)
Canada (New France)
for longer than Elizabeth.[175]) She became the oldest current monarch after King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
died on 23 January 2015.[176][177] She later became the longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state following the death of King Bhumibol of Thailand
on 13 October 2016,[178][179] and the oldest current head of state on the resignation of Robert Mugabe on 21 November 2017.[180][181] On 6 February 2017, she became the first British monarch to commemorate a Sapphire Jubilee,[182] and on 20 November, she was the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.[183] Prince Philip had retired from his official duties as the Queen's consort in August.[184] The Queen does not intend to abdicate,[185] though Prince Charles
Prince Charles
is expected to take on more of her duties as Elizabeth, who celebrated her 91st birthday in 2017, carries out fewer public engagements.[186] Plans for her death and funeral have been extensively prepared by most British government and media organisations for decades.[187] Public perception and character Main article: Personality and image of Queen Elizabeth II Since Elizabeth rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. As a constitutional monarch, she has not expressed her own political opinions in a public forum. She does have a deep sense of religious and civic duty, and takes her coronation oath seriously.[188] Aside from her official religious role as Supreme Governor of the established Church of England, she is personally a member of that church and also of the national Church of Scotland.[189] She has demonstrated support for inter-faith relations and has met with leaders of other churches and religions, including five popes: Pius XII, John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI
and Francis.[190] A personal note about her faith often features in her annual Christmas message broadcast to the Commonwealth. In 2000, she spoke about the theological significance of the millennium marking the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus:

To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example.[191]

Elizabeth and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
riding at Windsor, June 1982

She is patron of over 600 organisations and charities.[192] Her main leisure interests include equestrianism and dogs, especially her Pembroke Welsh Corgis.[193] Her lifelong love of corgis began in 1933 with Dookie, the first corgi owned by her family.[194][195] Scenes of a relaxed, informal home life have occasionally been witnessed; she and her family, from time to time, prepare a meal together and do the washing up afterwards.[196] In the 1950s, as a young woman at the start of her reign, Elizabeth was depicted as a glamorous "fairytale Queen".[197] After the trauma of the Second World War, it was a time of hope, a period of progress and achievement heralding a "new Elizabethan age".[198] Lord Altrincham's accusation in 1957 that her speeches sounded like those of a "priggish schoolgirl" was an extremely rare criticism.[199] In the late 1960s, attempts to portray a more modern image of the monarchy were made in the television documentary Royal Family and by televising Prince Charles's investiture as Prince of Wales.[200] In public, she took to wearing mostly solid-colour overcoats and decorative hats, which allow her to be seen easily in a crowd.[201] At her Silver Jubilee in 1977, the crowds and celebrations were genuinely enthusiastic,[202] but in the 1980s, public criticism of the royal family increased, as the personal and working lives of Elizabeth's children came under media scrutiny.[203] Elizabeth's popularity sank to a low point in the 1990s. Under pressure from public opinion, she began to pay income tax for the first time, and Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
was opened to the public.[204] Discontent with the monarchy reached its peak on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, though Elizabeth's personal popularity and support for the monarchy rebounded after her live television broadcast to the world five days after Diana's death.[205] In November 1999, a referendum in Australia
on the future of the Australian monarchy favoured its retention in preference to an indirectly elected head of state.[206] Polls in Britain in 2006 and 2007 revealed strong support for Elizabeth,[207] and in 2012, her Diamond Jubilee year, approval ratings hit 90 percent.[208] Referendums in Tuvalu
in 2008 and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
in 2009 both rejected proposals to become republics.[209] Elizabeth has been portrayed in a variety of media by many notable artists, including painters Pietro Annigoni, Peter Blake, Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, Terence Cuneo, Lucian Freud, Rolf Harris, Damien Hirst, Juliet Pannett, and Tai-Shan Schierenberg.[210][211] Notable photographers of Elizabeth have included Cecil Beaton, Yousuf Karsh, Annie Leibovitz, Lord Lichfield, Terry O'Neill, John Swannell, and Dorothy Wilding. The first official portrait of Elizabeth was taken by Marcus Adams in 1926.[212] Finances

Sandringham House, Elizabeth's private residence in Norfolk

Further information: Finances of the British royal family See also: Paradise Papers Elizabeth's personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years. In 1971 Jock Colville, who was her former private secretary and a director of her bank, Coutts, estimated her wealth at £2 million (equivalent to about £26 million in 2016[213]).[214][215] In 1993, Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
called estimates of £100 million "grossly overstated".[216] In 2002, she inherited an estate worth an estimated £70 million from her mother.[217] The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
Rich List 2017 estimated her personal wealth at £360 million, making her the 329th richest person in the UK.[218] The Royal Collection, which includes thousands of historic works of art and the Crown Jewels, is not owned by the Queen personally but is held in trust,[219] as are her official residences, such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle,[220] and the Duchy of Lancaster, a property portfolio valued at £472 million in 2015.[221] Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
are personally owned by the Queen.[220] The British Crown Estate – with holdings of £12 billion in 2016[218] – is held in trust and cannot be sold or owned by Elizabeth in a personal capacity.[222] Titles, styles, honours, and arms Titles and styles Main article: List of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth II

21 April 1926 – 11 December 1936: Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York 11 December 1936 – 20 November 1947: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth 20 November 1947 – 6 February 1952: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh Since 6 February 1952: Her Majesty The Queen

Elizabeth has held many titles and honorary military positions throughout the Commonwealth, is Sovereign of many orders in her own countries, and has received honours and awards from around the world. In each of her realms she has a distinct title that follows a similar formula: Queen of Jamaica
Queen of Jamaica
and her other realms and territories in Jamaica, Queen of Australia
Queen of Australia
and her other realms and territories in Australia, etc. In the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
and Isle of Man, which are Crown dependencies
Crown dependencies
rather than separate realms, she is known as Duke of Normandy and Lord of Mann, respectively. Additional styles include Defender of the Faith and Duke of Lancaster. When in conversation with the Queen, the practice is to initially address her as Your Majesty and thereafter as Ma'am.[223] Arms See also: Flags of Queen Elizabeth II From 21 April 1944 until her accession, Elizabeth's arms consisted of a lozenge bearing the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom differenced with a label of three points argent, the centre point bearing a Tudor rose
Tudor rose
and the first and third a cross of St George.[224] Upon her accession, she inherited the various arms her father held as sovereign. The Queen also possesses royal standards and personal flags for use in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, and elsewhere.[225]

Coat of arms of Princess Elizabeth (1944–1947)

Coat of arms of Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh
Duchess of Edinburgh

Coat of arms of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Coat of arms of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in Scotland

Coat of arms of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in Canada
(one of three versions used in her reign)[d]


Name Birth Marriage Their children Their grandchildren

Date Spouse

Charles, Prince of Wales 14 November 1948 29 July 1981 Divorced 28 August 1996 Lady Diana Spencer Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Prince George of Cambridge Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Prince Henry of Wales None

9 April 2005 Camilla Parker Bowles None

Anne, Princess Royal 15 August 1950 14 November 1973 Divorced 28 April 1992 Mark Phillips Peter Phillips Savannah Phillips Isla Phillips

Zara Tindall Mia Tindall

12 December 1992 Timothy Laurence None

Prince Andrew, Duke of York 19 February 1960 23 July 1986 Divorced 30 May 1996 Sarah Ferguson Princess Beatrice of York None

Princess Eugenie of York None

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex 10 March 1964 19 June 1999 Sophie Rhys-Jones Lady Louise Windsor None

James, Viscount Severn None


Ancestors of Elizabeth II

8. King Edward VII
Edward VII
of the United Kingdom

4. King George V
King George V
of the United Kingdom

9. Princess Alexandra of Denmark

2. King George VI
George VI
of the United Kingdom

10. Francis, Duke of Teck

5. Princess Mary of Teck

11. Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge

1. Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
of the United Kingdom

12. Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne

6. Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne

13. Frances Dora Smith

3. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

14. Charles Cavendish-Bentinck

7. Nina Cavendish-Bentinck

15. Carolina Burnaby[227]

See also

Royalty portal Commonwealth portal British Empire
British Empire
portal British politics portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Household of Elizabeth II List of things named after Queen Elizabeth II


^ See Queen's Official Birthday
Queen's Official Birthday
for an explanation of why Elizabeth II's official birthdays are not on the same day as her actual one. ^ Her godparents were: King George V
King George V
and Queen Mary; Lord Strathmore; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
(her paternal great-granduncle); Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles
Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles
(her paternal aunt); and Lady Elphinstone (her maternal aunt).[3] ^ Television coverage of the coronation was instrumental in boosting the medium's popularity; the number of television licences in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
doubled to 3 million,[67] and many of the more than 20 million British viewers watched television for the first time in the homes of their friends or neighbours.[68] In North America, just under 100 million viewers watched recorded broadcasts.[69] ^ Canada
has used three different versions of the arms during her reign. This version was used between 1957 and 1994.[226]


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News. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2017.  ^ "Christmas Broadcast 2000". Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  Shawcross, pp. 236–237 ^ "About The Patron's Lunch". The Patron's Lunch. Retrieved 28 April 2016.  ^ "80 facts about The Queen". Royal Household. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2010.  ^ Bush, Karen (26 October 2007). Everything Dogs Expect You To Know. London: New Holland Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-84537-954-4. Retrieved 18 September 2012.  ^ Pierce, Andrew (1 October 2007). "Hug for Queen Elizabeth's first corgi". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 September 2012.  ^ Delacourt, Susan (25 May 2012). "When the Queen is your boss". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 May 2012.  ^ Bond, p. 22 ^ Bond, p. 35; Pimlott, p. 180; Roberts, p. 82; Shawcross, p. 50 ^ Bond, p. 35; Pimlott, p. 280; Shawcross, p. 76 ^ Bond, pp. 66–67, 84, 87–89; Bradford, pp. 160–163; Hardman, pp. 22, 210–213; Lacey, pp. 222–226; Marr, p. 237; Pimlott, pp. 378–392; Roberts, pp. 84–86 ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (10 May 2007). "Elizabeth II, belated follower of fashion". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 September 2011.  ^ Bond, p. 97; Bradford, p. 189; Pimlott, pp. 449–450; Roberts, p. 87; Shawcross, pp. 114–117 ^ Bond, p. 117; Roberts, p. 91 ^ Bond, p. 134; Pimlott, pp. 556–561, 570 ^ Bond, p. 134; Pimlott, pp. 624–625 ^ Hardman, p. 310; Lacey, p. 387; Roberts, p. 101; Shawcross, p. 218 ^ " Monarchy
poll". Ipsos MORI. April 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2015.  " Monarchy
Survey" (PDF). Populus Ltd. 14–16 December 2007. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2010.  "Poll respondents back UK monarchy". BBC
News. 28 December 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2010.  ^ "Monarchy/Royal Family Trends – Satisfaction with the Queen". Ipsos MORI. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2017.  ^ "Vincies vote "No"". BBC
News. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2009.  ^ Riley, Ben (12 February 2016). "Revealed: Damien Hirst's only portrait of the Queen found in government archives". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 September 2016.  ^ "Elizabeth II". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 22 June 2013.  ^ "Marcus Adams". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 20 April 2013.  ^ UK Retail Price Index
Retail Price Index
inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.  ^ "£2m estimate of the Queen's wealth 'more likely to be accurate'". The Times: 1. 11 June 1971.  ^ Pimlott, p. 401 ^ Lord Chamberlain
Lord Chamberlain
Lord Airlie quoted in Hoey, p. 225 and Pimlott, p. 561 ^ "Queen inherits Queen Mother's estate". BBC
News. 17 May 2002. Retrieved 25 December 2015.  ^ a b "Rich List 2017". The Sunday Times. 7 May 2017. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.  ^ "FAQs". Royal Collection. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  "The Royal Collection". Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  ^ a b "The Royal Residences: Overview". Royal Household. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2009.  ^ "Accounts, Annual Reports and Investments". Duchy of Lancaster. 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2017.  ^ "FAQs". Crown Estate. Retrieved 22 March 2015.  ^ "Greeting a member of The Royal Family". Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  ^ "Coat of Arms: Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth". Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Retrieved 6 April 2013.  ^ "Personal flags". Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  ^ "Coat of Arms of Canada". Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. 5 February 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2011.  ^ Louda, Jiří; Maclagan, Michael (1999) [1981]. Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe (2nd ed.). London: Little, Brown. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-316-84820-6. 


Bond, Jennie (2006). Elizabeth: Eighty Glorious Years. London: Carlton Publishing Group. ISBN 1-84442-260-7 Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Gary (2002). Fifty Years the Queen. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-360-2 Bradford, Sarah (2012). Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-670-91911-6 Brandreth, Gyles (2004). Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage. London: Century. ISBN 0-7126-6103-4 Briggs, Asa (1995). The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-212967-8 Campbell, John (2003). Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-06156-9 Crawford, Marion (1950). The Little Princesses. London: Cassell & Co. Hardman, Robert (2011). Our Queen. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 978-0-09-193689-1 Heald, Tim (2007). Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84820-2 Hoey, Brian (2002). Her Majesty: Fifty Regal Years. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-653136-9 Lacey, Robert (2002). Royal: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-85940-0 Macmillan, Harold (1972). Pointing The Way 1959–1961 London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-12411-1 Marr, Andrew (2011). The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
and Her People. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-74852-1 Neil, Andrew (1996). Full Disclosure. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-64682-7 Nicolson, Sir Harold (1952). King George the Fifth: His Life and Reign. London: Constable & Co. Petropoulos, Jonathan (2006). Royals and the Reich: the princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516133-5 Pimlott, Ben (2001). The Queen: Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
and the Monarchy. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255494-1 Roberts, Andrew; Edited by Antonia Fraser
Antonia Fraser
(2000). The House of Windsor. London: Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35406-6 Shawcross, William (2002). Queen and Country. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-8056-5 Thatcher, Margaret (1993). The Downing Street Years. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255049-0 Trudeau, Pierre Elliott (1993). Memoirs. Toronto: McLelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-8588-8 Williamson, David (1987). Debrett's
Kings and Queens of Britain. Webb & Bower. ISBN 0-86350-101-X Wyatt, Woodrow; Edited by Sarah Curtis (1999). The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt: Volume II. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-77405-1

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at the National Portrait Gallery, London Queen Elizabeth II
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Titles and succession

Elizabeth II House of Windsor Born: 21 April 1926

Regnal titles

Preceded by George VI Queen of the United Kingdom 6 February 1952 – present Incumbent Heir apparent: Charles, Prince of Wales

Queen of Australia 6 February 1952 – present

Queen of Canada 6 February 1952 – present

Queen of New Zealand 6 February 1952 – present

Queen of Ceylon 6 February 1952 – 22 May 1972 Republics established

Queen of Pakistan 6 February 1952 – 23 March 1956

Queen of South Africa 6 February 1952 – 31 May 1961

New title Independence from the United Kingdom

Queen of Ghana 6 March 1957 – 1 July 1960

Queen of Nigeria 1 October 1960 – 1 October 1963

Queen of Sierra Leone 27 April 1961 – 19 April 1971

Queen of Tanganyika 9 December 1961 – 9 December 1962

Queen of Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962 – 1 August 1976

Queen of Uganda 9 October 1962 – 9 October 1963

Queen of Kenya 12 December 1963 – 12 December 1964

Queen of Malawi 6 July 1964 – 6 July 1966

Queen of Malta 21 September 1964 – 13 December 1974

Queen of the Gambia 18 February 1965 – 24 April 1970

Queen of Guyana 26 May 1966 – 23 February 1970

Queen of Mauritius 12 March 1968 – 12 March 1992

Queen of Fiji 10 October 1970 – 6 October 1987

Queen of Jamaica 6 August 1962 – present Incumbent Heir apparent: Charles, Prince of Wales

Queen of Barbados 30 November 1966 – present

Queen of the Bahamas 10 July 1973 – present

Queen of Grenada 7 February 1974 – present

New title Independence from Australia

Queen of Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975 – present

New title Independence from the United Kingdom

Queen of the Solomon Islands 7 July 1978 – present

Queen of Tuvalu 1 October 1978 – present

Queen of Saint Lucia 22 February 1979 – present

Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979 – present

Queen of Belize 21 September 1981 – present

Queen of Antigua and Barbuda 1 November 1981 – present

Queen of Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983 – present

Preceded by George VI Head of the Commonwealth 1952–present Incumbent

Military offices

Preceded by The Earl Jellicoe as First Lord of the Admiralty Lord High Admiral 1964–2011 Succeeded by The Duke of Edinburgh

Order of precedence

First Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom as sovereign Followed by The Duke of Edinburgh

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Queen Elizabeth II


Antigua and Barbuda Australia Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Grenada Jamaica New Zealand Papua New Guinea Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Solomon Islands Tuvalu United Kingdom

Ancestry and family

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

wedding wedding dress

Charles, Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
(son) Anne, Princess Royal
Anne, Princess Royal
(daughter) Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
(son) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
(son) George VI
George VI
(father) Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
(mother) Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
(sister) Mountbatten-Windsor

Accession and coronation


Royal Guests Participants in the procession Coronation gown Medal Honours Award The Queen's Beasts

Treetops Hotel Proclamation of accession MacCormick v Lord Advocate


Annus horribilis Household Lithgow Plot Marcus Sarjeant
Marcus Sarjeant
incident Michael Fagan incident Personality and image Prime Ministers Operation London Bridge


Silver Jubilee

Events Medal Honours Jubilee Gardens Jubilee line Jubilee Walkway

Golden Jubilee

Prom at the Palace Party at the Palace Medal Honours Jubilee Odyssey

Diamond Jubilee

Pageant Armed Forces Parade and Muster Thames Pageant

Gloriana Spirit of Chartwell

Concert Gibraltar Flotilla Medal Honours

Sapphire Jubilee

Sapphire Jubilee

Commonwealth tours


Official openings


Ships used

HMS Vanguard (23) SS Gothic (1947) HMY Britannia

State visits


State visit to Ireland


Pope Benedict XVI President Michael D. Higgins President Xi Jinping

Titles and honours

Head of the Commonwealth List of things named after Queen Elizabeth II Royal Family Order Elizabeth Cross Queen's Official Birthday Flags



Royal Journey
Royal Journey
(1951) A Queen Is Crowned
A Queen Is Crowned
(1953) The Queen in Australia
The Queen in Australia
(1954) The Royal Tour of the Caribbean
(1966) Royal Family (1969) Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen (1992) Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work (2007) The Queen (TV serial) The Diamond Queen (2012) Elizabeth at 90: A Family Portrait (2016) The Coronation (2018)

Film and television

A Question of Attribution
A Question of Attribution
(1992 TV) Her Majesty (2001) The Queen (2006) Happy and Glorious (2012) A Royal Night Out
A Royal Night Out
(2015) The Crown (2016–)


A Question of Attribution
A Question of Attribution
(1988) The Audience (2013) Handbagged


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
– An 80th Birthday Portrait Pietro Annigoni's Portraits The Queen


God Save the Queen Her Majesty


Machin series
Machin series
(List) Wilding series Castle series Canadian domestic rate stamp Country definitives



Dookie Susan


Aureole Burmese Carrozza Dunfermline Estimate Height of Fashion Highclere Pall Mall Winston


Elizabeth II's jewels Sagana Lodge Villa Guardamangia Children's Party at the Palace Jeannette Charles

v t e

English, Scottish and British monarchs

Monarchs of England before 1603 Monarchs of Scotland before 1603

Alfred the Great Edward the Elder Ælfweard Æthelstan Edmund I Eadred Eadwig Edgar the Peaceful Edward the Martyr Æthelred the Unready Sweyn Edmund II Cnut Harold I Harthacnut Edward the Confessor Harold II Edgar Ætheling William I William II Henry I Stephen Matilda Henry II Henry the Young King Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Edward IV Edward V Richard III Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Jane Mary I and Philip Elizabeth I

Kenneth I MacAlpin Donald I Constantine I Áed Giric Eochaid Donald II Constantine II Malcolm I Indulf Dub Cuilén Amlaíb Kenneth II Constantine III Kenneth III Malcolm II Duncan I Macbeth Lulach Malcolm III Donald III Duncan II Donald III Edgar Alexander I David I Malcolm IV William I Alexander II Alexander III Margaret of Norway First Interregnum John Balliol Second Interregnum Robert I David II Edward Balliol Robert II Robert III James I James II James III James IV James V Mary I James VI

Monarchs of England and Scotland after the Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns
in 1603

James I & VI Charles I Commonwealth Charles II James II & VII William III & II and Mary II Anne

British monarchs after the Acts of Union 1707

Anne George I George II George III George IV William IV Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics.

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Current members of the Order of the Garter

Ex officio

The Queen, Elizabeth II Charles, Prince of Wales

Knights and Ladies Companion

Peter, Lord Carrington Edwin, Lord Bramall John, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover John, Lord Ashburton Timothy Colman James Hamilton, Duke of Abercorn Peter, Lord Inge Antony Acland Robin, Lord Butler of Brockwell John, Lord Morris of Aberavon John Major Richard, Lord Luce Thomas Dunne Nick, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers Michael, Lord Boyce Jock, Lord Stirrup Eliza, Baroness Manningham-Buller Mervyn, Lord King of Lothbury Charles Kay-Shuttleworth, Lord Shuttleworth David Brewer 4 vacancies

Royal Knights and Ladies

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Anne, Princess Royal Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Princess Alexandra Prince Andrew, Duke of York Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

Stranger Knights and Ladies

Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg Margrethe II of Denmark Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden King Juan Carlos I of Spain Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands Emperor Akihito
of Japan Harald V of Norway Felipe VI of Spain


Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester
Bishop of Winchester
(Prelate) James Hamilton, Duke of Abercorn (Chancellor) David Conner, Dean of Windsor
Dean of Windsor
(Registrar) Thomas Woodcock (Garter Principal King of Arms) Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms
Clarenceux King of Arms
(Secretary) Sarah Clarke (Black Rod)

v t e

Current monarchs of sovereign states


Letsie III Mohammed VI Mswati III


Hamad Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Hassanal Bolkiah Norodom Sihamoni Akihito Abdullah II Sabah IV Muhammad V Qaboos Tamim Salman Rama X Khalifa*


Macron^ and Vives Sicília^ Philippe Margrethe II Hans-Adam II (Regent: Alois) Henri Albert II Willem-Alexander Harald V Felipe VI Carl XVI Gustaf Elizabeth II Francis


Elizabeth II


Elizabeth II Tupou VI

*Officially President ^Ex officio as President of France
President of France
and Bishop of Urgell

v t e

British princesses

The generations indicate descent from George I, who formalised the use of the titles prince and princess for members of the British royal family. Where a princess may have been or is descended from George I more than once, her most senior descent, by which she bore or bears her title, is used.

1st generation

Queen Sophia Dorothea in Prussia

2nd generation

Anne, Princess Royal
Anne, Princess Royal
and Princess of Orange Princess Amelia Princess Caroline Mary, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel Queen Louise of Denmark
and Norway

3rd generation

Duchess Augusta of Brunswick Princess Elizabeth Princess Louisa Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark
and Norway

4th generation

Queen Charlotte of Württemberg Princess Augusta Sophia Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh Princess Sophia Princess Amelia Princess Sophia of Gloucester Princess Caroline of Gloucester

5th generation

Princess Charlotte, Princess Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Princess Elizabeth of Clarence Queen Victoria Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck

6th generation

German Empress Victoria Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine Princess Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll Princess Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg Princess Frederica, Baroness von Pawel-Rammingen Princess Marie of Hanover

7th generation

Louise, Princess Royal
Louise, Princess Royal
and Duchess of Fife Princess Victoria Queen Maud of Norway Queen Marie of Romania Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia Princess Alexandra, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg Princess Beatrice, Duchess of Galliera Crown Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret
of Sweden Princess Patricia, Lady Patricia Ramsay Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone Princess Marie Louise, Princess Maximilian of Baden Grand Duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Princess Olga of Hanover

8th generation

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk Princess Sibylla, Duchess of Västerbotten Princess Caroline Mathilde of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Queen Frederica of Greece

9th generation

Queen Elizabeth II Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy

10th generation

Anne, Princess Royal

11th generation

Princess Beatrice of York Princess Eugenie of York Lady Louise Windsor1

12th generation

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

1 Status debatable; see her article.

v t e

Duchesses of Edinburgh

Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
(1736–1751*) Duchesses of Gloucester and Edinburgh Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
(1874–1900*) Princess Elizabeth (1947–1952^)

*From marriage to husband's death ^From marriage to accession as Queen

Authority control

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