Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II
Photograph of Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth in 2015
Reign6 February 1952 – present
Coronation2 June 1953
PredecessorGeorge VI
Heir apparentCharles, Prince of Wales
Born (1926-04-21) 21 April 1926 (age 93)
Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Full name
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor[1]
FatherGeorge VI
MotherElizabeth Bowes-Lyon
SignatureElizabeth II's signature

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926)[a] is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.[b]

Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King 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 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; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth 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 as a constitutional monarch through major political 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 as 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-serving female head of state, oldest living monarch, 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, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, in the United Kingdom, support for the monarchy has been and remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity.

Early life

Elizabeth as a thoughtful-looking toddler with curly, fair hair
On the cover of Time, April 1929

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 The Queen Mother), was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair.[3] She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May,[4][c] and named Elizabeth after her mother; Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier; and Mary after her paternal grandmother.[6] Called "Lilibet" by her close family,[7] based on what she called herself at first,[8] 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.[9]

Elizabeth as a rosy-cheeked young girl with blue eyes and fair hair
Portrait by Philip de László, 1933

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.[10] Lessons concentrated on history, language, literature, and music.[11] 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.[12] The book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, and her attitude of responsibility.[13] Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant."[14] Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved".[15]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Elisabeth II.
Ænglisc: Elisabeþ II
azərbaycanca: II Elizabet
Bân-lâm-gú: Elizabeth 2-sè
башҡортса: Елизавета II
беларуская: Лізавета II
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лізавета II
भोजपुरी: एलिजाबेथ II
Bikol Central: Reyna Elizabeth II
Bislama: Elisabet II
български: Елизабет II
brezhoneg: Elesbed II
буряад: II Елизавета
čeština: Alžběta II.
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Reina Elizabeth, el aca-segundo
davvisámegiella: Elizabeth II
Deutsch: Elisabeth II.
français: Élisabeth II
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Queen Elizabeth II
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Elizabeth 2-sṳ
հայերեն: Եղիսաբեթ II
hornjoserbsce: Hilžbjeta II.
hrvatski: Elizabeta II.
Ilokano: Isabel II
Interlingue: Elisabeth II
isiZulu: Elizabeth II
Kabɩyɛ: Elizabeth 2
ქართული: ელისაბედ II
қазақша: II Елизавета
kernowek: Elisabeth II
Kreyòl ayisyen: Elizabeth II
kurdî: Elizabeth II
Кыргызча: Елизавета II
لۊری شومالی: اْلٛیزابت دۏئم
Lëtzebuergesch: Elizabeth II.
lietuvių: Elžbieta II
Limburgs: Elizabeth II
Lingua Franca Nova: Elizabeth 2
македонски: Елизабета II
Malagasy: Elizabeth II
മലയാളം: എലിസബത്ത് II
მარგალური: ელისაბედ II
Bahasa Melayu: Elizabeth II
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Elizabeth 2-sié
монгол: II Элизабет
нохчийн: Элизабет II
Nordfriisk: Elisabeth II.
Norfuk / Pitkern: Elisabeth II
Novial: Elisabeth II
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Elizabeth II
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਐਲਿਜ਼ਾਬੈਥ II
پنجابی: الزبتھ II
Papiamentu: Elizabet II
Tok Pisin: Elisabet II
Plattdüütsch: Elisabeth II. (Windsor)
polski: Elżbieta II
qırımtatarca: II Elizabet
Runa Simi: Elisabeth II
русский: Елизавета II
Sakizaya: Elizabeth II
Gagana Samoa: Masiofo Elisapeta II
संस्कृतम्: एलिज़बेथ २
Simple English: Elizabeth II
slovenčina: Alžbeta II.
ślůnski: Elizabeth II
Soomaaliga: Elizabeth II
српски / srpski: Елизабета II
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Elizabeta II
svenska: Elizabeth II
Tagalog: Elizabeth II
Taqbaylit: Elizabeth II
татарча/tatarça: Елизавета II
తెలుగు: ఎలిజబెత్ II
Türkçe: II. Elizabeth
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Elidhabeth II
українська: Єлизавета II
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئېلىزابېت II
vepsän kel’: Elizavet Toine
Tiếng Việt: Elizabeth II
Volapük: Elizabeth IIid
Winaray: Elizabeth II
Yorùbá: Elisabeti Kejì
Zazaki: Elizabeth II
žemaitėška: Elžbieta II