Queen Elizabeth II

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Who: Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary

What: Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island, 15 other sovereign states and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Where: Born in London.

Why: Arguably the most famous and influential royal in the world.

When: Born 21st April 1926, became Queen 6th February 1952.

“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” – HM The Queen on her 21st birthday.

With a 61-year-reign two years shy of being the longest ever for a British monarch, it is fair to say the Queen has seen her fair share of ups and downs. She was born to George VI, younger son of George V, and until her uncle’s abdication in 1936 she was never supposed to be Queen at all. She acceded to the throne in 1952 after her father’s death, and was crowned on June 2nd, 1953. She has presided over the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falklands and Gulf wars and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the assassination of her husband’s uncle and the death of her former daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War as an ambulance driver and mechanic. She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, currently the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947 and they have four children, Charles, the heir presumptive and current Prince of Wales, Anne, Andrew and Edward and eight grandchildren.

Further reading:

http://www.royal.gov.uk/hmthequeen/hmthequeen.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/queen_elizabeth_ii

HM The Queen in 2007.

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