Queen Elizabeth was born on 21st April 1926 in Mayfair, London and at the time third in line to the British throne after Edward, Prince of Wales and her father, The Duke of York. She spent her earliest years at Whitelodge in Richmond Park before moving with her family to the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at the age of 6. Here Princess Elizabeth was presented with her own house called The Little Cottage which was given to her by the People of Wales.
When her grandfather, King George V died in 1936 her Uncle took the throne of England as King Edward VIII but within a year, and amidst much scandal he abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson who was a divorcee. At this point Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was crowned and Princess Elizabeth became next in line to the British throne. Throughout her childhood years Princess Elizabeth was home schooled by her father on topics such as Politics and History to prepare her for the life she had ahead. She was also educated on religion by The Arch Bishop of Canterbury.
During the Blitz Elizabeth and her family sought safety and refuge at Windsor Castle where they spent most of the War years. Whilst the country was still recovering from the devastation caused by WWII Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip have now been married over 64 years and they have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
In the 1950s her fathers health began slowly deteriorating until his death on Wednesday, 6 February 1952. Elizabeth was in Kenya on a royal visit when she received the news and immediately flew back to England as the new Queen. Her Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. The procession was viewed by crowds of people and the ceremony was broadcast over the radio across the world.
During her reign Queen Elizabeth II has seen many changes in the world including the first man on the Moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the invention of modern television, mobile phones and internet. She is an avid animal lover who has taken a keen interest in the breeding of both dogs and horses. It is also less known that she has an interest in Scottish country dancing and performs each year at Balmoral Castle to neighbours, staff members and the local community.
The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, a milestone to mark the 50th year of her reign in 2002, and a large number of people threw street parties, garden parties and many other events to celebrate with her. Now the country is looking forward to celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee this summer to commemorate 60 years since her Coronation. The only other Monarch in British history to have celebrated their Diamond Jubilee is Queen Victoria who at the moment holds the title of longest ruling Monarch after her reign of 63 years.
The Diamond Jubilee Central Weekend takes place over four days in June 2012, celebrating 60 years of The Queens reign, see the diary of events below.