Her Majesty The Queen: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II

Young Elizabeth with her famous corgis.

Getty Images

Young Elizabeth with her famous corgis.

British Pathé

Anjeli Webb, Editor

Never in the history of the world has a woman been so omnipresent in society and history without executing excessive official action. The British Monarchy has had its peaks and periods of decline, but jumping into a new era was not a problem for Queen Elizabeth II.

After her father King George VI’s death in 1952, Elizabeth has steadily risen to stardom and won the hearts and respect of people all around the globe. For over 70 years, Elizabeth can be agreed upon to have ruled and represented the British with poise, grace, and elegance; the epitome of a royal. 

While the legitimacy of the monarchy has always been disputed, under her guidance, the Windsors have lived up to expectations of what a royal family should act like. As YLHS Student Tristan Amacio (10) states, “the Queen was the only monarch that most young people today ever knew,” which goes to show how remarkable her legacy is.

The Queen was the only monarch that most young people today ever knew.”

— Tristan Amacio (10)

Elizabeth ruled through numerous wars and global conflicts while keeping her empire under control. Even throughout the stardom and untimely death of Princess Diana, the coming-of-age of Princes William and Harry, their marriages and families, she has never sacrificed the dignity of the Windsors or Britain.

Early Life

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London, England to Prince Albert of York and his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in April 1926. Her sister Princess Margaret was born four years later. 

Princess Elizabeth in the British Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during World War II. (National WWII Museum)
Newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Phillip on June 2nd, 1953. (Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at the World Trade Center’s memorial site in New York in 2010. (telegraph.co.uk)
Queen Elizabeth II is escorted by James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) in a video promoting her arrival to the 2012 Olympics in London. (New York Post)

During the London Blitzkrieg, Elizabeth made her first public radio broadcast in support of the young English children being evacuated to the English countryside and other countries deemed safer than London (read a fictionalized account of the evacuations, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley). Towards the end of the war, the future Queen served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) division of the British Army.

Princess Elizabeth met Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark in 1934, and after a long period of correspondence, they became engaged and married in November of 1947. Together, they would have four children: King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. 


Once Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, passed away, her uncle Edward VIII became King. However, in order for him to marry American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson, he abdicated the throne after less than a year of ruling. Elizabeth’s father Prince Albert then became the new King George VI. 

Witnessing Major Historical Events

After the Second World War, King George’s unhealthy habits contributed to illnesses that eventually took his life in February of 1952. Princess Elizabeth and her husband Phillip had been assuming the role of King and Queen when King George was unable to, so the accession was not unexpected. 

The mid-to-late 20th century consisted of the Cold War and the resulting global tension. Queen Elizabeth was instrumental in peacekeeping during that era, welcoming President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev (who passed away about a week before Elizabeth II) to England as well as visiting Berlin multiple times ranging from before the creation and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 


Queen Elizabeth II’s son, Prince Charles, married Diana Spencer in July of 1981, but the fairytale romance did not last for long. Soon, numerous scandals and troubles became apparent to the public. The drama and chaos regarding their marriage and later divorce, did not disconcert the Queen, who maintained the image of the royal family. When Princess Diana passed away in 1997, Elizabeth acted in the best interest of the monarchy, and gracefully addressed the grieving public.


Even throughout her grandson Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton and Prince Harry’s marriage to American Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth gracefully maintained the integrity of the monarchy.

Timeless Icon

In her later life, Queen Elizabeth II appeared in light-hearted, humorous sketches alongside iconic stuffed Paddington Bear (for her Platinum Jubilee) and fictional MI6’s James Bond during the 2012 Olympics in London.

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