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Here's a look at the life of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations.


Birth date: April 21, 1926

Birthplace: London, England

Birth name: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary

Father: King George VI

Mother: Queen Elizabeth

Marriage: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (November 20, 1947-present)

Children: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (March 10, 1964); Prince Andrew, Duke of York (February 19, 1960); Anne, Princess Royal (August 15, 1950); Charles, Prince of Wales (November 14, 1948)

Grandchildren: By Prince Charles and Princess Diana: Prince William and Prince Henry (called Harry); By Princess Anne and Mark Phillips: Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips; By Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; By Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones: Lady Louise Windsor and James Windsor, Viscount Severn

Great-Grandchildren: By Prince William: son born July 22, 2013; By Peter Phillips: Savannah and Isla

Other Facts

She is named after her mother Queen Elizabeth, her paternal great-grandmother Queen Alexandra and her paternal grandmother Queen Mary.

She was not declared the Heir Apparent when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated because of the possibility of a male heir.

When World War II began she was a Girl Guide (British Girl Scouts) and went through the same training as the other Girl Guides her age.

Official title after March 26, 1953: Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith

She is the sixth female to ascend to the British throne and at 60 years and counting hers is second longest reign of a British monarch, after Queen Victoria (1837-1901) 63 years, seven months.


May 29, 1926 - Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, third in line to the throne is christened. She is the first royal child to be christened in the chapel at Buckingham Palace and wears a gown made of lace worn by Queen Elizabeth I.

December 11, 1936 - Elizabeth becomes heir presumptive when her father becomes King George VI, after the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII.

May 12, 1937 - Elizabeth attends the coronation of her parents, King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth. She is the first female heir presumptive to see her parents crowned.

1939 - World War II breaks out. Elizabeth moves, with her sister, to the Royal Lodge at Windsor Castle. Thought to be the time period when Elizabeth meets Prince Philip of Greece.

1942 - King George VI makes Elizabeth an honorary colonel in the 500 Grenadier Guards, a regiment of the Royal Army.

April 21, 1942 - Elizabeth makes her official public debut with a review of the 500 Grenadier Guards at Windsor Palace.

1944 - Elizabeth is made a member of the Privy Council and the Council of State. She is now able to act for the king during his absence from the country.

July 10, 1947 - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth announce Elizabeth's engagement to Prince Philip of Greece, a lieutenant in the British Navy.

November 20, 1947 - Princess Elizabeth marries Philip. After becoming a British citizen and renouncing his Greek title, Philip becomes His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Elizabeth becomes the Duchess of Edinburgh.

February 6, 1952 - King George VI dies of lung cancer, and Elizabeth ascends to the throne.

April 11, 1952 - The Queen decrees that she and her descendents will continue to use the surname Windsor, first adopted by the British royal family during World War I.

June 2, 1953 - Coronation takes place at Westminster Abbey.

October 16-22, 1957 - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip make their first state visit to the United States and she addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations

May 14, 1965 - Queen Elizabeth II dedicates a memorial and one acre of land at Runnymede to the United States as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy.

June 13, 1981 - A teenager, Marcus Simon Sarjeant, fires six blanks at the Queen while she is riding on horseback through London. He is arrested and charged with treason.

July 9, 1982 - A man penetrates security at Buckingham Palace and encounters the Queen in her bedroom.

May 16, 1991 - The Queen addresses a joint session of the United States Congress, the first British monarch to do so.

November 24, 1992 - At a luncheon commemorating her 40th anniversary on the throne, the Queen declares 1992 as an "Annus Horribilis". That year marked the separation of the Duke and Duchess of York, the divorce of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, the increasing estrangement of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the fire at Windsor Castle.

November 26, 1992 - Prime Minister John Major announces that the Queen will begin paying taxes on her personal income. Her personal fortune is estimated to be $11.7 billion.

April 1993 - Taxation of the Queen and Prince Charles goes into effect with the provision that they may "opt-out" of the agreement anytime after April 1994.

August 1993 - Buckingham Palace is opened to the public for the first time. Money raised from the tours is to help pay for the restoration of Windsor Castle.

December 1995 - After heavy media coverage of the estrangement and affairs of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Queen urges them to divorce.