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Happy Birthday Ma'am! The Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She was crowned in 1953 and her 60 years on the throne was celebrated in June 2012 as the Diamond Jubilee. The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21st of April 1926, in London.

The coronation of Elizabeth in 1953
Her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York, was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary and later became King George VI and her mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, known as the Queen Mother.

Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburg, in 1947 and she became queen on February 6, 1952, and was crowned on June 2, 1953. As the longest-serving monarch in British history, she has tried to make her reign more modern and sensitive to a changing public.

Young Elizabeth
At the time of her birth, most did not realize that Elizabeth would become queen of Great Britain. She used to spend some time in London or in Royal Lodge, the family’s home on the grounds of Windsor Great Park. Elizabeth, nicknamed Lilibeth, and her sister Margaret were educated at home by tutors and the education included French, mathematics, history and dancing, singing and art lessons. When her father became King George VI, after his father’s death and after his brother chose life with an American woman Wallis Simpson, Elizabeth’s life completely changed.

Service during the Second World War 

Elizabeth during her service in
the Second World War
During the Second World War Elizabeth started to appear in public more often than before. Firstly she made a radio speech reassuring the children of Britain who had been evacuated from their homes and families. In 1945, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service and was trained to be an expert driver and mechanic.

Marriage and family life

Elizabeth met her husband, Philip Mountbatten, the first time when she was only 13 years old and they kept in touch over the years and fell in love.
The wedding took place in London in Westminster Abbey on November 20 1947. Prince Charles was born shortly after that and Princess Anne in 1950.

Elizabeth and prince Philip during their wedding day
King George died in 1952, on February 2 and Elizabeth's official coronation took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was broadcast on television for the first time, allowing people from across the globe to witness it.

Elizabeth had two more children - sons Andrew (1960) and Edward (1964). She worked to protect the image of the monarchy and to prepare for its future. In 1969, she officially made Prince Charles her successor by granting him the title of Prince of Wales.

Queen with her husband and children

In 1981 Charles married 19-year-old Diana Spencer, with later rumours surfacing that he was pressured into the marriage from his family. Diana became one of the most popular princesses in the world, not only for British people, and was called the People's Princess. Charles and Diana had two boys, Prince William, who will be a future British King and Prince Harry, still a bachelor, who is very popular with the ladies.

Scandals and help

During the following years, the queen has had to face numerous scandals and threats. Her royal children caused a couple of scandals, especially the very famous divorce of her eldest son Charles from Princess Diana. The Queen was publicly criticised for her lack of response after Diana's death in Paris in 1997 and apparently she even did not want to give her a royal funeral.

On the other side, Elizabeth has always showed that she cares about her grand children and offers great help and advice during planning a wedding for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The Queen has modernized the monarchy as well. She had dropped some of its formalities and made certain sites and treasures more accessible to the public. As Britain and other nations have struggled financially, she has welcomed the elimination of the Civil List, which was a public funding system of the monarchy dating back roughly 250 years. The royal family continues to receive some government support, but the queen has had to cut back on spending.

Diamond Jubilee

Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, marking 60 years as queen and the anniversary was celebrated in style, with concerts in the streets of London.
On September 9, 2015, she surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain's longest ruling monarch, who reigned for 63 years.

The whole British Royal Family

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