Monday, April 21, 2014

Royal Profile: Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born 21 April 1926, as the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York {Source}. She would be joined by a younger sister, Princess Margaret in 1930{Source}.

The young princess was third in line for the British throne at the time of her birth, after her paternal uncle and father, and was not expected to take the crown{Source}.

She was christened as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary for her mother, paternal great-grandmother and paternal grandmother{Source}. Her godparents consisted of{Source}:
  • King George V (paternal grandfather)
  • Queen Mary (paternal grandmother)
  • Princess Mary [Viscountess Lascelles] (aunt)
  • The Duke of Connaught (great-great-uncle)
  • The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne (maternal grandfather)
  • Lady Elphinstone
Her earliest years were spent between her parents' private residence in London and White Lodge in Richmond Park, as well as her grandparents' country homes{Source}. When she turned six years old, her parents took over the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their own country home{Source}.

Her relatively normal upbringing and quiet family life came to an abrupt end in January 1936, with the death of her paternal grandfather {Source}. As her uncle was without a family of his own, Princess Elizabeth was now second in line for the British throne{Source}. However, by the end of that year, in December, her uncle would abdicate the throne, leaving her father to become King Geogre VI{Source} and ten year old Princess Elizabeth as first in line for the British throne{Source}.

The young Princess and her sister began their education at home, supervised by governesses {Source}. Upon her uncle's abdication and her father's asccendance to the throne, ten year old Princess Elizabeth began to study constitutional history and law, to prepare her for her future role as Queen {Source}. She studied French with her Belgian and French governesses,studied art and music,  religion, horseback ridding, swimming  {Source}.

She also was part of several extra-curricular activities. In 1939, Princess Elizabeth participated in and won the Children's Challenge Shield at London's Bath Club  {Source}. She was enrolled in Girl Guides at the age of eleven, and became a Sea Ranger {Source}.

During WWII, the young Princess and her sister were moved to the safety of Windsor Castle {Source}. During the Christmas times in the 1940s, the young princess and her sister would  put on pantomimes with the children of members of staff for the enjoyment of her family and employees of the Royal Household{Source}. At the age of 14 in 1940, Princess Elizabeth participated in a live radio broadcast during the BBC Children's programme to the children of Britian and the Commonwealth, especially those whom had been evacuated {Source}. In 1942, she was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards, and she would perform her first solo public engagement when she inspected the regiment in April of that same year{Source}. A year later, in April 1943, she spent the day with her reigiment in Southern Command{Source}. From then onwards, Princess Elizabeth was actively involved in the roles of the monarchy, much of which involved organizations connected to youth{Source}. She was president of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children (closed in 1998) and National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children{Source}. In March 1944, she began to accompany her parents on tours of Great Britain{Source}.

She turned eighteen in March 1944, and was appointed a Counsellor of State during the King's adsence on a tour of the Italian battlefields, and for the first time carried out duties of the Head of State{Source}. In August 1944, with Queen Elizabeth, the Princess received an address from the House of Commons, and replied on behalf of the Throne{Source}. In September, she carried out her first official tour of Scotland with her parents, a tour which included her opening ceremony in October, when she opened the recently reconstructed Aberdeen Sailors' Home{Source}. Her first flight by air was on a tour of Northern Ireland with her parents {Source}. In early 1945 the Princess was made a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS){Source}. By the end of the war she had reached the rank of Junior Commander, having completed her course at No. 1 Mechanical Training Centre of the ATS and passed out as a fully qualified driver{Source}.

She was married to Sir Philip Mountbatten on 20 November 1947 {Source}. Upon their marriage, her father granted his new son-in-law the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich {Source}.  This made the young Princess Elizabeth the Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth and Baroness Greenwich {Source}. Together, they have four children, eight grandchildren, two granddaughters-in-law, and a grandson-in-law, and four great-grandchildren {Source}:
  1. The Prince Charles of Wales
    1. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge
      1. Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge
      2. Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge
    2. Prince Henry of Wales
  2. The Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
    1. Princess Beatrice of York
    2. Princess Eugenie of York
  3. The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal
    1. Mr. Peter Mark Andrew Philips
      1. Mrs. Autumn Kelly Philips
        1. Miss Savannah Anne Kathleen Philips
        2. Miss Isla Elizabeth Philips
    2. Mrs. Zara Anne Elizabeth Philips Tindall
      1. Mr. Michael Tindall
        1. Miss Mia Grace Tindall

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