Monarchy is the oldest form of government in the United Kingdom. It is a constitutional monarchy, where the reigning king or queen shares power with the constitutionally organized government. But do you know who the longest-reigning British monarch is?
At the age of 95, Queen Elizabeth the II has reined longer than her father, uncle, grandfather, and great grandfather combined. She has been queen for 69 years and is considered the longest-reigning monarch.
Who is Queen Elizabeth II?
Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London. She was born during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V. She was named Elizabeth after her mother, Elizabeth the Duchess of York. She was fondly called Lilibet by her close family as that is how she would say her name during her younger years.
Her grandfather cherished Queen Elizabeth II, and she would affectionately call him Grandpa England. She would regularly visit him when he fell ill, which genuinely lifted his spirits.
She only had one sibling, Princess Margaret, born in 1930. The two princesses were educated at home under their mother’s supervision and their governess, Marion Crawford. Their lessons often focused on history, literature, language, and music. In 1950, Crawford published a biography called The Little Princesses. In the book, Crawford describes Queen Elizabeth’s love of horses and dogs and how she was incredibly responsible and orderly. (Source: Reuters)
How Did Queen Elizabeth II Become Queen?
We know that Elizabeth II was born into royalty. Her father, George the VI, became heir when her uncle Edward VII abdicated from the throne in 1936. He became the duke of Windsor, and her father became King George the IV. She became queen when her father died in 1952 and has been queen ever since then.
During the first three months of her reign, she spent mourning her father’s death. She eventually moved from the Clarence House to Buckingham Palace and carried out her first state opening of Parliament in November 1952. She was crowned queen at Westminister Abbey on June 2, 1953, at the age of 27. (Source: Britannica)
Who is Next in Line to the Throne?
As soon as Queen Elizabeth passes, her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, Charles, will become king. He is also permitted to choose his own name, but he is expected to become King Charles III. By the time this happens, a meeting of the Accession Council will take place at the St. James Palace. The coronation of Charles will be planned months after the funeral, and the title Prince of Wales will be transferred to Prince William. (Souce: The British Heritage)
What were Queen Elizabeth II’s Most Notable Accomplishments?
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is the epitome of soft power. Under her reign, the monarchy went under a massive transformation. Some of her notable accomplishments are:
- Her service during the Second World War at the age of 13.
- She brought stability to the monarchy.
- She guided the transformation to a commonwealth.
- She modernized the monarchy.
- She made the succession to the throne more quitable.
- She was the first British monarch to address congress.
- She reformed the monarchy’s finances.
- Her tireless charity work.
- She supported racial justice in the commonwealth.
- She is the longest-serving monarch in English history.