Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for longer than any other British monarch. Now, as she prepares to celebrate her 90th birthday on 21 April 2016, we take a look back at Her Majesty’s eventful reign. This book covers key moments in the Queen’s life, such as World War II, changes in public perceptions, and meeting the newest members of her family, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Featuring: Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II - Discover the life of this extraordinary monarch with incredible images. The Birth of a Princess - Learn about the Queen’s early life, from childhood to marriage. Royal Duties - Looking back on trips and events that formed the monarch’s memorable moments. An Expanding Family - Get to know the newest members of the royal family.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd


celebrating queen elizabeth ii

The sixth of February is my birthday, and in 1952 I turned three. My mother took me to stay in London as a special treat, and although my memory may be coloured by all I have read and seen since, I’m sure that I can remember the crowds gathering outside Buckingham Palace and the salute of artillery guns to mark the death of King George VI. The following year, I watched on our black-and-white television as the Queen was crowned before I joined other children on the village green to celebrate the occasion with egg-and-spoon races and fancy dress contests. I went as Robin Hood. The majority of people who live in Britain today simply can’t remember a time when the Queen was not on the throne. She is part of…

the birth of a princess

Today, a royal birth would see Bruton Street packed with television cameras and satellite trucks. The whole world would be watching. But in 1926 radio was still in its infancy and television broadcasts were several years away. News of Princess Elizabeth’s birth was con ned to a brief statement from Buckingham Palace: “The Duchess of York was safely delivered of a Princess at 2.40 this morning. Both mother and daughter are doing well.” It was tucked away on page 14 of The Times. Nevertheless, crowds of well-wishers gathered on Bruton Street, and in the Coach and Horses pub on the corner, which still stands after re-building in the 1930s, the glasses were raised in celebration. Elizabeth’s paternal grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, were among the  rst visitors. Queen…

love & war

Elizabeth and Philip were distant cousins and had met before at various family gatherings, but this time it was different as Philip joined Elizabeth and her sister Margaret for tea and ginger biscuits. Lord Louis Mountbatten, the King’s cousin and Philip’s uncle, observed in his diary that “tea was a great success with the children”. It was a masterful understatement. Elizabeth had fallen in love. There was, of course, to be no whirlwind romance. On 3 September the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced on BBC radio that “this nation is at war with Germany”. Prince Philip, now a midshipman in the Royal Navy, was soon in action. His wartime service took him from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Pacific. He was mentioned in despatches…

the accession

Elizabeth and Philip did not wait to start a family. Their first son, Charles Philip Arthur George, was born at Buckingham Palace just after nine o’clock in the evening on 14 November 1948, six days before his parents’ first wedding anniversary. Prince Philip was playing squash at the time and was hastily summoned to his wife’s bedside. Crowds gathered outside the palace, the fountains in Trafalgar Square were dyed blue in Charles’s honour and Princess Elizabeth declared that food parcels should be sent to the mothers of every other child born in Britain on that day. Delighted as she was with her first son – and she wrote glowingly about him to friends – Princess Elizabeth was separated from Charles for prolonged periods in his early life. His first two Christmases…

the commonwealth

Bermuda, with barely 65,000 inhabitants, is the most populous Overseas Territory. The smallest is The Pitcairn Islands, in the Pacific, which has 56 residents according to its last census. In place of the Empire is the Commonwealth, and the Queen is its head, a role that means as much to her as the British crown. She delivers her Commonwealth Day address in March each year, and since 1997 has attended every biennial meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in countries around the world. She has officially opened every Commonwealth Games since her reign began, with two exceptions: 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica, which was too close to the World Cup in England, and 2010 in Delhi, where she was represented by the Prince of Wales. Of the Commonwealth’s 54 member states, all…

royal duties

The royal family recognized those changing times, too. The Queen had lost little of her popularity – around half the population tuned in to her 1960 Christmas broadcast – but the age of deference, of unquestioning loyalty, was over. As the decade came to an end, she was to allow the British people a window into her life that would until then have been completely unimaginable for the general public. It was also the decade when the royal family became complete, when the “us four” of her father King George VI found an echo in “we six”. Prince Andrew was born in February 1960, and was followed four years later by the Queen’s fourth child, Edward, who was born in the Belgian Suite at Buckingham Palace, where many years later her…