When Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born, she was not a direct heir to the throne since her father was the second son of King George V. But after her grandfather died and her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated — both within the same year — Elizabeth’s father became King George VI. The move made the young princess, who was just 10 years old, the next in line.
From this moment on, her life changed as she began training to be the next monarch.
Elizabeth married Prince Philip a couple of years after World War II ended and he had returned from serving overseas in the navy in 1947. Soon after, they had their first two children, Charles and Anne.
On February 6, 1952, at age 25, Elizabeth acceded to the throne. After eight years as queen, she had her third child, Andrew, and in 1964 her last son, Edward.
From an early age, Elizabeth understood the power of media and harnessed it to great effect throughout her reign. At her coronation in 1953, she requested cameras be allowed into Westminster Abbey to televise the event for the first time. She would go on to permit cameras at her daily engagements, allow unprecedented access to her private life in the 1969 BBC documentary “Royal Family,” and even dipped her toe into social media when she joined Twitter in 2014.
As queen, she was served by 15 UK prime ministers, met 12 serving US presidents ,countless heads of state and visited over 120 countries.
In 2022, she celebrated her platinum jubilee — which marked an incredible 70 years on the throne — and three months later she died of old age in Balmoral, Scotland, at age 96. She was laid to rest alongside her husband of 73 years at Windsor Castle.
Last updated: December 21, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II is the King’s