Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

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Birthday: Apr 21, 1926

Birthplace: London, England, UK

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, was both the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, and the world's oldest and longest-serving head of state as of 2018. Although support for the monarchy waxed and waned since her coronation, she herself remained consistently popular amongst her subjects. Born on April 21, 1926 in the Mayfair section of London, Elizabeth was the eldest child of George, the Duke of York, and Elizabeth, the Duchess of York (her only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930). At the time of her birth, her grandfather, George V, was King, and Elizabeth was third in line for succession, behind her uncle, Edward, the Prince of Wales. In 1936, King George V died, and Edward VII took over the throne. However, his reign was to be short lived: less than a year later, Edward abdicated after he proposed marriage to Wallis Simpson, a divorced American socialite, which caused a constitutional crisis. In the wake of this controversy, Elizabeth's father stood up and became king, leading to Elizabeth becoming heir presumptive. In September of 1939, Great Britain entered World War II, and while many argued that Elizabeth and Rosemary should be moved to Canada for their safety, the royal family lived out the war years at Windsor Castle. In 1940, Elizabeth made her first radio address, on the BBC's Children's Hour. Three years later, she made her first public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards. On VE Day, Elizabeth and Margaret anonymously took to the streets of London to celebrate amongst the crowds. 1947 proved to be a momentous year for Elizabeth, as she went on her first overseas tour, accompanying her parents through Southern Africa, and on July 9, 1947, her engagement to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was announced. Though they had known each other since they were children, and Elizabeth had reportedly been in love with him since she was only 13, their union was not without controversy: Philip was in poor financial standing, was foreign born, and had family links to the Nazi party. The Queen Mother reportedly disliked him initially, and called him "The Hun." Despite all this, Elizabeth and Philip, who took the title Duke of Edinburgh, were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey. A year later, on November 14, 1948, Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, with Princess Anne following soon after, in 1950. On February 6, 1952, King George VI died, sparking Elizabeth's immediate accession to the throne. She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace, though he was reportedly less than thrilled that the royal house would retain her name, as opposed to his, Mountbatten. On June 2, 1953, Elizabeth's coronation ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey; it was the first televised coronation in British history. In 1957, she addressed the United Nations General Assembly during a state visit to the United States. During the 1960s and 1970s, over 20 countries gained independence, shrinking the once mighty British Empire considerably. She also found herself dealing with the 1974 hung parliament, a 1975 constitutional crisis in Australia, and a contentious state visit from Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, an outspoken proponent of republicanism, in 1977. That same year, Elizabeth celebrated her Silver Jubilee, and despite widespread economic poverty, she remained popular. The 1980s were a turbulent time for Elizabeth, including sometimes tense relationships with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan, a foiled assassination attempt during the 1981 Trooping the Colour ceremony, an unhinged intruder breaking into Buckingham Palace in 1982, and nearly endless press speculation about the Royal family's wealth, leading to public opinion of republicanism hitting an all-time high. The 1990s did not prove to be any easier, in fact, Elizabeth gave a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession, in which she called 1992 her annus horribilis, Latin for "horrible year." Indeed, the year saw three of her four children's marriages fall apart very publicly, she was pelted with eggs thrown by angry demonstrators in Dresden, Germany, Windsor Castle was nearly destroyed in a fire, and she sued The Sun newspaper for publishing the text of her annual Christmas message two days before it was broadcast. The fallout from the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, would continue to haunt Elizabeth over the next few years, and while she remained popular, public opinions of her family and their antics were at an all-time low. Things got even worse in 1997, when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were on holiday with their extended family at their estate in Balmoral, Scotland, when the news broke, and the public was horrified at the family's seclusion and failure to lower the flags to half mast. Facing incredible backlash, Elizabeth decided to return to London, and address the nation via television the day before Diana's funeral, which calmed much of the backlash. She and Philip celebrated their golden anniversary in November of that year, and in a speech, she referred to him as "my strength and my stay." In 2002, Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee, sparking an unexpectedly enthusiastic response from the public, especially after so many years of controversy. Though she was reportedly "exasperated and frustrated" with Prime Minister Tony Blair, especially his handling of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Elizabeth kept a mostly low profile for much of the mid-2000s. She addressed the United Nations for the second time in 2010, and celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, marking 60 years on the throne. Though she carried out fewer public engagements after turning 91, and Philip officially retired from his duties as Queen's consort in August of 2017, Elizabeth had no plans to abdicate as of early 2018.

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Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Coronation Unknown (Character) - 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Queen's Green Planet Unknown (Character) - 2018
38% No Score Yet Queen of the World Unknown (Character) - 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Elizabeth at 90: A Family Tribute Self - 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Welcome the Queen! Unknown (Character) - 1954

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