Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of 16 realms, including the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. She is the Head of the Commonweath of Nations and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. At the time of her birth she was not expected to become Queen; however, when her father’s elder brother, then King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson and become the Duke of Windsor, history was changed.
Queen Elizabeth II is the second-longest-reigning British monarch. She will become the longest reigning on September 11, 2015. During World War II, she served as a military driver and mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. The vast majority of her life, however, has been spent in the world of charitable support, diplomacy and ceremony.
Her role is largely ceremonial but she keeps abreast of current affairs and meets the Prime Minister weekly to “advise, warn or counsel.” Her red book of government papers, memos and documents follows her almost everywhere.
Name: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; House of Windsor
Birthday: 21 April, 1926
Principal title: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith. The Queen has different styles in each of the other 15 realms and in independent areas such as the Isle of Man.
Refer to her as: Initially, Your Majesty; thereafter, Ma’am.
Don’t refer to her as: The Queen of England
Parents: King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother.
Siblings: HRH Princess Margaret (deceased)
Husband: Prince Philip, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark
- HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (among other titles)
- HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal
- HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
- Mr. Peter Phillips
- Ms. Zara Phillips (Mrs. Zara Tindall)
- HRH Prince William of Wales
- HRH Prince Harry of Wales
- HRH Princess Beatrice of York
- HRH Princess Eugenie of York
- Lady Louise Windsor
- James, Viscount Severn
- Miss Savannah Phillips
- Miss Isla Elizabeth Phillips
Charitable patronages, presidencies and honorary roles, such as Commodore-in-Chief: 619 (as of January, 2012)
Sources of income: For official business, the Sovereign Support Grant; for other business, private income from private holdings. In exchange for the grant, the government receives moneys from the Crown Estate, which includes the official residences of Queen Elizabeth.
Official (state-owned) residences: Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Privately owned residences: Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle.
Unoccupied residences: Frogmore, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Whitehall, Tower of London
- 20 November, 1947: Marriage to Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey
- 14 November, 1948: First child, Prince Charles, born
- 6 February, 1952: Accession to the throne
- 2 June, 1953: Coronation
- 1977: Silver Jubilee (25 years on the throne)
- 15 November 1977: First grandchild, Peter Phillips, born
- 1992: Golden Jubilee (50 years on the throne); Annus Horribilis
- 21 April, 1996: 80th birthday
- 29 December, 2010: First great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips, born
- 12 May, 2011: Became second-longest reigning monarch