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Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth, Alexandra, Mary, at 17 Bruton Street, in London, on 21st April 1926.
Queen Elizabeth II looks set to become one of the longest reigning monarchs of Great Britain. The empire over which previous monarchs ruled has reduced in size but still includes a fair mix of countries. She is currently the reigning queen and head of state of 16 independent sovereign states, known as the Commonwealth realms, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In addition, as Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations and, as the British monarch; she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Queen Elizabeth II was never destined to become Queen and, but for Edward's abdication to marry Wallis Simpson, would probably have never done so. Edward's abdication saw the Queen's mother and father, namely George and Elizabeth unexpectedly crowned. Her father became King George VI and her mother Queen Elizabeth.
King George did not live a long nor a healthy life and his wife blamed his early demise on the abdication, which led to his enthronement as King. After his death, the present Queen's mother went to become a public figurehead loved by many and refferred to as the Queen Mother. Living past 100 years, she was a comfort for the present Queen throughout her reign.
The Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 ,when she was a young woman. Her husband from November 20th 1947, Phillip, became her consort and known as Prince Phillip. Their first child Charles was born in 1948. The couple also have a daughter Anne, and two more boys, Andrew and Edward.
The Queen was officially heralded as Queen in June 1953, when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The coronation was celebrated around the country with street parties and well wishers. Her coronation led to her being called “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith”.
Her rule has seen various political, personal and world changes and conflicts.
Queen Elizabeth II though always seems able to rise again. The British Royal family have experienced periods of popularity and the reverse in modern times. In fairly recent years the death of Princess Diana looked set to have a negative effect on the Queen and the institution, that is the British monarchy. The people were angry at the Queen's apparent lack of feelings at this time. With some input from Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Royal Family bared their grief to the watching world and this tragedy had a positive effect on the establishment.
Currently, with two royal weddings in 2011 and the Queen's jubilee celebrations in 2012, the British Royal Family look set to have a surge in good publicity and so be around for the foreseeable future.
21st April 2011:
Queen Elizabeth had her 85th birthday today. This year the Queen's birthday coincided with Maundy Thursday in the UK. This meant the early part of her birthday was spent giving out commemorative Maundy coins to selected pensioners in Westminster Abbey. On 29th April she will return as main guest at the wedding of her Grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton.