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ON her 21st birthday, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth pledged that “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted
to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”. For a woman who became the Queen of England as a result of posterity, because if her father had a male child, she wouldn't have been anywhere near the throne, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary 11, has come a long way. She has not only achieved a feat in a man's world and domain, but has also remained good to her words.
Known and fondly called Lilibet by her close family members, Queen Elizabeth, first child of Prince Albert, of York, who later became King George V1 and his wife Elizabeth was delivered through Caesarean Section on April 20,1926.
She was named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra, after George V's mother who died six months before she was born and Mary, after her paternal grandmother. Her only sibling was Princess Margaret, born in 1930.
Both of them were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and governess, - Marion Crawford.
During her tender years, she was reported to have had an air of authority and effectiveness which was astonishing for her age.
Her father ascended the throne as George V1, in 1939, when her uncle Edward V111 was abducted.
Though her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen as the Prince of Wales was still young and then, it was expected of him to marry and have his own children. However, when her grandfather, George V, died, and her uncle Edward succeeded, she became second in line to the throne after her father.
When her father eventually became the king, she became heiress. If her parents had had a son, he would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession.
Queen Elizabeth 11 began to undertake public duties during the Second World War; where she served in the auxiliary territorial service. She made her first radio broadcast at the age of 14, during the BBC's children's hour where she addressed children who were evacuated from cities affected by war.
A woman of many parts, Queen Elizabeth, at age 16 undertook her first public solo appearance when she visited the Grenadier Guards. As she approached 18, with the change of law, she was able to act as one of the five Counselors of the State.
Just like any other woman with normal filial feeling, she met and fell in love with Phillip her husband at 13, at the Royal Naval College, in Dartmouth, in July, 1939.
They eventually got married on November 20,1947 at Westminster Abbey. Phillip however, had to renounce his Greek and Danish titles. He took his mother’s surname and just before his wedding, he was made Duke of Edinburgh and the grand style of His Royal Highness.
Her marriage to Phillip was not without controversy, because of his financial standing, the fact that he was foreign born and his relation to Germans who his sisters married. But being who she is, tenacious and strong willed all the newspaper’s comments did not stop her from following her heart.
Her marriage was blessed with Prince Charles on November 14, 1948. Princess Anne in 1950 and Prince Andrew 1959 and Edward in 1963. She was crowned in 1953.
The many historic events of her life included a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and reciprocal visits to and from the Pope. In the United Kingdom, the Queen has seen major constitutional changes, opening both the National Assembly for Wales and Scottish Parliament.
Her times of personal significance have included the births and marriages of her children, the births of her grandchildren, the investiture of the Prince of Wales and the celebration of milestones such as her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012.
Major events in the Queen's reign have included the involvement of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in a number of conflicts, including the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands War, wars with Iraq and the War in Afghanistan.
There have been times of personal grief which include the death of her father at 56, the assassination of Prince Philip's uncle; Lord Mountbatten, the breakdown of her children's marriages in 1992, the death in 1997 of her daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, and the deaths of her mother and sister in 2002. The Queen has at times faced severe criticism of the royal family from the press, and republican sentiments, both in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, but her personal popularity remains high as she has remained apolotical and never at any time meddled in affairs of the running of the United Kingdom.No doubt,she commands the respect opf both young and old.Share