Elizabeth II

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Elizabeth II,

1926–, queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1952–), elder daughter and successor of George VIGeorge VI
(Albert Frederick Arthur George), 1895–1952, king of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1936–52), second son of George V; successor of his elder brother, Edward VIII. He attended the royal naval colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth and served in World War I.
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, and Britain's longest reigning monarch. At age 18 she was made a State Counsellor, a confidante of the king. During World War II she trained as a junior subaltern (second lieutenant) in the women's services. On Nov. 20, 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, duke of Edinburgh (see Edinburgh, Prince Philip Mountbatten, duke ofEdinburgh, Prince Philip Mountbatten, duke of
, 1921–, consort of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, b. Greece. He was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice, daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg, and a grandson of George I of Greece, great-grandson of
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). They were in Kenya (en route for a tour of Australia and New Zealand) when the king died (Feb. 6, 1952) and Elizabeth succeeded to the throne. Her coronation, on June 2, 1953, was the first to be televised. She is also head of state in a number of former British possessions and is head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

An extremely popular queen, Elizabeth has traveled more extensively than any previous British monarch. Throughout her reign, expanded media coverage has brought the monarchy closer to the British people. Although the queen, who in public is formal and unemotional, continues to be greatly admired and respected, since the mid-1980s a barrage of tabloid reports about her children and their spouses has tarnished the public image of the royal family. In 1992 she celebrated her 40th year on the throne, but it was also a year in which part of Windsor Castle suffered a devastating fire; her son Prince Andrew (b. 1960) separated from his wife, the former Sarah Ferguson (they were divorced in 1996); her daughter, Princess AnneAnne
(Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise), 1950–, British princess, only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh. She was educated at Benenden School.
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, divorced; and her son and heir to the throne Prince CharlesCharles
(Charles Philip Arthur George), 1948–, prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and heir apparent to the British throne. He was created prince of Wales in 1958 and invested at Caernarvon Castle in 1969.
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 and his wife Princess DianaDiana,
princess of Wales, 1961–97, wife of Charles, prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. The daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, Lady Diana Frances Spencer was a kindergarten teacher in London before her 1981 marriage to Charles.
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 separated (they were divorced in 1996). Elizabeth's youngest son is Prince Edward (b. 1964). In 1992 Elizabeth, the wealthiest woman in England, agreed to pay income tax for the first time. Although she was widely criticized for her seeming insensitivity in the days following Princess Diana's death (1997), she had regained the public's esteem by the time of her golden jubilee, less than five years later.


See biographies by E. Longford (1984), S. Bradford (1996), B. Pimlott (1997), and S. B. Smith (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Elizabeth II


Born Apr. 21, 1926, in London. Queen of Great Britain; of the House of Windsor.

Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth II

born 1926, queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1952; daughter of George VI
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and her mother (later the Queen Mother) proudly wore their royal crowns whilst on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation of King George VI in May 1937.
Elizabeth II, who never expected to take the throne and did so only because her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, ascended to the throne in 1952, in the twilight of the British Empire.
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