Let’s learn how to write an autobiography of Queen Elizabeth II. Although democracy is prevailing throughout the world, the existence of Kings and Queens has not vanished completely. Much like many other countries in the world, England still has a queen, and she is still regarded as her majesty all throughout the United Kingdom.
Autobiography of Queen Elizabeth II
For the rest of the world, she is known as Queen Elizabeth I. But who is she, and how was her journey to the most powerful throne of the world? Here, we will look at that journey.
Queen Elizabeth II was born on twenty-one April 1926 as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, and she is the current queen of the United Kingdom and all the 15 other Commonwealth realms.
She was born in Mayfair, London, and she was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. The Duke of York ascended the throne in 1936 after the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, and thus she automatically became the heir presumptive. In her early days, she was educated privately and also started undertaking public duties during the Second World War. Around that time, she had served the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Her husband was Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, and they tied the knot in 1947. She had four children with Philip, namely Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
It was February 1952; her father passed away when she was just 25 years old. As per inheritance, she became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. Also, she became the Head of the Commonwealth.
During her reign, she witnessed some major political changes as constitutional monarch like the Disturbances in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, and the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities. There were some remarkable events in her coronation in 1953 and also noteworthy celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in the years of 1977, 2002, and 2012 respectively. She is also the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. On 9 April 2021, she lost her husband and partner for life, Prince Philip, after 73 years of marriage. At the time of dying, Prince Philip was 99.
She is also the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-serving female head of state in history. During her reign, she has enjoyed both the republican sentiment and the criticism of the royal family. It had reached a new dimension in 1997 due to the death of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, despite all this, her image and her personal popularity have never faded away.
Writing the autobiography of such a charismatic personality in such a short span is quite difficult. However, I am trying to list the formative years of her majesty in this post.
Early life of Queen Elizabeth II
My actual name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, and they told me that I was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926. Around that time, my grandfather, King George V, was on the throne. My father, as I know it was the Duke of York, but later he became King George VI, and my mother was the Duchess of York. She also became Queen Elizabeth, and since I was named after her, you all now know me as Queen Elizabeth the second.
One thing is noteworthy about my birth, and that is, I was a Caesarean baby, and my mother gave birth to me in my maternal grandfather’s London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. Much like everyone else in my family, I was baptized by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang. It took place in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, and as I said, I was named Elizabeth after my mother; then Alexandra after my grandmother who had died six months earlier; and Mary after my paternal grandmother.
Some of my close family members used to call me “Lilibet” since I used to call myself that, and I had a penchant for giving names to others as well. Like, I used to affectionately call “Grandpa England”. I used to visit her during his serious illness in 1929, and he used to like my visits a lot.
I have only one sibling, and her name is Princess Margaret. She was born in 1930. Both of us were educated at home under the supervision of our mother, and we also had a governess named Marion Crawford. Our lessons included history, language, literature, and music. Later our governess published a biography of me and Margaret’s childhood years, and it was named The Little Princesses in 1950. But it was a reason to much dismay of the royal family. In the book, she mentioned my love for horses and dogs, my orderliness, and my attitude of responsibility.
Accession and Coronation
Around 1951, when the health of my grandfather declined, I used to stand in for him at public events. I had also toured Canada and visited President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C. Also, in 1951, the private secretary of the President had carried a draft accession declaration in case the current King died while I was on tour.
It was 1952 when Philip and I had set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of Kenya. We were in our Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge when the news arrived of the death of the King, and due to that, I ascended to the throne. It was Philip who broke the news to me, and Martin Charteris asked me to choose a regal name; I had chosen Elizabeth, and ever since I came to be called as Elizabeth II. But it annoyed the Scots because they couldn’t take that I was the first Elizabeth to rule in Scotland.
When I had ascended the throne, it was probable that the royal house would bear the Duke of Edinburgh’s name. The Duke’s uncle incidentally happened to be Lord Mountbatten, and he had advocated the name House of Mountbatten. But Philip had suggested House of Edinburgh because of his ducal title. However, the then British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and my grandmother, Queen Mary, favored the retention of the House of Windsor, and because of this decision, it was declared that Windsor would continue to be the name of the royal house.
When everyone was busy preparing for the coronation, when my sister, Princess Margaret, told me that she wished to marry someone named Peter Townsend, a divorcé‚ 16 years Margaret’s senior. He even had two sons from his previous marriage. Since the timing wasn’t right, I asked them to wait for a year. Some also thought that I did that because my thought was with some given time, the affair would wear out. I also knew that the senior politicians would always be against the match, and the Church of England would never permit remarriage after divorce. Another thing is that if my sister had contracted a civil marriage, automatically, she would have to renounce her right of succession. Eventually, she abandoned her plans with Townsend.
Queen Mary passed away on 24 March, but the coronation took place on 2 June 1953 as per planned, and upon the insistence of the later Queen before her last breath. The ceremony in Westminster Abbey was televised for the first time in history. I also had the wish that my coronation gown would be embroidered with all the floral emblems of Commonwealth countries.
Continuing Evolution of the Commonwealth
Even from the time of my birth, the British Empire was in the process of transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations. So, by the time I claimed the throne in 1952, my role as head of multiple independent states was already established. For this only, in 1953, Philip and I had embarked on a seven-month round-the-world tour where we had visited 13 countries and covered more than 40,000 miles by land, sea, and air. I was also the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand. I had seen a huge crowd, and three-quarters of the population of Australia managed to see me. During my reign, I have made hundreds of state visits to other countries and around the Commonwealth realms.
It was 1956 when the British and French prime ministers, Sir Anthony Eden and Guy Mollet, started discussing the possibility of France joining the Commonwealth. Since the proposal never got accepted, France signed the Treaty of Rome the following year. This established the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union.
But it was just the beginning of my reign, and there was a lot more that I had to go through after that.
Queen Elizabeth II always had a deep sense of religious and civic duty and has always taken her coronation oath very seriously. Apart from her official religious role as Supreme Governor of the established Church of England, she is currently a member of the national Church of Scotland.
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