Born nearly seventy-four years ago, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
has endured much from World War II including the Blitz on London to the
more recent, devastating fire at Windsor Castle (Pimlott pg 557) making
her one of the strongest monarchs Britain has seen in quite some time.

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2:40 a.m., at 17 Bruton Street,
her maternal grandparents home, on April 21, 1926 (Pimlott pg 2). She
was born to, at the time, His Royal Higness George, Prince of Wales, and
his wife Elizabeth the Duchess of York. The Princess's actual birth was rather
difficult causing the attending doctor to perform a Caesarean section
(Pimlott pg 2-3). All though her parents were happy that she was well and basically
a healthy baby, they were quite distraught over the fact that subsequently every
child the Duchess had would have to be delivered by the same process. This
would therefore cause the number of children produced by this family rather
small, cutting the chances of having a male heir to pieces.

When Princess Elizabeth was only 10, her paternal grandfather, His Royal
Majesty, King George V, died at the age of 71 (Lacey pg 52). Shortly thereafter,
George V's eldest son, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to his younger brother George,
Princess Elizabeth's father, to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee.
Her father then assumed the throne, becoming His Royal Majesty, King George VI.
This made Princess Elizabeth the Heir Presumptive to the throne of Great Britain.

Time passed and Princess Elizabeth matured into a beautiful, young lady.
When Princess Elizabeth met Philip Mountbatten in July 1939 he was
instantly smittened with her, even though he was 18 and she was only 13 (Lacey pg 97).
It wasn't until 1943 though that Princess Elizabeth and Philip began courting.
Then in late 1946 they became engaged. They were married a year later on November 20th, 1947 (Gilmer).

A few months after they were married, Princess Elizabeth became pregnant with
the couple's first child, Charles. He was born on November 14th, 1948 (Pimlott pg 156).
The couple would go on to have three more children, Anne, Andrew, and Edward, respectively

In February of 1952, while she was away to South Africa on a visit to one of
Britain's many commonwealths, her father died in his sleep from a long time illness (Lacey pg 145).
When she was informed of the news she hurried back to London. After
slightly more than a year, Princess Elizabeth was crowned on June 2nd, 1953,
making her Queen Elizabeth II.

After the turbulence of her father's death and her accession to the throne had
died down, her life actually became very quiet. This calm in her life was to
last nearly 40 years. In this time, things did happen such as the Falkland Islands War (Pimlott pg 460)
and her daughter Anne got married but for the most part her life was tranquil for 40 years.
The year of 1992 came with several crushing blows to Queen Elizabeth.
Her eldest son, Charles, was seperated from his wife, they would be divorced in 1996,
her middle son, Andrew, also was seperated and divorced from his wife, and
there was the Windsor Castle fire. The fire hit the past seat of the nation,
a favorite retreat of the Queen's. The fire was absolutely shocking
and was just one of the layers that made the Queen's year absolutely awful.
Many people have made the comment that that was her worst year ever.

Queen Elizabeth recovered quite smoothly, as is expected by a monarch. In 1996 not
only did her son's divorce become final, but she also attended more social functions than
in any other year (Pimlott pg 580). In 1999, her youngest son, Edward was married
This brought a renewed smile to her face.

Queen Elizabeth has reigned now for nearly 50 years. She is one of the
most beloved monarchs ever. She is the great-great granddaughter of the equally famous
Queen Victoria (Lacey Front or Back Inside Cover), and will remain in
the hearts of the British public as a strong, intelligent Queen who did the very
best should could and is a credit to her country.

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