HM Queen Elizabeth II (1926- )

Medal - Elizabeth II Coronation, Sunraysia

Image: Medal - Elizabeth II Coronation, Sunraysia

Source: Museum Victoria

Queen Elizabeth II was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, George and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Five weeks after her birth she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Her sister Princess Margaret was born four years later.

Their father was not expected to be king but with the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, he became King George VI in 1936.

Elizabeth and Margaret were educated at home. When Elizabeth became Heiress Presumptive to the throne in 1936 she started to study constitutional history and law. She made her first radio broadcast at the age of 14 when she spoke to the children of the Commonwealth, many being evacuated due to the Second World War.

After the War her public engagements grew. Her first official visit overseas occurred in 1947, when she accompanied her parents and sister on a tour of South Africa.

Elizabeth married her fourth cousin Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. They had four children: Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales and Heir Apparent to the throne, born in 1948; Princess Anne, now the Princess Royal, born in 1950; Prince Andrew, now the Duke of York, born in 1960; and Prince Edward, now Earl of Wessex, born in 1964.

During an Official tour of Kenya in 1952 Princess Elizabeth was informed of the death of her father, and that she was Queen. She immediately returned to England to take up her duties and to lead the nation in mourning. Her coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.

The Queen has visited Australia numerous times, including in 1954, 1973, 1992, 2006 and 2011.

References:
http://www.tcmuseum.org/royal_events/queen_elizabeth_ii_biography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_II_of_the_United_Kingdom

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