This year we have said probably the happiest ‘Happy Birthday’ we could ever give to our dear Queen Elizabeth who has certainly been celebrating turning 90 in style! A very special event was held in Windsor during May where over 1,500 participants and 900 horses created a delightful 90 minute extravaganza for our lady. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even more fun to be had this month too. On June 10th, there’s going to be a Service of Thanksgiving held at St. Paul’s Cathedral and June 11th will be the date of the annual official celebration of the Queen’s birthday, Trooping the Colour. We can only ever dream of having a birthday party as long as the Queen’s, but it’s safe to say she most definitely deserves it! Serving the United Kingdom for a record-breaking 63 years, we look back at the astonishing history of Her Majesty in celebration of her story.
Queen Elizabeth was born in London to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in April 1926. She was privately educated at home with her sister Princess Margaret, taking lessons in history, literature, music and language; even learning French from native speakers. Elizabeth in her younger years developed a love for dogs and horses, alongside a particular flair in attitude for responsibility and authority, which was interestingly observed by Winston Churchill. She was a characterful and jolly, but also a very well-behaved and sensible infant. Elizabeth’s birth and childhood drew much public interest at the time, but as her uncle the Prince of Wales was still young in reign after being crowned in the 1930s and with her father next in line, it seemed unlikely that she would ever become Queen. How wrong they were!
In 1939, Britain entered World War II and at a young age, Elizabeth began to take responsibility of public duties, serving the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. She trained here as a driver, mechanic and was later promoted up to honorary junior commander in 1945. It looks like she definitely wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty! In 1946, it was suggested by Welsh politicians that Elizabeth was made Princess of Wales for her 18th birthday, but this was rejected by the King, saying that such a title belonged to the wife of the Prince of Wales (Charles). This wasn’t important for our Lizzie because not too long after the end of the war in 1947 at age 21, she married the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip and had four children: Anne, Andrew, Charles and Edward. Did you know that Elizabeth and Philip are third cousins through Queen Victoria and the pair met when Elizabeth was only 13 years old? There were some controversies when the engagement was announced, but the wedding at Westminster Abbey was a much-celebrated event with the couple receiving 2500 gifts from around the world!
After the decline in health and death of her father George VI in 1952, Elizabeth became immediate accession to the throne and was crowned on June 2nd 1953. The Queen has incredibly celebrated all of the coronation milestones including her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012, alongside all of the births and marriages of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. However, Her Majesty has also endured much sadness at times such as the death of her father, mother and sister, the assassination of Prince Philip’s uncle and the loss of her son’s wife Princess Diana in 1997. Nonetheless, her support for the Monarchy remains strong and recently in 2015, she became the longest reigning British Monarch after surpassing her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Now at 90, the Queen carries out much fewer public engagements than before, with the responsibility now on the heir to the throne, Prince Charles and her other relatives. She’s a very private lady who has never given a press interview, but what we do know is that she enjoys living a family life, wearing bright colours with a matching hat and absolutely loves her Pembroke Welsh Corgis! Happy Birthday once again to Her Royal Highness and we hope she’ll finally get to put her feet up soon after all these parties.