Obituary: The Stalwart That Was Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8th 2022 at the age of 96, will always be remembered for being a loyal, committed, and dedicated head of state who made it her duty to serve and represent the nation through her seven decades of public service.

Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British monarch and the second-longest of any monarch of a sovereign country. She was head of state of 15 other nations spread out across the world stretching from Fiji to Canada. Throughout those 70 years, she became a constant for many in a world which, since her coronation on June 2nd, 1953, has experienced numerous technological, industrial, economic and social changes. Her longevity on the throne will forever be admired, considering the tumultuous times she has lived through which no-one could possibly have predicted.

Early Years

When Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21st April 1926, on Bruton Street London, as the first child of Albert, Duke of York, second son of George V, and his duchess, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the prospect of her becoming the sovereign seemed unlikely.

SEE ALSO: The Queen on Her Platinum Jubilee: Her Reign, Part 1

Elizabeth and sister Margaret Rose were brought up in a loving household and were also educated at home, under the direction of their governess, Marion Crawford. From an early age, she was said to have displayed extraordinary levels of responsibility with those close around her ensuring that she was brought up as sensibly as possible. Despite not being sent to school, Elizabeth proved adept at languages and made a detailed study of constitutional history, with help from Queen Mary who was responsible for weekly museum and the educational gallery visits.

However, despite how quickly Elizabeth was growing up, her uncle, then Prince of Wales, was the golden boy of Britain and the Empire, and despite his affairs with women, his family expected him eventually to settle down with a suitable bride and father an heir. But she was nudged towards succession following the abdication of then Prince of Wales, and in 1936 her father, King George VI, was crowned King. His coronation and the years that followed gave Elizabeth a taste of what was to come for her.

SEE ALSO: The Queen on Her Platinum Jubilee – Her Reign, Part 2

And in February 1952, Elizabeth’s time would come after King George VI died in his sleep, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 6th February at Sandringham. Despite being still only in his fifties, it had been clear to see that the King was deteriorating as he was suffering from stress from the years of war as well as being gravely ill with lung cancer, which was developed through the many years of heavy smoking. Elizabeth saw her father for the final time in January at London airport before setting off for an overseas tour with Philip. Elizabeth heard of the death of the King while staying at a game lodge in Kenya and she instantly returned to London. As expected, the nation mourned his passing.

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