Ahen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Princess Elizabeth of York was born on April 23, 1926 on Bruton Street in London’s Mayfair, her father Prince Albert wrote to his mother Queen Mary: ‘I hope you and father are delighted at the birth of yours granddaughter,” adding, qualifyingly, “Or would you rather have another granddaughter?”
Nobody could have guessed at the time that this girl, whose sex was considered suboptimal shortly after birth, would become Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, head of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Church of England almost 26 years later. It was believed that the future children of Elizabeth’s uncle David, later King Edward VIII, would rule the country. But things turned out differently: he abdicated, his brother became king and died young. At just 25, Elizabeth became queen and one of the most famous and powerful women in the world. A woman of the century whose death at the age of 96 shook the world these days.
All people in all parts of the world who were born after 1953 did not know any other British Queen. During her reign, the Queen experienced seven popes, 15 British prime ministers, 14 American presidents, seven federal chancellors and one female chancellor. She was just always there. A familiar face, with dark, wavy hair that turned gray over time, then white.
Everything under control as a child
She seemed small in the last decades when she dressed tone on tone and opened hospitals with a gentle smile or visited one of her countless charity projects. An iron lady who, unlike Margaret Thatcher, who actually wore this unofficial title as Prime Minister in the 1980s, did not flaunt her stamina and determination, but always acted polite and friendly and, incidentally, at seven decades, the longest reign in history held by the British monarchy. Her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was only 63 years old.
But Elisabeth differed even more from the formative regent of the Victorian age in her character. Viktoria was considered moody and impulsive, not necessarily emotionally stable. Not so Elisabeth, who attracted attention even as a child by carefully completing her tasks. She was seen as disciplined and orderly from an early age. While her sister Margaret was gorging on candy, Lilibet, as she was called as a child, ate each piece of candy, according to her nanny. She had everything under control from an early age. Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote in September 1928 in a letter to his wife that Lilibet, just two years old, had a “surprising aura of authority and thoughtfulness” for a small child. Later, when she was Queen and he was Prime Minister, he was completely devoted to her.