Elizabeth II, born 21 April 1926 as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, began her reign as Head of the Commonwealth and Queen Regnant of several independent countries in 1952.
Home educated, Elizabeth would go on to serve during World War II as a subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she reached the rank of Junior Commander. Two years after the war had ended, Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria.
Elizabeth and Philips’ first child, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, before Princess Anne followed two years later. When the Queen's youngest sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, were born in 1960 and 1964 respectively, they were the first children to be born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria.
However, in 1952, the death of her father, King George VI, led to her own accession to the throne, with the coronation taking place in Westminster Abbey on Jun 2, 1953.
In an unprecedented move, Elizabeth herself requested the ceremony to be broadcast not just on radio, but also on television, to bring the splendour of the event to millions around the world.
Queen Elizabeth oversaw one of the most challenging years for the Royal Family in 1992 following a major fire at Windsor Castle. In her now renowned speech to mark the 40th anniversary of her Accession as Queen of England, she described it as ‘Annus Horribilis’, which translates to ‘horrible year’ in Latin.
Pursuing a lifelong interest in sport, The Queen was at Wembley Stadium in 1966 to present captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet Trophy after England beat West Germany to win the World Cup, and she attended numerous FA Cup Finals throughout her reign.
The British monarch’s traditional image was upheld to the highest regard during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, while contributing significantly to the creation of the modern role it has since become.