On This Day

Elizabeth II

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II

Profession: Queen of the United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Biography: The longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch in British history, Elizabeth is the constitutional head of 16 sovereign states and head of the Commonwealth of Nations. In her capacity as British monarch she also ceremonially heads the Church of England as its Supreme Governor.

The eldest daughter of George VI, she became the heiress presumptive when her father acceded the throne following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. During World War II, she began to undertake public duties and worked in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After the death of her father she acceded the throne in 1952.

Her reign has seen immense constitutional changes in Britain. This includes devolution to the regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Canadian patriation, African decolonization and the continuing evolution of the Commonwealth, of which she is the head. Personal tribulations have included the collapse of her children's marriages, a fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and the deaths of her mother and sister in 2002.

In 2017 she became the first British monarch to reach her Sapphire Jubilee.

Born: April 21, 1926
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Age: 95 years old

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Taurus

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1947-11-20 Future British Queen Princess Elizabeth II (21) weds Lt Philip Mountbatten (26) in Westminster Abbey, London

Historical Events

  • 1945-03-04 In the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Auxiliary Transport Service as a driver.
  • 1952-02-06 Queen Elizabeth II succeeds King George VI to the British throne and proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand
  • 1953-04-16 British royal yacht Britannia launched by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1953-04-24 Winston Churchill knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1953-06-02 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey, London, England
  • 1954-01-12 Queen Elizabeth II opens New Zealand parliament
  • 1957-01-01 George Town, Penang becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 1957-10-14 Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first Canadian monarch to open the Parliament of Canada with the Speech from the Throne.
  • 1958-06-09 HM Queen Elizabeth II officially opens London Gatwick Airport, (LGW), Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom.
  • 1958-12-05 Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.
  • 1959-10-17 Queen Elizabeth II is fined $140 for withdrawing her race horse
  • 1960-02-08 Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".
  • 1966-09-08 The Severn Bridge between England and Wales is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1967-09-20 British liner Queen Elizabeth II launched at Clydebank Scotland
  • 1967-12-01 Queen Elizabeth II inaugurates 98-inch (249-cm) Isaac Newton telescope
  • 1968-01-02 Cecil Day-Lewis is appointed British Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1972-10-20 John Betjeman is appointed British Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1973-03-17 Queen Elizabeth II opens new London Bridge
  • 1973-10-20 Queen Elizabeth II opens the Sydney Opera House
  • 1976-03-26 Queen Elizabeth II sent out the first royal email, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment
  • 1977-06-09 Silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain celebrated with fireworks
  • 1981-06-13 Teenager fires 6 blank rounds at Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1982-06-07 US President Ronald Reagan meets with Pope John Paul II at Vatican City, Rome and later Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1984-12-28 Ted Hughes is appointed British Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1986-10-12 Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visit the People's Republic of China
  • 1988-05-09 Australia's new parliament house is opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Canberra
  • 1989-06-14 Ronald Reagan is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (honorary knighthood)
  • 1991-01-15 Elizabeth II signs letters patent that allows Australia to institute its own Victoria Cross, the first Commonwealth realm to do so
  • 1991-05-16 Queen Elizabeth II becomes 1st British monarch to address US congress
  • 1995-10-25 Singer Cliff Richard receives his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, - 1st rock star to be knighted
  • 1997-03-11 Beatle Paul McCartney knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1998-02-24 Elton John knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London
  • 1998-07-12 South African President Nelson Mandela accompanies Queen Elizabeth II on a coach drive through the streets of London
  • 2004-01-08 RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II
  • 2006-11-11 New Zealand war memorial monument unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army
  • 2007-12-20 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.
  • 2009-02-18 English fantasy author Terry Pratchett receives a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace
  • 2012-02-06 Queen Elizabeth II marks the 60th anniversary of becoming British monarch, becoming only the second to do so
  • 2012-07-27 Queen Elizabeth II opens the 30th Olympics in London, United Kingdom (with some help from 007)
  • 2015-09-09 Queen Elizabeth II becomes Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch at 63 years and seven months, beating the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria
  • 2016-11-04 British TV series "The Crown" premieres with Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth II and Matt Smith as Prince Philip
  • 2016-12-30 British singer-songwriter Ray Davies, of The Kinks, is awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 2018-02-20 Queen of England, Elizabeth II makes surprise appearance at London fashion week
  • 2018-05-19 Queen Elizabeth II grants the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle upon their marriage
  • 2018-07-13 Large protests in London against US President Donald Trump featuring Trump-like baby blimp as President Trump meets Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle
  • 2019-03-07 Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain shares her first Instagram post, a letter between mathematician Charles Babbage and Prince Albert
  • 2019-11-07 Queen Elizabeth II confirms she is no longer buying clothes made with real fur
  • 2019-12-03 70th anniversary of NATO marked by gathering in London of world leaders and reception by Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace
  • 2020-01-13 Queen Elizabeth II issues a statement saying she reluctantly supports Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wish to live a more independent life
  • 2020-04-05 British monarch Queen Elizabeth II makes an address to the nation “we will meet again”, for only the 5th time in her 66-year reign
  • 2020-09-16 Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Mottley announces the country's intention to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become a republic
  • 2021-03-09 Queen Elizabeth II publicly expresses "concern" after Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex interview, saying allegations including of racism with be dealt with privately
  • 2021-04-17 Funeral of Prince Philip, consort to Queen Elizabeth II, held under COVID-19 restrictions at Windsor Palace, England
  • 2021-06-13 US President Joe Biden has tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle
  • 2021-11-28 Barbados becomes a Republic, removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in a ceremony with Sandra Mason sworn in as the first President, with Rihanna declared a national hero

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