Queen Elizabeth II was born in London, England, on April 21, 1926. She was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She was baptized as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. She has one younger sister, Margaret.
As a child, Elizabeth was raised primarily at 145 Piccadilly, the London residence of her grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. She also spent time at White Lodge in Richmond Park and the Yorks’ country residence, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. Elizabeth was close to her family, particularly her parents and sister Margaret. She also had a close relationship with her grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, who played a significant role in her upbringing.
Elizabeth was educated at home by a governess and later by her father and private tutors. She developed a love of horses and dogs and was known to be a good student, particularly in history and language. She also enjoyed music and learned to play the piano and violin.
During her childhood, Elizabeth’s family lived a relatively everyday life despite her father’s position as the Duke of York. However, her parents’ status as members of the royal family occasionally attracted attention, such as when they were photographed on a family holiday in Scotland.
In 1936, when Elizabeth was ten years old, her grandfather King George V died, and her uncle, Edward VIII, became king. However, he abdicated the throne the following year to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcee, and Elizabeth’s father became king, taking the name George VI. As the eldest child of the new king, Elizabeth became the heir presumptive to the throne.
In 1940, when she was 14, her father, King George VI, made her a Counsellor of State, allowing her to act as his representative in his absence. She also made her first public speech at age 14, on October 13, 1940, addressing children evacuating from London during the Blitz.
Here are some exciting photos of Queen Elizabeth from birth, childhood, and adulthood.