Who Was Queen Elizabeth II?
Queen Elizabeth II became queen on February 6, 1952, and was crowned on June 2, 1953. She was the mother of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, as well as the grandmother of Princes William and Harry. As the longest-serving monarch in British history, she tried to make her reign more modern and sensitive to a changing public while maintaining traditions associated with the crown.
Elizabeth died on September 8, 2022, at age 96.
When Elizabeth’s grandfather George V died in 1936, his eldest son (Elizabeth’s uncle) became King Edward VIII. Edward, however, was in love with American divorcée Wallis Simpson and had to choose between the crown and his heart. In the end, Edward chose Simpson and abdicated the crown.
The event changed the course of her life, making her the heir presumptive to the British crown. Her father was crowned King George VI in 1937, taking on the name George to emphasize continuity with his father. Her mother became Queen Elizabeth; on King George’s death in 1952, she became Queen Mother and her daughter became Queen Elizabeth II.