Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born in London on April 21 1926. She was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, George and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Five weeks after her birth she was christened in the chapel of Buckingham Palace and was given the names Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.
Her father was not expected to be king but with the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, after the scandal of his affair with Divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson, who he later married, the Duke of York became King George VI in 1936, with his coronation in the following year. This meant that in her early years Princess Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen, and in many ways this allowed her development to take place outside the media glare.
Along with her younger sister, Margaret, she was educated at home and with her becoming Heir Apparent to the throne in 1936 she started to study constitutional history and law. She was thrust into public duty at the age of 14 when she made her first radio broadcast to all the children of Britain and the Commonwealth, especially those being evacuated due to the Second World War.
After the Second World War Princess Elizabeth's public engagements grew in number and frequency. Her first official visit overseas took place in 1947, when she accompanied her parents and sister on a tour of South Africa.
Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, her 4th cousin, in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. In October 1947 the Commissioner of the Turks and Caicos announced that he would be glad to receive subscriptions for a wedding present for Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth. The Gazette for October 25th recorded that subscriptions were “limited to one shilling and will be handed to Princess Elizabeth for the endowment of Hospital Cots, Empire Scholarships and other good causes”. The Gazette for December 6th showed that in the end �20 11s 3d was contributed by the Turks and Caicos Islands.
During their marriage they have had four children. Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales and Heir Apparent to the throne, was born in 1948: Princess Anne, now the Princess Royal, was born in 1950: Prince Andrew, now the Duke of York, was born in 1960: and Prince Edward, was born in 1964. At the time of the birth of Prince Andrew the Turks and Caicos sent the following telegram to his Excellency the Governor on the 21st February, 1960 for transmission to the secretary of state for the Colonies “The Administrator and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands would like for you to convey to Her Majesty the Queen their sincere congratulations on the birth of a Prince”
During an Official tour of Kenya in 1952 Princess Elizabeth was informed of the death of her father, and that she was now Queen Elizabeth II. She immediately returned to England to take up her duties and to lead the nation in mourning the death of King George VI. Her coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
In 1977, the Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen travelled some 56,000 miles to share the anniversary with her people.