Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

By Viviana Garcia

London, September 19 (EFE).- Queen Elizabeth II, who He breathed his last at Balmoral Castle on Thursday, September 8 (Scotland), entered the history books as one of the greatest British monarchs, admired and respected by the citizens, whom he served with recognized dedication throughout the world.

For the British, Elizabeth II’s life was a symbol of firmness, professional like few others and a very clear sense of neutrality and “who rules not”.

Isabel Alejandra Maria, Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth of Nations (a former colony of the Commonwealth), is the longest-serving monarch in the history of the British monarchy.

With her integral bag on her arm and her colorful dress for all to see, Elizabeth II became a British icon by the end of her reign, a witness to the UK’s transformation and a living story in itself.

Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to Ireland in 2011
Queen Elizabeth II on a historic visit to Ireland in 2011. EFE/Maxwells Gobierno Ireland

Turning point in the life of Elizabeth II

Born in London on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, educated by tutors within palace walls and without marking her arrival in the world to guide the fortunes of the United Kingdom.

At the time, Elizabeth was third in line to the throne after her uncle, King Edward VIII, and her father, but her future took an unexpected turn at the age of 10, when her uncle abdicated to marry a divorcee. American Wallis Simpson. In December 1936, Elizabeth became heir to the throne as her father, Prince Albert, took over as George VI.

Before these changes, which tested the survival of the British monarchy, Elizabeth had a happy childhood, playing at home with other girls her age thanks to a team created especially for her, as her time at school was excluded. At that time.

Portrait of the then Princess Elizabeth of England, days before her fifth birthday.
Portrait of Elizabeth of England, a few days before her fifth birthday. EFE/Marcus Adams

Her family called her Lilybet and she was a lover of dogs and horses from an early age and was very close to her sister Princess Margaret, who was four years her junior.

After becoming crown princess, Elizabeth received a more specialized education with an emphasis on history as her country entered World War II.

As a teenager, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary subaltern and took driving and vehicle repair classes during the war.

She married the Duke of Edinburgh.

By then she was already corresponding with the handsome Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, whom she would marry two years after the war, on November 20, 1947, when King George VI created Philip the Duke of Edinburgh.

Ceremonial wedding portrait of Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
The wedding of Princess Elizabeth II of England and the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. EFE/Central Press Photo

While still a Crown Princess, Elizabeth had Prince Charles and Princess Anne before her father died on February 6, 1952, and she became Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth received the news while on an official visit to Kenya and immediately returned to London, where Prime Minister Winston Churchill was waiting for her to begin one of the most important and successful reigns in history.

Elizabeth II was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey
Coronation of Elizabeth II as Queen of England at Westminster Abbey. EFE/TOPIX/esl

A few years later, two more children, Andres and Eduardo, were born, while Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh maintained a busy work schedule and the Windsors enjoyed great popularity.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, on a Balmoral holiday with their children
The British Royal Family in the gardens of Balmoral Castle in 1972.

Family problems in the life of Elizabeth II

With a stoic attitude in the face of the most difficult moments, Elizabeth II faced economic crisis, demographic changes, loss of colonies, war, the terrorism of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the development of letters and the arts and also, family tragedies, such as the death of Diana of Wales.

She had to deal with the divorce of three of her four children – Carlos, Anna and Andres, although it was the separation of the Princes of Wales, Carlos and Diana, in 1992 that was one of the most difficult moments of her reign, symbolized by her famous Latin phrase “annus horribilis”. ” (terrible year), pronounced at the end of that year.

It was Princess Diana’s death in a car accident in 1997 that put her reign to the test, with the royal family seen as cold and indifferent while in Scotland as people mourned and laid flowers at Buckingham Palace.

But Elizabeth II proved her rise to the occasion by heeding then-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s advice and returning to Buckingham Palace, where she went to speak to people and read messages left by Britons.

Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince Harry and their son Prince Charles read messages written for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in tributes from Britain following her death in 1997.
Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince Harry and their son Prince Charles read messages written for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, left by Britons after her death in 1997. EPA/IAN STEWART

His final years as monarch were popularized by the marriage of the Dukes of Cambridge, William and Catherine, as well as the birth of Prince George III.

But he also had to face other problems, such as the decision of the Dukes of Sussex, Enrique and Meghan, to step down from the royal family in 2020, to become financially independent.

The crisis, known as the megaexit, worsened when the Duchess of Sussex, who accused the mixed-race royal family of racism, forced the sovereign to issue a statement saying the issue would be resolved within the family.

Another scandal in these last years of the reign was handled by the Duke of York, when the American Virginia Guiffre accused him of having sex with her when she was a minor. The lawsuit forced Prince Andrew to reach an agreement to pay her damages and prevent the case from going to trial.

One of the last images of the entire British royal family, centering Queen Elizabeth II, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a parade in June 2019. EFE/EPA/NEIL HALL

On April 9, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II suffered the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, when she would have turned 100 in June of that year.

Over the past year, the sovereign’s health has deteriorated, forcing him to postpone a number of official engagements, and on the 6th, Liz Truss, the new leader of the Conservative Party at Balmoral Castle, urged him to form a new government.

Photo of Queen Elizabeth II's last public appearance, visitors with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral.
Queen Elizabeth II with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral on September 6. EFE/EPA/Andrew Milligan/POOL

During her years on the throne, Elizabeth II had a total of 15 prime ministers, including eleven Conservatives and four Labour.

Edited by Mar Monreal

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