Queen Elizabeth is the queen of Great Britain.She was born in London on 21 April 1926. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York. Five weeks later she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.
The queen was educated at home with her yonger sister Princess Margaret. Like the rest of her family, Princess Elizabeth was athletic, loved the outdoors, and became a skilled horseback rider. After her father succeeded the throne in 1936 she started to study constitutional history and law. She also studied Art en Music.
The Queen is Patron or President of over 700 organisations. Each year, she undertakes a large number of engagements: some 531 in the UK and overseas in 2000. The Queen has many different duties to perform every day. Some are familiar public duties, such as Investitures, ceremonies, receptions or visits within the United Kingdom or abroad. Away from the cameras, however, The Queen's work goes on. It includes reading letters from the public, official papers and briefing notes; audiences with political ministers or ambassadors; and meetings with her Private Secretaries to discuss her future diary plans. No two days are ever the same and The Queen must remain prepared throughout. The Queen is not only Queen of the United Kingdom, but Head of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 independent countries. Most of these countries have progressed from British rule to independent self-government, and the Commonwealth now serves to foster international co-operation and trade links between people all over the world. The Queen is also Queen of a number of Commonwealth realms, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
On 20 November 1947 was the Queen married with Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey. He was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria. His name is now “His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh”. They had four children, and so far six grandchildren. Their children are: Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales. He was born in 1948 and he is the first child. The second child is Princess Anne, now the Princess Royal. She was born in 1950. Their third child is Prince Andrew,now the Duke of York, born in 1960. And their last child is Prince Edward in 1964, now The Earl of Wessex. The Queen send her children to boarding schools in order to remove them from the press. After the wedding she lived with her husband at Clarence House in London.
The succession to the trone
Following the untimely death of her father King George VI on February 6 1952. The Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Coronation took place sixteen months later on June 2 1953.
Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A royal palace and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis. The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. They are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection - paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.
Balmoral Castle on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is the private residence of The Queen. Beloved by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Balmoral Castle has remained a favourite residence for The Queen and her family during the summer holiday period in August and September.
In 1977 The Queen Silver Jubilee was celebrated in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth. Accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen travelled some 90000 km to share her anniversaire with her people. Enormous crowds greeted them wherever they went. And millions more shared in the celebrations through radio and television. In 1986 the Queen took part in celebrations in Windsor and London to mark her sixtieth birthday.
On 20 November 1997 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding. A special Garden Party for couples celebrating their Golden Wedding was held at Buckingham Palace in July. The anniversary itself was marked by a service at Westminster Abbey, a lunch hosted by the Government at Banqueting House and a family dance held in the newly restored State Rooms
At Windsor Castle. In the year 2002 The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years since The Queen’s Accession. (rather than the Coronation, which took place in 1953) The Jubilee Weekend saw the focus of national celebrations, including two free public concerts for over 24,000 people in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh also visited Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica and Canada.
Housed in St. James's Palace, the Royal Philatelic Collection is the most comprehensive collection in the world of postage stamps devoted to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Although a personal asset, the collection has always been regarded as an heirloom; however, The Queen does make loans of material from the collection for display at exhibitions and next year a travelling Jubilee stamp exhibition will allow wider public access to some of the collection's most interesting treasures. Some of the younger members of the Royal Family had already started stamp collecting by 1864, but the first serious collector in the Royal Family was Prince Alfred (Queen Victoria's second son, later the Duke of Edinburgh), who was Honorary President of what is now the Royal Philatelic Society from 1890 until his death. Before his death, he sold his collection to his elder brother The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), who later presented it to his son, The Duke of York. Some of his collection now forms a core of the Royal Philatelic Collection today. The Duke of York (later George V) was a very able philatelist, who was executive President of the Royal Philatelic Society from 1896 until he became King in 1910, when he became its patron. By his death, the King's collection was housed in 328 albums (the 'Red Albums'), each of some 60 sheets. The stamps went to The Queen. Much of the Collection remains stored in high security, carefully regulated conditions in chemical-free packets. It is estimated that there is enough material to fill another 2,000 albums - the material is kept filed for reference and study purposes.
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