Who was Queen Elizabeth II?

Quck answer

Queen Elizabeth II is the current reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. She was born on April 21, 1926, and became queen in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, surpassing the previous record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Throughout her reign, she has witnessed numerous changes in the world and has played a significant role in modernizing the monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is known for her dedication to public service and has been a symbol of stability and continuity for the British people.

You might have come across the news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on September 8, 2022. People around you may be feeling sorrowful about it, or discussing her accomplishments. You might be curious, who WAS Queen Elizabeth II?

Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926 in London, England. However, during that time, she was not a queen but Princess Elizabeth. Her grandfather, George V, held the title of the king of Great Britain. She resided with her parents and younger sister, Margaret. Elizabeth, who was affectionately called “Lilibet,” had a fondness for dogs and horseback riding. Instead of attending school, she and her sister were taught by a governess at their residence. When she was almost 10 years old, her grandfather passed away. Shortly after, Elizabeth’s father ascended to the throne, making her the next in line to become queen. King George VI eventually passed away in 1952, and Elizabeth assumed the role of queen.

Elizabeth was a queen, but in many aspects, she was just like anyone else. During World War II, she learned to operate and maintain military vehicles to contribute to the war effort. Later on, she got married and had four children. Eventually, she became a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Throughout her life, she cherished her love for dogs and owned over 30 corgis, so there is no need to wonder if corgis were her favorite breed! She also had a passion for horses and horseback riding. Her love for horses was so strong that during her vacation to the United States, she visited Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby!

You may also be wondering, what exactly does a queen do? The answer to that question may vary in different times and places. In Great Britain, during the 20th and 21st centuries, the king or queen does not create laws or govern the people. Queen Elizabeth was not similar to a President, who is elected by the people and assists in making the country’s laws. In the past, a king or queen of Great Britain may have played a role in legislation. However, the British people decided that laws should be created by elected individuals. It operates as a constitutional monarchy. In other words, the king or queen must share power with others, in accordance with the country’s organization. This may differ in various locations! Presently, the British government is led by a Prime Minister. The role of the Queen or King is more focused on diplomacy and ceremonial duties.

However, this doesn’t mean that Queen Elizabeth had no responsibilities. In fact, she had a very demanding job! She held weekly meetings with the Prime Minister. Additionally, she had numerous ceremonial obligations, such as opening Parliament (the British government) and welcoming new Prime Ministers. In fact, she met the most recent Prime Minister just a few days before her passing. The Queen was not allowed to vote or express her opinions on political matters. This could be challenging at times! For instance, Queen Elizabeth desired for the British government to demonstrate their disagreement with the oppressive South African policy of apartheid, which involved extreme racial segregation. However, the Prime Minister of Britain at the time disagreed with her. Queen Elizabeth developed a friendship with Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned in South Africa due to his opposition to apartheid. When Mandela was freed and apartheid ended in 1994, they visited each other and became friends.

Queen Elizabeth played a significant role as a diplomat. Through her choice to visit or not visit a country, she could convey Great Britain’s sentiments towards that country. For example, in 2011, she visited Ireland. Ireland had long fought for and demanded independence, and no king or queen of Great Britain had visited since 1911, before Ireland became independent. Her visit demonstrated her desire for good relations between Great Britain and Ireland.

Sometimes, like with Ireland, Queen Elizabeth aimed to mend wounds from past conflicts. Other times, she sought to strengthen bonds and prevent conflicts. In 1953, she embarked on a world tour to visit countries within the British Commonwealth, which were closely connected to Great Britain, mostly as former colonies. She wanted to maintain friendly relationships with these countries as many were seeking greater independence from the former empire. In 1961, for instance, she visited Ghana to encourage its president, Kwame Nkrumah, to remain friendly with Britain. By dancing with Nkrumah, she conveyed Britain’s desire to maintain a close relationship with Ghana.

The Commonwealth includes countries like Australia, Canada, and India, as well as smaller countries like British Guyana. Some countries, known as Commonwealth Realms, still recognize the British monarch as their own. Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain was also the Queen of Australia and Canada. At one point, Great Britain had numerous colonies worldwide, earning the saying “the sun never sets on the British empire.”

This may sound familiar because the United States was once a British colony that sought independence. Like the United States, many British colonies began demanding independence. They eventually gained it, although it was not easy. The British government was not always willing to grant freedom to other countries. During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, most of Great Britain’s former colonies became independent nations. These countries utilized the United Nations’ post-World War II rules to secure self-governance and freedom from British rule.

In addition to witnessing colonies leaving the British empire, Queen Elizabeth II experienced various other global changes. The world has undergone significant transformations since her birth in 1926, both positive and negative. She had a challenging role as queen and was highly dedicated to her country. Would you like to be a king or queen? What kind of ruler would you be?

Try It Out

Connect with a friend or family member to have a royally good time!

  • If you are a fan of Queen Elizabeth II or if she has had an impact on your life, you can visit the official online condolence book on the Royal.uk website. To make it easier, you can pre-plan your message in a digital document and then copy and paste it into the form.
  • Go to the National Geographic Kids’ website and read their facts about the British Empire. Use the information from that resource, along with this Wonder and another resource of your choice, to create an infographic. You can use supplies you have on hand or Canva for this. Make sure to include at least five facts about the monarchy and their rule.
  • Change can be difficult! Think about a time when you had to make a change. What was the most challenging part for you? What could you have done to make it easier? Write a paragraph or make a list to organize your thoughts, and then discuss the topic of change with a friend or family member. What are their thoughts? Do they have any personal experiences to share?

Sources for the Wonder

  • https://www.britannica.com/dictionary (accessed 16 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elizabeth-II (accessed 13 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.royal.uk/role-monarchy (accessed 13 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.royal.uk/queen-and-government (accessed Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/constitutional-monarchy (accessed 13 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/world/europe/queen-elizabeth-dead.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article (accessed 13 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/13/queen-black-americans/ (accessed 14 Sep. 2022)
  • https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/british-commonwealth-countries (accessed 14 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/world/europe/corgi-dogs-queen-elizabeth.html (accessed 14 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220910-queen-elizabeth-ii-and-africa-from-an-iconic-dance-in-ghana-to-friendship-with-mandela (accessed 15 Sep. 2022)
  • https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter (accessed 15 Sep. 2022)


1. Who was Queen Elizabeth II?

Queen Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, is the current monarch of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. She was born on April 21, 1926, and became queen on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning current monarch, having surpassed the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, on September 9, 2015. She has dedicated her life to serving her country and the Commonwealth, carrying out numerous royal duties and engagements.

2. What is Queen Elizabeth II known for?

Queen Elizabeth II is known for her dedication to public service and her role as the symbolic head of state for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Throughout her reign, she has represented the monarchy with grace and dignity, performing various ceremonial and diplomatic duties. She has also witnessed significant historical events, such as the end of World War II, the decolonization of Africa, and the transformation of the United Kingdom into a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is admired for her commitment to duty and her ability to adapt to changing times.

3. How long has Queen Elizabeth II been the queen?

Queen Elizabeth II has been the queen since February 6, 1952. As of now, she has been the monarch for over 69 years. Her reign has seen significant changes and milestones, both in the United Kingdom and the world. Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign has made her one of the most well-known and respected figures in modern history.

4. What is Queen Elizabeth II’s role as the monarch?

As the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has a mostly ceremonial role. She serves as the head of state, representing the unity and continuity of the nation. She performs various ceremonial duties, such as opening and closing sessions of Parliament, giving the Royal Assent to legislation, and meeting with foreign dignitaries. The queen also plays an important role in promoting and supporting charitable organizations and causes.

5. Has Queen Elizabeth II been involved in any significant events?

Yes, Queen Elizabeth II has been involved in several significant events throughout her reign. Some of the notable events include her coronation in 1953, the Silver and Golden Jubilees celebrating her years on the throne, and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, marking 60 years as queen. She has also witnessed the end of the British Empire and the transformation of the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant presence during times of national celebration and commemoration.

6. How has Queen Elizabeth II impacted the monarchy?

Queen Elizabeth II has had a profound impact on the monarchy. Her reign has seen a modernization and adaptation of the monarchy to the changing times. She has embraced new technologies and communication methods to stay connected with the public. Queen Elizabeth II’s dedication to public service and her commitment to duty have helped maintain the relevance and respect for the monarchy in the 21st century. Her reign has also seen an increase in international travel and diplomatic engagements, strengthening the relationships between the United Kingdom and other countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *