Tributes continue to pour in for Queen Elizabeth as her state funeral proceedings get under way in London. The occasion is being marked by world leaders and hundreds of thousands of mourners who have travelled to the British capital of London to pay their respects.
As Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the legacy of the late monarch is expected to play a central role during the official ceremony.
Obituary of Queen Elizabeth II
Born on the 21 April 1926 in Mayfair London, Elizabeth Alexander Mary Windsor was never expected to become Queen.
Princess Elizabeth of York as she was known then was just 10 years old when her uncle abdicated from the throne. Her father went on to become King and as the eldest child, she became heir to the throne. During the second world war as a young princess, she worked as a driver and a mechanic in Auxiliary and Territorial Service.
She ascended to the British throne in 1953, following the unexpected death of her father King George V. Her coronation was the first to be televised despite the Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill being opposed to the move. Millions of Britons tuned in to witness the occasion on their television sets.
She married Prince Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh (previously Phillip Mountbatten) on November 20, 1947, and they remained married until his death in April 2021.
They had their first child, the now King Charles, in 1948 and Princess Anne. Queen Elizabeth had 4 children in total with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward being born in 1960 and 1964 respectively.
The legacy of the Queen’s reign is one of commitment, long-standing service and devotion as well as great change.
Many colonies and dominions of the British Empire gained their independence during the time of her reign and reunited on mutual terms with one another and the United Kingdom as autonomous free-standing nations under the Commonwealth.
The Queen was also instrumental in transforming the image of the monarchy from a mysterious, distant and rigid institution to the warmer and more approachable image of a family, even allowing the BBC to film the family at their home in Windsor for the broadcaster’s documentary titled Royal Family.
She became a matriarchal figure and symbol for the nation often holding live broadcasts to address Britons during significant national moments.
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning British monarch, having served for 70 years, surpassing the royal reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She worked with 15 Prime Ministers throughout her reign beginning with Winston Churchill to the recently elected Prime Minister, Liz Truss whom the Queen met just days before her passing.
She has been remembered by world leaders as being honourable, committed and dutiful.