Friday, September 11, 2015


This week Queen Elizabeth II celebrated becoming the longest reigning monarch, passing ancestor, Queen Victoria. I have long been an admirer of the British monarchy—even though I’m proud we in the United States are a democracy without a queen or king.  Perhaps a part of my admiration for Queen Elizabeth II has to do with the fact that she looks a twin to my late eldest half-sister, Elsie Reed, formerly of Bakersfield, California. (My sister may not have been a queen, but she was very regal and our family monarch. ☺)

Elizabeth at age seven
Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Because her father was the second son, Elizabeth was able to enjoy the privileges of being royal without the pressure of being the heir. She spent much of her time at Windsor Castle with her sister Margaret.

Elizabeth with Charles and Anne
The death of her grandfather King George the V and the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII thrust Elizabeth’s father into becoming King George VI. At age fourteen, while at Windsor Castle with Margaret, Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast to the children who had been evacuated to the countryside, telling them to be brave during World War II.
In 1945, Elizabeth joined the Territorial Auxiliary Service and worked side by side with other women learning to be a mechanic and driver. To this day, she still drives herself on occasion, especially when at Balmoral Castle, the family home in Scotland.
In 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, son of King Andrew of Greece. Where Elizabeth is reserved and quiet, Philip is outgoing and boisterous. They have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward as well as six grandchildren. She officially made Charles her successor by crowning him Prince of Wales. As her eldest son, he would be her successor anyway, but he was crowned formally as such in a ceremony.

Elizabeth II became queen on February 6, 1952, and was crowned on June 2, 1953. As the longest-serving monarch in British history, she has tried to make her reign more modern and sensitive to the public. Regardless of whether or not you respect the monarchy, I hope you agree that she is a fascinating person. 

And I do wish I knew just exactly what she carries in her purse. 

Please check my favorite video of the Queen in some lighter moments:  

Please pay no attention to the caption at the bottom asking for donations. I have no idea what that's about. Enjoy the video while Cyndi Lauper sings "Girls Just Want To Have Fun".



Paula Martin said...

That's a good summary, Caroline. However, she did not officially create Charles as her successor. That is his birthright as the oldest son of the reigning monarch, and he became Prince of Wales, not Duke! As for her handbag, here you go

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks, Paula. I've made the correction. I enjoyed knowing she has the same sorts of things we have in our purses.