Elizabeth became Queen after the death of her father and was crowned at Westminster Abbey in June 1953. Though monarchy in Europe greatly declined during the two World Wars, some monarchs remained, four of those, having family ties to England. Elizabeth is the best known of the remaining monarchs and is the most widely travelled Head of State in the world. In the past years Britain underwent many changes, but Elizabeth always managed to carry out her political duties as the head of state, the ceremonial responsibilities of the sovereign and a large annual program for visits throughout the United Kingdom as well as numerous foreign tours. Whenever the Queen travels and visits abroad she is greeted warmly and appreciatedly. Though her children and other members of the Royal Family caused quite some scandals over the years, she always remained a respected head of state.
Elizabeth tends to be up to date at all times on all topics. Her knowledge of the current situation has astonished and embarrassed her Prime Ministers occasionally. Close to his retirement, Harold Wilson said, "I shall certainly advise my successor to do his homework before his audience." Churchill on the other hand, who had served a total of four monarchs, was impressed and delighted by her knowledge and wit.
Elizabeth II was born on April 21st in 1926 in London, as the oldest daughter of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret were educated at home. In 1945, she joined the war effort, training as a driver in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (WATS). In 1947 she married Philip Mountbatten, a distant cousin. The couple has four children, Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Andrew and Edward. She was the first monarch to send her children to boarding schools to keep the away from the media, especially the yellow press.
In 2002 Elizabeth celebrated her golden jubilee and her 80th birthday followed in 2006.