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A Storied Life: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Britain and the World’s Longest Serving Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, September 8th, 2022, at the age of 96. She was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British Monarch and the longest-serving female head of state in history. Her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and seven months before her death in 1901, had previously held the title of longest serving Monarch. With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her son Charles became the new King of England.

Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21st, 1926, in Mayfair, London, her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York. She had one sibling, a younger sister, Princess Margaret, born on August 21st, 1930. In 1936 her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne, and her parents became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth became the presumptive heir. 

Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. They were second cousins once removed. After meeting for the third time, 13-year-old Elizabeth was in love with the 18-year-old prince and Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. On July 9th, 1947, their engagement was officially announced, and they were married on November 20th, 1947, at Westminster Abbey.

On February 6th, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne upon her father’s death. She was 25 years old. After a period of mourning, her coronation took place on June 2nd, 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had four children: Prince Charles, born in 1948, Princess Anne, born in 1950; Prince Andrew, born in 1960 and Prince Edward, born in 1964. 

The Queen had three significant jubilees during her reign. Her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002, and Diamond in 2012. The Ruby Jubilee in 1992 and Sapphire Jubilee in 2017 were more modest affairs. In 2022 the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee on February 6th, 2022.

There are countless biographies about the Queen and the Royal family. Here is a list of many popular titles focusing specifically on her long and noble life. There is also a lot of ephemera on Biblio that celebrates and commemorates milestones in the Queen’s reign, including gorgeous portraits of the royal family from UK seller Sophie Dupre and this gorgeous screenprint with Swarovski Crystals hand applied for sale by Peter Harrington. 


The Silver Queen – Books About Queen Elizabeth II After 25 Years on the Throne

Queen Elizabeth II Cookbook (1983) by Carol Wright

Queen Elizabeth II: The British Monarchy Today (1985) by Douglas Liversidge

The Royal Line of Succession: The British Monarchy from Egbert AD 802 to Queen Elizabeth II (1986) by Patrick Montague-Smith 

The Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II: Her Personal Collection (1992 ) by Leslie Field

Queen Elizabeth II: A Woman Who is Not Amused (1994) by Nicholas Davies

Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain’s Queen (1996) by Sarah Bradford


The Golden Queen – Fifty Years of Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign

The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy, Golden Jubilee Edition (2001) by Ben Pimlott

Queen Elizabeth II: A Jubilee Portrait in Stamps (2002)

Queen and Country (2002) by William Shawcross

Jubilee : a celebration of 50 years of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2002) by Tim Graham

Queen Elizabeth Ii: A Birthday Souvenir Album (2006) by Jane Roberts

Five Gold Rings: A Royal Wedding Souvenir Album from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II (2010) by Jane Roberts, Sabrina Mackenzie

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2011) by Michael Paterson 

Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times (2011) by Sarah Bradford

Queen Elizabeth II: Portraits (2011) by Cecil Beton 

Very Peculiar History Queen Elizabeth II, 60 years a Queen (2011) by David Arscott


The Diamond Queen – Sixty Years of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty: The Court of Queen Elizabeth II (2012) by Robert Hardman

The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and her People (2012) by Andrew Marr

The Real Elizabeth : An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (2012) by Andrew Marr 

Sixty Glorious Years: Our Queen Elizabeth II – Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012 (2012) by Victoria Murphy

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Diamond Jubilee Souvenir (2012)  

Queen Elizabeth II and The Royal Family: A Glorious Illustrated History (2015)

QEII We Love You: A Child’s-eye Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II (2015)


The Sapphire Queen – Books About Queen Elizabeth II After Sixty-five Years on the Throne

The Queen: The Life and Family of Queen Elizabeth II (2017) by A.N. Wilson

Majesty: The Illustrated History of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal House of Windsor (2018) by Rod Green

The Queen: The Life and Times of Elizabeth II (2018) by Catherine Ryan

Our Rainbow Queen: A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and Her Colorful Wardrobe (2019) by Sali Hughes

Queen of the World: Elizabeth II: Sovereign and Stateswoman (2019) by Robert Hardman


The Platinum Queen – Leading up to Her 70th Year as the Constitutional Monarch of the United Kingdom.

The Times Queen Elizabeth II: Her 70 Year Reign (2021) by James Owen

Elizabeth II: A Queen for our Time (2021) by Chris Jackson 

A Queen for All Seasons: A Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee (2021) by Joanna Lumley

Elizabeth II: Princess, Queen, Icon (2022) by Alexandra Shulman

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