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
The Golden Queen – Fifty Years of Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign
The Diamond Queen – Sixty Years of Queen Elizabeth II
The Sapphire Queen – Books About Queen Elizabeth II After Sixty-five Years on the Throne
The Platinum Queen – Leading up to Her 70th Year as the Constitutional Monarch of the United Kingdom.
Amy C. Manikowski is a writer living in Asheville, NC.