By Viviana Garcia

London, September 19 (EFE).- Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday 8 September at Balmoral Castle (Scotland), will go down in the history books as one of Britain’s greatest monarchs, admired and respected by the citizens, whom he served with world-renowned devotion.

For the British, the life of Elizabeth II was a symbol of tenacity, professional like few others and with a very clear idea of ​​​​neutrality and “who does not govern”.

Isabel Alejandra María, ruler of the United Kingdom and several countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations (former Commonwealth colonies), was the longest-serving monarch in the history of the British monarchy.

With her inseparable bag on her arm and her colorful outfits, for all to see, Elizabeth II became a British icon at the end of her reign, witness to the transformation of the United Kingdom and herself a living history.

Queen Elizabeth II on a trip to Ireland in 2011
Queen Elizabeth II on a historic trip to Ireland in 2011. EFE/Maxwells Gobierno Ireland

A turning point in the life of Elizabeth II

Born April 21, 1926 in London, Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, brought up by tutors within palatial walls and unmarked birth to govern the destinies of the United Kingdom.

At the time, Elizabeth was third in line to the throne, after her uncle King Edward VIII and her father, but her future took an unexpected turn at the age of 10, when her uncle abdicated to marry the divorcee . . In December 1936, Elizabeth became heir to the throne as her father Prince Albert assumed the reign as George VI.

Prior to these changes which tested the survival of the British monarchy, Elizabeth had a happy childhood playing with other girls her age at home through a band created especially for her, since her time at the School was excluded by this time.

Portrait of Princess Elizabeth of England, a few days before her fifth birthday.
Portrait of Elizabeth of England, a few days before her fifth birthday. EFE / Marcus Adams

Her family called her Lilibet and since she was little she loved dogs and horses and was very close to her sister, Princess Margaret, four years her junior.

After becoming Crown Princess, Elizabeth received a more specialized education, with an emphasis on history, as her country entered World War II.

As a teenager, she participated as an honorary subordinate of the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service and took courses in driving and vehicle repair during the war.

She marries the Duke of Edinburgh.

At that time, she was already exchanging correspondence with the handsome Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, whom she would marry two years after the war, on November 20, 1947, when King George VI granted Philip the title of Duke of ‘Edinburgh.

Official marriage portrait of Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Wedding of Princess Elizabeth II of England and the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. EFE/CENTRAL PHOTO PRESS

While still Crown Princess, Elizabeth had Prince Charles and Princess Anne before her father died on February 6, 1952, and she became Queen Elizabeth II.

It was during an official visit to Kenya that Elizabeth received the news and immediately returned to London, where Prime Minister Winston Churchill was waiting for her to begin one of the most important and successful reigns in the country. ‘story.

Elizabeth II is crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey
Coronation ceremony of Elizabeth II as Queen of England, at Westminster Abbey. EFE/TOPIX/esl

A few years later, two more children were born, Andrés and Eduardo, while Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh maintained busy work schedules and the Windsors enjoyed great popularity.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, with their children on holiday at Balmoral
The British Royal Family in the gardens of Balmoral Castle in 1972.

Family problems in the life of Elizabeth II

With a stoic attitude in the face of the most difficult times, Elizabeth II witnessed economic crises, demographic changes, loss of colonies, wars, Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorism, the flourishing of letters and the arts and, also, family tragedies, such as the death of Diana of Wales.

He had to deal with the divorce of three of his four children -Carlos, Ana and Andrés-, although it was the separation in 1992 of the Princes of Wales, Carlos and Diana, one of the most difficult moments of his reign, symbolized by its famous Latin phrase “annus horribilis” (horrible year), pronounced at the end of that year.

It was also the death in a car accident in 1997 of Princess Diana that put her reign to the test, seen as cold and indifferent as the royal family remained in Scotland while people wept and laid flowers at the Buckingham Palace.

But Elizabeth II proved she was up to the occasion by taking the advice of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and returning to Buckingham Palace, where she left to talk to people and read the messages left by the British.

Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince Harry and their son Prince Charles read messages written for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, left by Britain as a tribute after her death in 1997
Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince Harry and their son Prince Charles read messages written for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, left by Britons after her death in 1997. EPA/IAN STEWART

Her last years as monarch were popular after the marriage of the Dukes of Cambridge, William and Catherine, as well as the birth of Prince George, third in line of succession.

But he also had to deal with other issues, such as the decision of the Dukes of Sussex, Enrique and Meghan, to leave the royal family in 2020, to be financially independent.

This crisis, known as Megaexit, escalated after the Duchess of Sussex, who is of mixed race, accused the royal family of racism, prompting the sovereign to issue a statement to say the issue would be resolved within family.

Another scandal in his last years of reign was carried out by the Duke of York, after the American Virginia Giuffre accused him of having sex with her when she was underage. The case forced Prince Andrew to strike a deal to compensate him and prevent the case from going to trial.

One of the last images of the entire British royal family, with Queen Elizabeth II in the center, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, to attend a parade, in June 2019. EFE/EPA/NEIL HALL

On April 9, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II suffered the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was about to turn 100 in June of that year.

Last year, the sovereign’s health deteriorated, forcing her to suspend several official engagements and to receive, on the 6th, the new leader of the Conservative Party, Liz Truss, at Balmoral Castle to ask her to form a new government.

Image from Queen Elizabeth II's last public act, the audience with the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss at Balmoral.
Queen Elizabeth II with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral on September 6. EFE/EPA/Andrew Milligan/POOL

During her years on the throne, Elizabeth II had a total of 15 prime ministers, including eleven Conservatives and four Labour.

Edited by Mar Monreal

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