Queen Elizabeth II was born in London in April 1926 and was the eldest child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (who later became King George VI) and his wife, Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth II began her duties as a public figure during the Second World War, when she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and became Head of the Commonwealth after the death of her father in 1952. Her reign as constitutional monarch of England is the second-longest for a British monarch and has lasted 60 years and counting.
Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947 and Elizabeth wore a gown designed by Norman Hartnell for the wedding (and her coronation in 1953). The couple have four children together: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Princess Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
The Queen dealt with a series of personal scandals in the 1990s, when her children Charles, Anne and Andrew all divorced their spouses and Prince Charles' ex-wife Princess Diana, was killed in a car crash in 1997. Queen Elizabeth was criticised by the media for not appearing in public for five days after the tragedy.
While Queen Elizabeth II is notoriously private, the monarch is known for her bright, colour-coordinated outfits, headscarves and statement hats. The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977, her Golden Jubilee in 2002, and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
By Brogan Driscoll & Jen Barton