Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor who became Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne Sunday. Such an unprecedented reign has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty.
The most amazing woman on the planet wasn’t born to wear the crown but destiny intervened. As the elder daughter of King George V’s second son, Elizabeth, now 95, was expected to live the life of a minor royal when she was born on April 21, 1926.
Following unexpected abdication of her uncle, King Edward VIII, Lilibeth’s father became King George VI. Thus, the young princess became heir apparent.
Prudent princess followed Edward VIII in leading by example, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in early 1945. That was a crucial point – Elizabeth II is becoming the first female member of the Royal Family to join the armed services as a full-time active member.
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” she said in a radio address broadcast around the globe on her 21st birthday. Since then, princess dedicated her life to the nation and the Commonwealth.
In 1952, King Edward VIII and Elizabeth becomes the queen and a legend. In the intervening seven decades, the queen has shared confidences with 14 prime ministers and met 13 US presidents.
For the queen, Sunday is likely to be bittersweet, marking both her long reign and the 70th anniversary of her father’s death.