Becoming queen at just 25 years old, Elizabeth II devoted her life to the service of her subjects, relentlessly tying up official engagements, smiling, before slowing down her 70-year reign.
At 96 years old and having difficulty walking around, the Queen has limited her public presence and now relies on a cane. He is slowly handing over to his eldest son, Charles, 73, although he continues to meet regularly with diplomats via video conference and has not lost his sanity, according to people close to him.
In addition to her health problems, the death of Prince Philip in April 2021, her seven-decade-old husband, moved her to fall in love at the age of 13 and marry him eight years later.
The queen now lives in her Windsor Castle, west London, after leaving Buckingham Palace since the onset of the coronavirus epidemic.
In the United Kingdom, no king has ever ruled. His face is everywhere: in banknotes, stamps or post boxes. And its widespread popularity.
Yet Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born April 21, 1926, in the Mayfair district of London, was not destined to become queen.
Princess “Lillibet”, the blonde Carl and the angel’s face, grew up with a certain carelessness. But in late 1936, she left to marry her uncle Edward VIII Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American. Elizabeth’s father, a shy and stuttering man, then George VI.
The little girl devotedly moved to Buckingham Palace and would be educated at home with her sister Margaret, her four years younger.
To prepare for her future role, she studied law and constitutional history and also learned French.
Towards the end of World War II, he joined the Reserve Army as a driver at the age of 19.
At age 21, she married Philip Mountbatten, son of Prince Andrew of Greece, in a ceremony that would create the dream of a post-war Britain, still marked by deprivation.
During a trip to Kenya on February 6, 1952, he learned of his father’s death. He returned to the United Kingdom immediately and was crowned on June 2, 1953.
At the age of 25, after becoming sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), he promised his subjects that “(he) will be worthy of their trust for the rest of his life.”
Calm in the storm
A strong sense of responsibility, he has performed hundreds of engagements each year, until recently, at Buckingham Palace, from the reception of foreign dignitaries to the presentation of decorations and tours abroad.
Despite her height (1m63), for all to see, she wore a colorful dress, matching hat and handbag on her elbow, a uniform she had made for herself to embody her work.
After being admitted to a short hospital for testing in October 2021, whose nature was never revealed, he was forced to slow down on the advice of his doctors.
In 2020, his grandson Harry, who settled in California, relied on a tight royal family from that distance, accusing the “farm” of naming the royalty, lacking support, and giving evidence of racism to his wife, Meghan. Mixed race.
Andrew, often seen as his favorite son, has already been asked to step down from the monarchy because of his links to the Epstein case.
A very pious woman, Elizabeth II embodies stability in a family that is overwhelmed by regular scandals.
In 1992, his three children, Charles, Anne and Andrew, whom he nicknamed “Anas Haribilis”, saw their respective couple explode and his Windsor Castle engulfed in flames.
The Queen remained steadfast, maintaining her trajectory in the storm, a reserve that earned her criticism when Lady Dee died in 1997.
If he addresses the British in a televised speech every Christmas, he keeps his opinion to himself and never gives an interview.
Accepting the weekly audience with the head of government, the Queen observes strict political neutrality as it should.
In the summer, she moved to Balmoral, Scotland, where she changed her hat for a simple scarf and her shoes for a pair of boots. He is still fond of dogs, especially Korgis and horses, and is still in his 90s.