Queen Elizabeth II, At Age 13, When She Was Princess Elizabeth In 1939 (Colorized)
Elizabeth Wasn't Born To Be The Queen
For all intents and purposes Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch many of us have known for our entire lives. Her reign began in 1952 when she was only 27 years old, making her the longest reigning British monarch as well as the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in the world. But what was her life before she took the throne?
The girl who would be Queen, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, stayed out of the public eye as much as possible. It wasn't until she was 17 years old, and the heir-apparent, that the media even took an interest in her. Princess Elizabeth's earliest days were spent at home, away from cameras and glitz and glamor.
Growing up in England, Elizabeth received an education on the city and the country, making the one member of the royal family who was prepared to take over as reigning monarch during an era that was in flux. Before all of that she was simply a young woman waiting for her chance to shine.
Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was delivered just after 2:30 in the morning in her grandfather's London home, in case anyone wants to do her birth chart. At the time no one thought that she would be the Queen of England some day. Her father was second in line for the throne after his brother Edward VII. However, when Edward abdicated the throne to Elizabeth's father it became clear that she would be more than just the daughter of the King's brother.
Wilson Harris, editor of The Spectator in the 1940s, wrote that Elizabeth's early days in London prepared her for life as the reigning monarch over an ever-changing modern city. He stated:
Princess Elizabeth was born in a house in a London street, and spent most of the first ten years of her life in a house in another London street, Piccadilly, with cars and buses and taxis—all that makes up the swift and shifting life of London speeding ceaselessly past its windows day and night. It was the comfort of an English home like a thousand others, rather than the luxury, or imagined luxury, of a palace. There the Princess was taught to read by her mother.