Woman of the Year: 1953-Queen Elizabeth II


From the day she was born, the life of Queen Elizabeth II shows that
she deserved to receive the title “Woman of the Year.” She had practical
intelligence since she was a kid and she respected peoples opinions.
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926 at the London home of her
mother\'s parents, Lord and Lady Strathmore. She was baptized at Buckingham
Palace and named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary five weeks later.
Elizabeth\'s father was Albert, the Duke of York. He was the second son
of King George V. When his dad died in 1936, his brother was supposed to
become king but he resigned. So he became king. Her mother was Lady Elizabeth
Bowes-Lyon. She was a member of the Scottish aristocracy. Her sister Margaret
Rose was born on August 21, 1930, when she was 4 years old in Glamis Castle.
Her grandparents were George V and Queen Mary, and Lord and Lady Strathmore.
Elizabeth and her sister were homed schooled. She was taught by Miss
Marion Crawford, a young Scottish woman. At the age of 5, she usually woke up
at 6 a.m. and went out for riding lessons. After that, they had lunch, lessons
in French, voice and piano. In the afternoon she would play in the garden,
usually with her sister and Miss Crawford. She became heiress to the throne at
the age of ten. She had to learn court etiquette and diplomatic practice from
her grandmother, Queen Mary. She studied the geography and history of the
Commonwealth countries and the U.S. Elizabeth went to Eton College for private
lessons in law. She was training for future duties. Being a princess was not
easy. She had to prepare for a hard life, never make mistakes, never look bored
and never be sick if possible.
Elizabeth grew up at the families London home, a large Victorian House
on 145 Picadilly and at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. When her dad
became King they moved to Buckingham Palace. It was more like a museum than a
house. Elizabeth spent their holidays with their grandparents on both sides.
When she spent it with the Strathmore it would sometimes be at the Glamis Castle.
It was a rugged, rambling old Scottish fortress. “It looked like something out
of a child\'s adventure stories-paradise of echoing rooms, long passage and
mysterious stairways.” (Trease 1953, 231) Elizabeth enjoyed exploring the
castle when she was young. She was 13 when World War II occurred. A year later
bombs started falling on London. Elizabeth and her sister had to go to safety
at the fortress of Windsor Castle. She returned to London on October 13, 1940.
She then joined the woman\'s branch army and took training as an automobile
driver and mechanic.
Prince Philip was an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II. He
met Elizabeth in the war. Later he dropped the title of prince to become a
British citizen. He took his mother\'s family name, Mountbatten. On November 20,
1946, Philip and Elizabeth were married at Westminister Abbey. There first kid
was born on November 14.1948. His name was Prince Charles Philip Arthur George
and was later known as Prince of Wales. They also had Princess Anne Elizabeth
Alice Louise on August 15, 1950, Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward on
February 19, 1960, and Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis on March 10, 1964.
Elizabeth and Philip were on a tour in Kenya when her dad died on
February 6, 1952, and she automatically became Queen Elizabeth II. She was not
just Queen of England but Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more.
They considered her a Queen but she did not have power over them (Trease 1953,
234). Queen Elizabeth the II had no political power. Some of her duties as a
queen was constitutional work (opening the Parliament), entertainment of foreign
dignitaries, giving tours of Britain and the commonwealth. But most of all, she
had to be someone the people could look up to without anyone gossiping or
criticizing her (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography 1973, 569).
In 1953, this shy, dedicated and determined 26-year old queen was
selected Woman of the Year. She was chosen because she was a symbol of faith.
She was also a reminder of a great pass and was a sign of a good future. Queen
Elizabeth II represented in her person all that they hold best in the British
way of life (Time Almanac 1994, 7). Another reason was she had a close
relationship between her people. She was willing to listen to them