Royals

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II On The One Year Anniversary Of Her Death

Queen Elizabeth II, death, anniversary

She was never supposed to be Queen. Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth of York to the Duke and Duchess of York as their eldest child on April 21 1926. She was a granddaughter of King George V and Queen Mary. Her sister, Princess Margaret, would be in 1930. On September 8 2022, The Queen died aged 96, with her two eldest children, Charles and Anne, at her side. Her beloved husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 2021, aged 99. On the first anniversary of Her Majesty’s death, we remember the remarkable women the world remembers.

A Love of Many Things

During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II was known for her love of horses and, of course, her beloved Corgis. At the time of her birth, she was third in line to the throne behind her uncle Edward and her father, Albert, affectionately nicknamed Bertie.

The fates must have been screaming that she would someday be Queen, as she named after her mother, whose name was also Elizabeth, her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, who had died six months previously and her paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

A Woman In A Man’s World

Queen Elizabeth II was very much in a man’s world when she took the throne. Before this, she was not expected to become Queen as her uncle Edward was to be King Edward VIII and potentially have a child with the woman he chose to be his consort. However, this was not to be.

Upon the death of King George V, Edward became King. Still, before he could be coronated, he abdicated, handing the throne to his younger brother, Albert, who became known as King George VI. Edward had stepped down to marry his twice-divorced American mistress, Wallis Simpson.

George VI reigned from 1936 to his death in February 1952 of lung cancer. Queen Elizabeth, his wife, never forgave her brother-in-law, Edward, for pushing her husband to the throne.

The First Two Meetings

At 13, Princess Elizabeth caught the attention of 18-year-old Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark when her parents, King George and Queen Elizabeth, took a tour of the Royal Naval College in 1939, given by Louis Mountbatten. However, when they were children, Philip and Princess Elizabeth had met once before, in 1934, at the wedding of Prince George and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. After their second meeting in 1939, the princess became besotted with Philip, and they started writing letters.

In 1946, Philip asked the King to marry his daughter. Albert says yes but asks that an engagement announcement wait until after Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday. By the time the engagement was announced, Philip had dropped his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark and took the last name, Mountbatten, from his mother’s side of the family. He even became a British citizen. The couple’s engagement announcement occurred on July 9 1947. However, there was a hiccup.

True Loves Wins Out

Philip did not have a wealth of his own, he was not British-born, and his sisters had married Germans with links to Nazi Germany. Queen Elizabeth, the princess’ mother, had some reservations and would tease him with the nickname “The Hun.” Even the press weren’t sure whether this matched the future monarch well. However, in later life, the elder Elizabeth would call her son-in-law “an English gentleman.”

Princess Elizabeth wanted no other man but Philip. Philip had always considered himself Anglican, but he was christened in the Greek Orthodoxy and converted to the Church of England in October 1947.

The day before the wedding, King George VI gave Philip the styling of His Royal Highness. For two days, the 19th and 20th of November 1947, Philip was styled as Lieutenant His Royal Highness Sir Philip Mountbatten.

By the wedding, King George VI started to get sick. Concerned, Princess Elizabeth asked Philip to give up smoking. He did so cold turkey on the day they married.

Marriage

Elizabeth and Philip wed on November 20 1947, at Westminister Abbey. As World War II had just ended, it was unacceptable that Philip’s German relatives be invited to the nuptials. His three living sisters were all married to German princes. Upon their marriage, the couple became the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, a duchy that would later pass to their youngest son, Edward and his wife, Sophie, upon both their deaths.

One story that has emerged recently is that the Queen Mary Fringe tiara Princess Elizabeth wore on her wedding day snapped just hours before the ceremony and had to be rushed to the jewellers to be repaired. The story came out because the public noticed the piece looked out of alignment.

Queen Elizabeth II
[Credit: Good Housekeeping]

Birth Of Prince (Now King) Charles And Princess Anne

The royal couple started a family, with their first child, son Charles, born in November 1948, while their daughter Anne was born in August 1950. In November 1951, the couple were appointed to the Privy Council as the King’s health was failing and embarked on a tour. In February 1952, whilst in Kenya, the King died, and Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, became Queen Elizabeth II.

Philip was given the news and then delivered it to his wife. The new monarch had to wait to be seen in public after the announcement of her father’s passing as she had not packed a black outfit as she had not expected the King to die while she was away. She then established a new rule. All royals are to pack at least one black outfit whenever they travel in case a family member passes.

After getting her outfit, the new Queen and her consort returned to the United Kingdom.

As preparations for the coronation go underway and the events afterwards, The Queen and Philip spent a lot of time away from Charles and Anne, who were toddlers at the time of their grandfather’s death and their mother’s accession to the throne.

The Births Of Prince Andrew And Prince Edward

A decade after becoming the monarch, Elizabeth fell pregnant a third time and gave birth to a second son in 1960, Prince Andrew. Because of the line of succession rules during this period, Princess Anne was pushed down the LoS upon Prince Andrew’s birth.

When Prince Edward was born in 1964, Anne was pushed down the line of succession again. Women born after 2012 are now allowed to remain in the line of succession if a younger brother is born after her.

The Queen was greatly admired for her strength and ability to say much in a few words.

Princess Anne’s Almost Kidnapping

When her only daughter, Princess Anne, married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, the Queen was honoured to have her wear the same tiara she did on her wedding day. However, shortly after the 1973 nuptials in late March 1974, the princess and her husband were caught in a terrifying kidnapping attempt.

While Princess Anne and Captain Phillips were okay, a tabloid journalist who was close by tried to help shield the couple alongside her protection. Four people who helped protect the Queen’s daughter and son-in-law were injured and sent to hospital.

The Queen personally thanked Ronnie Russell, who saved Princess Anne by paying his mortgage off. She also awarded him the George medal and said, “The medal is from the Queen, but I want to thank you as Anne’s mother.”

First Six Grandchildren

In 1977, Princess Anne gave Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip their first grandchild: her son, Peter Phillips. A younger sister, Zara, followed Peter a few years later in 1981. The Queen proposed giving her daughter’s son and any future children titles upon Peter’s birth. Princess Anne turned down her mother’s offer, wanting her children to grow up as normal as possible.

Zara was born in 1981, and the children’s uncle, Charles, married Lady Diana Spencer the same year. A few months after the wedding, it was announced that the Princess of Wales was pregnant. Prince William was born in June 1982. In September 1984, Princess Diana delivered a second son, Henry “Harry”. Four grandchildren.

In 1986, another royal wedding with Prince Andrew marrying Sarah Ferguson took the Duchy of York. In 1988, Andrew and Sarah welcomed Princess Beatrice. 1990 saw the arrival of Princess Eugenie.

Queen Elizabeth II And The Annus Horribilius

It was 1992 that saw the Queen’s worst year. Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their pending divorce.

Princess Anne divorced Mark Phillips and married Timothy Lawrence.

Sarah, the Duchess of York, was caught in an affair with Steve Wyatt. This was one event leading up to the separation of the Duke and Duchess of York.

Princess Diana’s memoir by Andrew Morton was released. Moreover, this was one factor that led to her divorce from Charles—the book also featured his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Sarah, the outgoing Duchess of York, was photographed sunbathing topless.

A phone conversation between Diana, the Princess of Wales, and one of her lovers, James Gilbey, was made public.

A fire also broke out at Windsor Castle.

The Queen’s speech was recorded before Charles and Diana announced their divorce.

The Death Of A Princess

After Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalised in 1996, the former Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris in late August 1997. The royal family were at Balmoral, and when the news came through, the Queen and Charles decided to wait until William and Harry were awake to break the news of their mother’s demise.

On the day of the funeral, as the coffin passed Her Majesty, she bowed her head as a mark of respect. Dickie Arbiter, who worked for the monarchy for many years, said on The Royal Report that when Diana married Charles, Queen Elizabeth II asked all the newspaper editors to come and see her. She was shocked when one of the editors said something regarding the coverage of the princess. According to Dickie, who was in the room then, The Queen walked out.

The Queen did everything she could to look out for Diana, even helping her after she threw herself down the stairs while pregnant with Prince William. According to tapes also published in Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton, Queen Elizabeth II was horrified and frightened. However, she knew Diana had not lost the baby.

Edward Marries Sophie Rhys-Jones And A Double Tragedy

Two years after Diana’s death, Edward, the youngest of the Queen and Prince Philip’s children, married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. Sophie would become a cherished member of the royal family. She was like the second daughter of The Queen and Prince Philip, referring to her mother-in-law as “mama”. Edward and Sophie became the Earl and Countess of Wessex at their marriage. This was a nod to the movie Shakespeare in Love, as Colin Firth’s character was Lord Wessex.

In 2001, Sophie suffered an ectopic pregnancy. Sophie also was caught badmouthing the royal family to an undercover journalist.

When 2002 rolled around, the royal family met with two deaths within seven weeks of each other. Princess Margaret suffered four strokes in the last couple of years of her life. Due to her lifestyle habits, part of her left lung was removed. This was an eerie parallel to her father’s death of lung cancer in 1952. While she had stopped smoking, she still drank heavily. The Countess of Snowdon was 71.

The Queen Mother died seven weeks later at 101.

The Births Of Lady Louise And James, Viscount Severn

After the double tragedy of 2002, The Queen and Prince Philip were blessed with another grandchild. Lady Louise was born in November 2003. Four years later came James, Viscount Severn was born in 2007.

An Engagement, Marriage For Peter And Children

In 2007, it was announced that Peter, Princess Anne’s son, was engaged to Autumn Kelly. They married in 2008, and their first child, and the Queen and Prince Philip’s first great-grandchild, Savannah, was born in 2010. Their second daughter, Isla, was born in 2012. Peter and Autumn officially divorced in 2021.

The Next Royal Weddings

Two royal weddings happened in 2011. Prince William married Catherine Middleton in April when the Queen gave them the Duchy of Cambridge. The engagement of his cousin Zara to Mike Tindall occurred in December 2010. The Tindall wedding took place in July 2011.

More Great-Grandchildren

In late 2012, it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her and Prince William’s first child. In July 2013, Prince George was born. Not quite a year later, Mia Tindall was born in January 2014. Zara’s next two pregnancies ended in miscarriages. In 2018, Lena Tindall was born after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Prince William and Catherine welcomed two more children: Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

Princess Eugenie gave birth to her first son in August 2021, while her older sister, Princess Beatrice, also gave birth to her daughter Sienna in 2021. Sienna was born after the death of Prince Philip.

Prince Harry and Meghan also welcomed two children. Their son, Archie, was born in 2019 and their daughter Lilibet in 2021.

Lucas Tindall was also born in 2021.

Princess Eugenie’s son, Ernest, would be born after the death of the Queen.

Achievements Of Truly Empowering Women

There is so much more to the Queen’s life than just her family. This post would crash if we wrote everything about her life, and it would take more than just one post. Having become Queen in a time when men were very much in charge, Queen Elizabeth II was a shining example of a woman who knew her job. She didn’t complain, nor did she warrant sympathy. She was a true pioneer of what a woman should be doing. It wasn’t always ballgowns and tiaras and parties.

The Queen was dignified but strategic regarding difficult situations and certain family members. She understood service. That is why she is so widely missed.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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