Up until she was 10 years old, Elizabeth Windsor lived her life content to be a Princess.
As the daughter of a second born son, Prince Albert Duke of York, the future Elizabeth II never thought she’d wear the crown and become the longest serving monarch in British history.
Elizabeth was third in line at the time. As the heir apparent, her uncle Edward was anticipated to get married and have his own children, pushing Elizabeth farther down the line of succession.
Her parents agreed and had primarily planned for her to live a life away from the spotlight, but everything changed after her grandfather passed suddenly in 1936.
King George V’s eldest son Edward became king after his death. Due to his association with American divorcee Wallis Simpson, Edward was somewhat of a controversial figure.
Edward invited Wallis to the King’s Silver Jubilee Ball the year before he became king, infuriating his father.
Despite Edward’s assurances to the family that Wallis was just a friend, after George V’s passing, he told Stanley Balwin, the British Prime Minister, that he wanted to wed Wallis and declare her queen.
This was utterly scandalous. The monarchy was forbidden from getting married to divorced women since it was the leader of the Church of England. Edward ignored Baldwin’s attempts to remind him of this and instead chose to do what seemed right.
Edward abdicated less than a year after ascending to the throne. transferring the kingdom to his younger brother, George VI, who would shortly become king.
Elizabeth was going through a difficult period because she was still mourning the passing of her grandfather. Elizabeth was allegedly one of the few individuals in the nation who didn’t fear King George V.
The two were really extremely close. The King was once led around by young Elizabeth by his beard like a horse, according to the archbishop of Canterbury.
She had recently lost her grandfather and found herself the presumed successor.
At the time of Edward’s abdication her younger sister Margret asked, “Does that mean you will have to be the next queen?”
“Yes, someday,” replied 10 year-old Elizabeth.
“Poor you,” said her precocious little sister.
Not just Margaret expressed reluctance over the throne. Prince Albert, who is now King George VI, was also resistant.
As opposed to his brother, George VI wasn’t prepared for the throne. He had a serious speech impediment at the time, had never read a state newspaper, and had a terrible phobia of public speaking.
George VI, however, was always conscious of tradition and duty. George became his name as a mark of continuity. Over time, his eldest daughter would also develop these characteristics.
Elizabeth had to fill in for her father at public events when he was in his early 20s due to his deteriorating health. In his place, she went on a tour of Canada and went to Washington.
In 1952 at age 25 Elizabeth and her husband Phillip Moutbatten were in Kenya when the worst occurred. George VI was dead, Elizabeth was now Her Majesty The Queen.
Unlike her father, Elizabeth chose to retain her name making her Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen who was never meant to be would go on to reign for 70 years, until her death on September 8, 2022, UK time. She was 96.
Her eldest son will now ascend to the throne to become His Majesty King Charles III.
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