A prominent figure in both British and international history, Queen Elizabeth has reigned in Britain since 1952, when she was 27 years old and became the country’s first-ever Queen regnant (since the 12th century). For her birthday this year, which falls on April 21st, join millions of people around the world in wishing her well as she celebrates turning 96 with her family and friends. Learn more about Queen Elizabeth’s life and rule below, to get ready to send your birthday wishes.
The Early Years of Queen Elizabeth
At her birth in April 1926, Princess Elizabeth was fifth in line to inherit Great Britain’s throne. The four people above her, including her grandfather King George V and uncle Edward VIII were either dead or would abdicate their claims to be king. When she was 10 years old, her father (Edward VIII) abdicated his claim to be king because he was marrying a divorcee and went on to be known as Duke of Windsor.
Marrying the Prince of England
Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates her 96th birthday today (April 21). The British monarch is one of only five remaining original world leaders. For many years, she has been one of Britain’s most popular figures and longest-reigning monarchs in history. Today, more than a dozen countries around the world recognize Queen Elizabeth as their own head of state—including Canada and Australia.
Life as a Royal Family Member
One of Elizabeth’s first jobs was to help her father and mother, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, or Queenie, as her parents called her. Elizabeth, who was still a little girl at just 9 years old, had to learn royal traditions like greeting heads of state and giving gifts to dignitaries. She attended special schools that taught children how to be royal.
It’s common knowledge that members of the royal family tend to follow a strict protocol during engagements. Typically, they remain standing until their superiors are seated, they must bow or curtsy to royals who outrank them and they are expected to dress in formal attire that is both elegant and respectful. As Queen Elizabeth turns 96 years old on April 21, people will certainly want to celebrate her long life. While you might be tempted to send flowers (or give her an iPhone for a present), don’t break with royal protocol unless you have permission—and then do it very carefully.
Current Day Activities of Queen Elizabeth
She may be granny to her family and mum to her royal grandchildren, but Queen Elizabeth II still has an active schedule for a woman of her age. According to a report in The Telegraph, June 14 is not just a day for young Brits to celebrate their queen’s birthday — it’s also an important date in Britain’s political calendar. That’s because on that day she gives her annual speech at Parliament.
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