Queen Elizabeth II is the current Queen of the Commonwealth and monarch of the British royal family. Named after her mother, Elizabeth II inherited the crown after the passing of her father, King George VI, in February 1952. Elizabeth II officially ascended to the throne on June 2, 1953.
Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning British monarch in history, marking 65 years on the throne in her sapphire jubilee in February 2017.
Born on April 21, 1926 in London, England, Elizabeth II’s zodiac sign is Taurus. Her full birth name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, and her surname is typically given as Windsor, after her noble house.
Elizabeth’s religion is Anglican, a form of Christianity that came out of the Protestant Reformation that began in the 15th century. Anglicans follow the teachings of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and faith in God.
To understand the origins of Elizabeth II’s faith, as the serving regent of England Queen Elizabeth is specifically designated as the “Defender of the Faith”. This is a formal proclamation that was first bestowed upon King Henry VIII in 1521 when he broke England away from the Roman Catholic Church and became the figurative head of the Church of England.
Since Henry VIII’s time, the ruling King or Queen of England has assumed the figurative role as the Defender of the Faith of the Church of England.
As the head of the Church of England, Elizabeth II can appoint bishops and deans into the Church.
Elizabeth has commented several times about her faith in Christ and in God, most often in her annual Christmas Day messages:
“To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.” Christmas Day, 2000
“I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.” Christmas Day, 2002
“‘For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role-model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.” Christmas Day, 2015
As the monarch of England, Elizabeth II has to remain impartial in the country’s politics. She cannot vote, run for office, and should not comment on current political events barring an extreme or unusual reason to do so. (1)
Every week the Queen meets with the Prime Minister. What is discussed at these briefings is not revealed to the general public.
With such a long reign as the ruling English monarch there have been a small handful of instances where Elizabeth II has said something marginally political, such as:
While visiting the United States in 1976 during the country’s bicentennial, Queen Elizabeth said this about the country’s revolution against England: “We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.” (2)
And in 2014, before the referendum on Scotland’s independence, Elizabeth II carefully chose her words by stating, “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”
According to then PM David Cameron, when the Queen heard that Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom she was happy with the results. Even this minor slip of etiquette was a serious enough breach of protocol that Cameron had to later issue a public apology. (3)
Elizabeth is married to Prince Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple were married on November 20, 1947. Philip comes from Greek and Danish royal blood. When he married Elizabeth he had to renounce his Greek and Danish titles and take on the surname Mountbatten from his mother’s English side of the family.
Almost one year after the union of Elizabeth and Philip, the Queen gave birth to her first child, Charles. In 1950, Anne, a daughter, followed. Her second son Andrew was born in 1960, and in 1964 Edward, her third son, followed.
One of the Queen’s most beloved hobbies is her prized collection of racing horses. Up to 2017 the Queen’s collection of horses have won her $8.8 million dollars in prize money. (4)
Her favorite pet are corgi dogs. She has also bred a new kind of corgi called a dorgi. This happened when one of Princess Margaret’s daschund bred with one of the Queen’s corgis.
Photography is another of her hobbies, one that she has enjoyed for decades.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 6, 2016