Queen Elizabeth II: A timeline of the history-making monarch’s life

The Queen has tragically died at the age of 96. Below is a timeline of her incredible life

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April 21, 1926: Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor born at her parent’s home in Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

May 29, 1926: Princess Elizabeth christened in Buckingham Palace. She was named after her mum, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandma, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandma, Queen Mary.

August 21, 1930: Princess Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret Rose, is born.

1936: Elizabeth’s parents take over Royal Lodge in Windsor Great as their country home.

January 20, 1936: King George V, Elizabeth’s grandad, dies. His eldest son King Edward VII, Elizabeth’s uncle, ascends the throne.

December 11, 1936: Elizabeth’s dad becomes king when his older brother, King Edward VIII steps down. Princess Elizabeth is now heir to the throne.

1939-1945: World War 2

1942: Elizabeth’s first public engagement. She inspects the soldiers of the Grenadier Guards on her 16th birthday.

April 21, 1947: Elizabeth makes famous Commonwealth speech, stating: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral this week
Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral this week

November 20, 1947: Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey.

1947: Elizabeth’s first official overseas visit. She celebrates her 21st birthday on a tour of South Africa.

1949 to 1951: She lives in Malta where Prince Philip is stationed as a serving Royal Navy officer.

November 14, 1948: The princess’s first child Prince Charles is born at Buckingham Palace. She is 22.

August 15, 1950: Princess Anne is born in Clarence House.

1952: King George VI, Elizabeth’s dad, dies in his sleep. She is in Kenya when he learns the news.

June 2, 1953: Elizabeth’s coronation takes place in Westminster Abbey. She is crowned Queen Elizabeth II, at age 27.

October 21, 1956: The Queen meets Marilyn Monroe. The photograph of the occasion becomes iconic.

February 19, 1960: Prince Andrew is born at Buckingham Palace. He is the first child born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria’s youngest child, Princess Beatrice, in 1857.

June 5, 1961: Queen meets JFK

The Queen with her beloved Prince William
The Queen with her beloved Prince William

March 10, 1964: Prince Edward is born at Buckingham Palace.

January 1973: The Queen gives royal assent for Britain to become a formal member of the European Economic Community, EEC.

November 14, 1973: Princess Anne marries Captain Mark Phillips.

1977: The Queen’s Silver Jubilee –marking 25 years on the throne is celebrated with Commonwealth visits and Jubilee Day on June 7, 1977.

August 27, 1979: The Queen faces one of the biggest crises of her reign as Lord Louis Mountbatten, great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, is assassinated by the IRA.

July 29, 1981: The Queen sees her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, marry Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral.

April 2, 1982: Britain declares war on Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands. The Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, sees active service with the Royal Navy.

July 9, 1982: The Queen faces up to Buckingham Palace intruder Michael Fagan.

April 21, 1986: The Queen celebrates her 60th birthday.

July 23, 1986: Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson.

April 13, 1992: Princess Anne divorces Captain Mark Phillips.

March 1992: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson announce their separation.

November 20, 1992: A fire wrecks part of the Queen’s home at Windsor Castle.

December 1992: Buckingham Palace announces Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales’ separation.

December 12, 1992: Princess Anne marries Sir Timothy Laurence.

November 20, 1995: Diana issues a scathing assessment of the Royal Family in a tell-all BBC Panorama interview.

May 1996: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s divorce finalised.

August 1996: Charles and Diana’s divorce is finalised.

1997: The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary.

August 31, 1997: Princess Diana is killed in a car accident in France.

September 11, 2001: The Queen pays a moving tribute to 9/11 victims after 2,996 are killed in a horrific terror attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

February 9, 2002: The Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret dies following a long illness.

March 30, 2002: The Queen Mother dies at the age of 101.

2002: During this year she also marks her Golden Jubilee – spending 50 years on the throne.

April 9, 2005: Prince Charles marries Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

April 21, 2006: The Queen celebrates her 80th birthday.

April 2009: The Queen forms a close bond with Barack and Michelle Obama at G20 Summit.

July 2011: The Queen’s favourite son, Prince Andrew, quits as UK trade envoy amid a furore over his visit to sex trafficker and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s New York home.

June 4, 2012: The Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

September 14, 2014: The Queen makes a rare political intervention as she urges Scottish voters to “think long and hard” before making a decision on the country’s independence. Scots voted to stay part of the UK days later.

April 2015: Allegations emerge that Prince Andrew had sex with trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre. The Palace vehemently deny the allegations.

September 9, 2015: The Queen becomes the longest-reigning monarch. She had reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandma Queen Victoria.

April 21, 2016: The Queen turns 90 years old.

February 6, 2017: The Queen celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years since she ascended the throne.

June 3, 2019: The Queen meets Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace.

November 2019: Prince Andrew “steps down” from royal duties after car crash interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis over his links to Jeffrey Epstein.

January 2020: The Queen and the Royal Family left stunned as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their breakaway from the Firm.

January 24, 2020: The Queen gives royal assent for the UK to leave the European Union, the final act of Brexit after Britain’s 2016 referendum.

March 7, 2021: Meghan and Harry make a series of damaging allegations against the Royal Family in a now-infamous TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.

April 9, 2021: The Queen mourns the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is the longest-serving royal consort in history.

February 6, 2022: The Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.

February 15, 2022: Prince Andrew reaches a settlement with Virginia Giuffre. He says he regrets his association with Epstein.

February 20, 2022: The Queen tests positive for Covid-19.

September 6, 2022: The Queen accepts Boris Johnson's resignation as Prime Minister and invites Liz Truss to form a government.

September 8, 2022: The Queen sadly passes away.