Timeline of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign

Credit: Getty Images/Shutterstock

We chart HM Queen Elizabeth II’s journey from young princess who was third in line to the throne to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch

1926, 21 April: Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor is born at 2.40am at her parent’s home in 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

1926, 29 May: The young princess is christened in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. She was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

Richmond PArk
The young princess spends some of her early childhood with her family at the White Lodge in Richmond Park Credit: VisitBritain/Britain on View

1930s: The princess’s early years are spent at 145 Piccadilly, the London house taken by her parents after her birth, and at White Lodge in Richmond Park.

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

1936: Her parents take over Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their country home. In the grounds of Royal Lodge Princess Elizabeth has her own small house, Y Bwthyn Bach (the Little Cottage), which was given to her by the people of Wales in 1932.

1936, 20 January: Princess Elizabeth’s family life came to an end in 1936, when her grandfather, King George V, died. His eldest son came to the throne as King Edward VIII.

1936, 11 December:  Elizabeth’s father becomes king when his older brother, King Edward VIII steps down. Princess Elizabeth is now heiress presumptive.

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

Queen, Malta
A young Princess Elizabeth when she lived in Malta Credit: Shutterstock

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

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

1949 to 1951: She lives for time in Malta where Prince Philip is stationed as a serving Royal Navy officer. It is the only foreign country she lives in and island life affords her a relatively normal existence.

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

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

1952: Her father, King George VI, dies in his sleep. The Princess Elizabeth is in Kenya when he learns of her father’s death.

Westminster Abbey. Credit: ISTOCK
Westminster Abbey. Credit: iStock

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

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

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

1977: The Queen’s Silver Jubilee – marking 25 years on the throne is celebrated with Commonwealth visits and Jubilee Day, June 7, 1977, is marked with a public holiday, and a thanksgiving service in St Paul’s Cathedral and street parties around the country.

1986: The Queen celebrates her 60th birthday.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle Credit: VisitBritain/Craig Easton

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

1997:  The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their Golden Wedding with a special garden party for couples also celebrating their Golden Wedding at Buckingham Palace.

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

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

2002, 30 March:  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.

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

Buckingham Palace, the Queen's principal residence and workplace in London. The facade of the historic royal palace founded in the 18th century, and remodelled in the 19th century. This image must be reproduced with the Credit: VistBritain/Andrew Pickett
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s principal residence in London. Credit: Visit Britain/Andrew Pickett

2012, 4 June: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is celebrated with a weekend spectacular outside Buckingham Palace.

2015, September 9: 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-grandmother Queen Victoria.

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

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

2017, November 20: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their Platinum Wedding Anniversary, 70 years of marriage.

2021, April 9: The Duke of Edinburgh, HM Queen Elizabeth’s beloved husband, dies, aged 99 at Windsor Castle.

2022, June 2-5: HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking a remarkable 70 years on the throne with a four-day celebration across the country.

2022, September 8: HM Queen Elizabeth II dies peacefully at Balmoral at the age of 96. Just a few days before she had installed the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, to government. Her son, Charles, is now the King.

Read more:

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HM Queen Elizabeth II: 10 of our favourite anecdotes

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