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Woman of the Year: 1953 – Queen Elizabeth II

From the day she was born, the life of Queen Elizabeth II shows that she deserved to receive the title Woman of the Year. She had practical intelligence since she was a kid and she respected peoples opinions. Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926 at the London home of her mother’s parents, Lord and Lady Strathmore. She was baptized at Buckingham Palace and named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary five weeks later. Elizabeth’s father was Albert, the Duke of York. He was the second son of King George V. When his dad died in 1936, his brother was supposed to become king but he resigned. So he became king. Her mother was Lady Elizabeth

Bowes-Lyon. She was a member of the Scottish aristocracy. Her sister Margaret Rose was born on August 21, 1930, when she was 4 years old in Glamis Castle. Her grandparents were George V and Queen Mary, and Lord and Lady Strathmore. Elizabeth and her sister were homed schooled. She was taught by Miss Marion Crawford, a young Scottish woman. At the age of 5, she usually woke up at 6 a. m. and went out for riding lessons. After that, they had lunch, lessons in French, voice and piano. In the afternoon she would play in the garden, usually with her sister and Miss Crawford. She became heiress to the throne at the age of ten.

She had to learn court etiquette and diplomatic practice from her grandmother, Queen Mary. She studied the geography and history of the Commonwealth countries and the U. S. Elizabeth went to Eton College for private lessons in law. She was training for future duties. Being a princess was not easy. She had to prepare for a hard life, never make mistakes, never look bored and never be sick if possible. Elizabeth grew up at the families London home, a large Victorian House on 145 Picadilly and at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. When her dad became King they moved to Buckingham Palace. It was more like a museum than a ouse. Elizabeth spent their holidays with their grandparents on both sides. When she spent it with the Strathmore it would sometimes be at the Glamis Castle. It was a rugged, rambling old Scottish fortress. It looked like something out of a child’s adventure stories-paradise of echoing rooms, long passage and mysterious stairways. (Trease 1953, 231) Elizabeth enjoyed exploring the castle when she was young. She was 13 when World War II occurred. A year later bombs started falling on London. Elizabeth and her sister had to go to safety at the fortress of Windsor Castle. She returned to London on October 13, 1940.

She then joined the woman’s branch army and took training as an automobile driver and mechanic. Prince Philip was an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II. He met Elizabeth in the war. Later he dropped the title of prince to become a British citizen. He took his mother’s family name, Mountbatten. On November 20, 1946, Philip and Elizabeth were married at Westminister Abbey. There first kid was born on November 14. 1948. His name was Prince Charles Philip Arthur George and was later known as Prince of Wales. They also had Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise on August 15, 1950, Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward on

February 19, 1960, and Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis on March 10, 1964. Elizabeth and Philip were on a tour in Kenya when her dad died on February 6, 1952, and she automatically became Queen Elizabeth II. She was not just Queen of England but Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more. They considered her a Queen but she did not have power over them (Trease 1953, 234). Queen Elizabeth the II had no political power. Some of her duties as a queen was constitutional work (opening the Parliament), entertainment of foreign dignitaries, giving tours of Britain and the commonwealth. But most of all, she ad to be someone the people could look up to without anyone gossiping or criticizing her (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography 1973, 569). In 1953, this shy, dedicated and determined 26-year old queen was selected Woman of the Year. She was chosen because she was a symbol of faith. She was also a reminder of a great pass and was a sign of a good future.

Queen Elizabeth II represented in her person all that they hold best in the British way of life (Time Almanac 1994, 7). Another reason was she had a close relationship between her people. She was willing to listen to them and willing o let them participate in decisions like the one against stiff conservative prejudice. Her goal was to find the proper balance between simplicity and richness-where she would lend majesty to her people-but not outrage those who demand a more democratic example. (Time Almanac 1994, 5). The opinion of a London editorialist said It may well be that we here in Britain, by accident rather than design, have stumbled back to the original, the true and abiding function of monarchy, which lay in the magical power of kings… to represent, express and effect the aspiration of the collective subconscious. (Time Almanac 1994, 4).

The Queen Elizabeth Island named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. It is located in Canada, north of Lancaster Sound and Melville Sound. The total amount of land added up is about 160,000 square miles. People may think that princes or princesses are spoiled when little, but they aren’t. They had to prepare for a hard life ahead of them, when they become king or queen. They had to find a way to communicate to the people and make them listen. Queen Elizabeth II found a way-by being willing to listen to them and allowing them to take part in decisions. She won the hearts of her people and the title “Woman of the Year. “

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