Queen Elizabeth II – Timeline

1917

17 July: The House of Windsor (previously the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) is created by Royal Proclamation

1923

18 January: Prince Albert (Bertie), the Duke of York, announces his engagement to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, daughter of the Earl of Strathmore

26 April: Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth are married in Westminster Abbey, the first senior royal to do so since 1382

1926

21 April: Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor is born at 2.40 a.m. at her parent’s home in 17 Bruton Street

29 May: The young princess is christened. She cries throughout the ceremony

1930

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

1936

20 January: George V (‘Grandpa England’) dies. Edward VIII becomes king

10 December: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication

11 December: Bertie, the Duke of York, is formally proclaimed King George VI. Princess Elizabeth is now heiress presumptive

1937

12 May: Coronation of George VI at Westminster Abbey

1939

21 April: Princess Elizabeth celebrates her thirteenth birthday, and soon begins a demanding course of study under the Vice-Provost of Eton College

22 July: Princes Elizabeth meets and falls in love with Cadet Captain Philip of Greece at the Royal Dartmouth Naval College

3 September: Britain declares war on Germany

1945

4 March: Princess Elizabeth joins the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS)

8 May: VE Day

1947

10 July: Buckingham Palace officially announces the engagement of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

20 November: Elizabeth marries Philip (now known as the Duke of Edinburgh) at Westminster Abbey

1948

14 November: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is born

1950

15 August: Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is born

31 January: Elizabeth and Philip leave for a tour of East Africa, Australia and New Zealand

1952

6 February: George VI (pictured) dies and Elizabeth II succeeds to the throne

15 February: Funeral of George VI at St George’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey

7 April: Proclamation issued declaring that the family’s dynastic surname would remain ‘Windsor’

1953

2 June: Coronation of Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey

24 November: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh embark on a tour of the Commonwealth

1954

15 May: The royal couple return to England, after six months abroad

1955

31 October: Princess Margaret releases a statement confirming that she will not marry Group Captain Peter Townsend

1960               

19 February: Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is born

1964

10 March: Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is born

1969

21 June: First broadcast of the Royal Family documentary

1977

7 June: The queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrates her twenty-five years on the throne

1979

27 August: Lord Louis Mountbatten is killed by an IRA bomb off the coast of Sligo in the west of Ireland

1981

24 February: Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles, announces his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer

29 July: Charles and Diana marry in St Paul’s Cathedral

1982

21 June: Diana gives birth to Prince William

1984

15 September: Diana gives birth to Prince Harry

1992

7 June: The first instalment of the serialisation of Andrew Motion’s book, Diana: Her True Story, appears in the The Sunday Times

20 November: Windsor Castle is partly destroyed by fire

9 December:    Prime Minister John Major announces in the House of Commons that Charles and Diana are to separate

1996

28 August: Charles and Diana’s marriage is dissolved in the High Court

1997

31 August: Diana dies in a car crash in Paris

2002

9 Feb: Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, dies

30 March: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother dies

30 April: Elizabeth officially launches her Golden Jubilee celebrations with a speech to both houses of parliament

2005

9 Apr: Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles, marries his second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in the town of Windsor. Despite initial opposition to the relationship, the Queen has since come to accept her new daughter-in-law, and was in attendance at the service of blessing held for the couple at St George’s Chapel.

2006

21 April: Elizabeth celebrates her eightieth birthday.

2011

29 April: Prince William, Elizabeth’s grandson and second in line to the throne, marries Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

2012

6 Feb: The 60th anniversary of the death of George VI and of Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne.

2 – 5 Jun: Various events take place throughout the United Kingdom to celebrate Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Read about the Queen in The Queen: History In An Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon, published by Harper Press and available in various digital formats.

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