Queen Elizabeth II

Photograph of Queen Elizabeth II

Born: 1926
Reigned from 1952

  • Elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
  • In 1947 married her third cousin, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Charles is the eldest of their four children
  • Crowned in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953
  • First Head of the Commonwealth: throughout her reign has visited every Commonwealth country
  • Established The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (opened 1962; enlarged and reopened 2002) and The Queen’s Gallery, Holyroodhouse (opened 2002) to show works of art in the Royal Collection
  • Granted greatly increased public access to the royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, the royal apartments at Windsor Castle, and Frogmore House
  • Established the Royal Collection as a department of the Royal Household in 1987
  • Set up the Royal Collection Trust in 1993, to oversee the financing of the Royal Collection Department
  • Established conservation studios for the treatment of paintings, drawings, furniture, ceramics and metalwork in the Royal Collection
  • Established a computerised inventory for the Royal Collection, expanded to provide links to the new website for the presentation of the ‘Collection Online’
  • Has acquired paintings by contemporary artists including works by Sutherland, Lowry and Nolan; her portrait by Lucian Freud, painted in 2000–01, was a gift from the artist
  • Has acquired Stuart portraits by Honthorst, Hoskins and Blanchet, views of and designs for Windsor by Hoefnagel, the Sandbys, Turner and Morel & Seddon, and major pieces of historic royal silver
  • Has revived the tradition of commissioning portrait drawings of members of the Order of Merit
  • Since 1993, has opened the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace during the summer months
  • Celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2002; her 80th birthday in 2006; her Diamond Wedding anniversary in 2007; and celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012

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