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Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was crowned in 1953. Her 60 years on the throne was celebrated in June 2012, with the Diamond Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II first began public duties during World War II, where she became a symbol of reassurance for the British people. In her 60-year reign, she's preserved the image of the crown throughout a period of great change.
An inside look at the royal wedding between Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
After Princess Diana's death, Queen Elizabeth II broadcast a message to the people of England.
The son of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry is third in line for the British throne. He served on the front lines in Afghanistan and holds the rank of captain.
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She was riding in the Trooping the Colour, a special military parade to celebrate her official birthday, when a man in the crowd pointed a gun at her. He fired, but, fortunately, the gun was loaded with blanks. Other receiving a good scare,
the queen was not hurt in the incident. She had an even closer call the following year when an intruder broke into Buckingham Palace and confronted Elizabeth in her bedroom. When the press got wind of the fact that Prince Philip was nowhere to seen during this incident, they speculated about the state of the royal marriage.
The love lives of her children have caused Elizabeth much heartache as well. The rocky marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana made headlines for years before the couple announced plans to divorce in 1992. Prince Andrew's union with Sarah Ferguson ended up in the tabloids as well, with photos of Sarah with another man ran in papers. Her own husband has caused numerous public relations headaches with his seemingly inconsiderate off-the-cuff comments and rumors of possible infidelities.
In 1997, Elizabeth went under intense media scrutiny herself in the wake of Princess Diana's death. Her incredibly popular daughter-in-law, sometimes nicknamed the People's Princess, died in a car crash in Paris on August 31. The queen was her estate Balmoral with Prince Charles and his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the time of the incident. For days, Elizabeth remained silent while the country mourned Diana's passing and she was sharply criticized for her lack of response. Stories circulated that the queen did not want to give Diana a public funeral, which only fueled public sentiment against her. Nearly a week after Diana's death, Elizabeth returned to London and issued a statement on the late princess.
After the start of the twenty-first century, Elizabeth experienced two great losses. She said good-bye to both her sister Margaret and her mother in 2002. Margaret died that February after suffering a stroke. Only a few weeks later, Elizabeth's mother, known as the Queen Mother, died at Royal Lodge on March 30 at the age of 101.
Known to be a stickler for ceremony and tradition, Elizabeth has shown some signs of softening her stance. She had objected to the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, especially because of the pair had been involved while the prince was married. When the pair married in 2005, Elizabeth and Prince Philip had a reception in their honor at Windsor Castle.
Elizabeth has also emerged as a devoted grandmother to Prince William and Prince Harry. Prince William has said that she offered invaluable support and guidance as he and Catherine Middleton planned their 2011 wedding. That same year, Elizabeth showed that the crown still had symbolic and diplomatic power. She became the first monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since it gained independence in the 1920s.
Elizabeth has modernized the monarchy as well. She had dropped some of its formalities and made some of sites and treasures more accessible to the public.
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