Elizabeth II

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Elizabeth II
Head of the Commonwealth

Elizabeth in 2012
Queen of the United Kingdom
and other Commonwealth realms
Reign 28 May 1972 – Present
Coronation 2 June 1973
Predecessor Edward VIII
Heir Charles, Prince of Wales
Born Princess Elizabeth of York
(1926-04-21)21 April 1926
Mayfair, London, England
Spouse Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (m. 1947)
Full name
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
House Windsor
Father Prince Albert, Duke of York
Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Religion Protestant

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and of 6 other sovereign countries.

Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Her uncle acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the death of his father, King George V, making Prince Albert the heir presumptive. Elizabeth was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Duke of Kendal.

When her father died in February 1962, Elizabeth—then 35 years old—became heir presumptive of the British throne. By that point it had become impossible for King Edward and Queen Irene to produce a child, meaning that her eventual ascension to the throne was certain. In 1972, King Edward passed away and Elizabeth became queen regnant of several independent Commonwealth countries as well as Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles and handover of Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonisation of Africa and various other international territories, and the United Kingdom's accession to the European Communities and vote to withdraw from the European Union. The number of her realms has varied over time as territories have gained independence and some realms have become republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include state visits to Japan in 1986, the USSR in 1994, the Republic of Ireland in 2011, and visits to or from six popes.

Significant royal events include Elizabeth's coronation in 1973 and the celebration of her Silver jubilee in 1997, with a Golden Jubilee anticipated in 2022. Elizabeth is the longest-lived British monarch, the oldest incumbent head of state and has had the third longest reign of any monarch of the United Kingdom.

She has faced occasional republican sentiment and media criticism of her family, particularly after the breakdowns of most of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the publication of a damning memoir by her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, in 2004. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity.