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Temat: Historia i kultura
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is the Queen of sixteen countries in the world: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. She is the queen of each country separately, and all sixteen are independent countries. She became Queen when her father, King George VI, died on 6 February 1952.
The countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth realms. Their total population is over 129 million. Elizabeth II lives in the United Kingdom. In all the other countries where she is queen, a person has been chosen to represent her. This person is known as the Governor General.
Elizabeth II is Queen and is interested in the running of her countries, but she does not tell the governments what to do. She has regular meetings with people from her governments, but it is they who run the countries. She performs ceremonies for the governments, gives out honours, and visits and supports many charities.
Since 1947, the Queen has been married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was born into the royal families of Greece and Denmark. Just before they were married, he became a citizen of the United Kingdom, and changed his name to Philip Mountbatten. He became the Duke of Edinburgh on the day he married, and became a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957. The Queen and Prince Philip have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947. The couple are distantly related to each other, through King Christian IX of Denmark and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Prince Philip was not rich, he was Greek Orthodox and his sister had married someone who had fought on the opposing side in the war, so there were some people who were not happy about the marriage. But most people throughout the Commonwealth were full of joy. Even though people were still very poor because of the war, the royal couple received 2,500 wedding presents from all around the world. The wedding was held in Westminster Abbey. Princess Margaret was one of the nine bridesmaids.
After their wedding, the couple lived mainly at Clarence House in London. For a time, they lived in Malta, where the Duke of Edinburgh was serving in the Royal Navy. In Malta, they lived at the house of Philip's uncle, Lord Mountbatten of Burma.
On 14 November 1948, Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Charles. The couple had four children:
Charles, Prince of Wales (born 14 November 1948)
Anne, Princess Royal (born 15 August 1950)
Prince Andrew, Duke of York (born 19 February 1960)
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (born 10 March 1964)
Although the Royal House is named Windsor, the princes and princess often use the name Mountbatten-Windsor, which is their official surname.
In 1951, the King's health became too bad to go to many public events. Princess Elizabeth began to make official visits for him. She visited Greece, Italy and Malta (where Philip was stationed) during that year. In October, she made a tour of Canada and visited President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C. In January 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand. They had reached Kenya when a message arrived, telling of the death of the King, on 6 February 1952. Elizabeth and Philip were staying at "Sagana Lodge" in Kenya when she was told of her father's death and that now she was Queen. It was Prince Philip who broke the news of her father's death to Elizabeth. They returned to the United Kingdom immediately by plane.
Elizabeth II's coronation (when she was crowned queen) took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.
The Queen has often shown courage, ever since she joined the military at 18. During a trip to Ghana in 1961, she was warned that it was dangerous to be near the President Kwame Nkrumah because people wanted to kill him. But she refused to stay away. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harold Macmillan, wrote that the Queen got very impatient with people if they tried to treat her like "a film star".
In 1964, when the Queen was invited to Quebec, there were fears for her safety because there was opposition to her visit. There were suggestions that the tour should be cancelled. But the Queen's secretary said that the Queen would not want to be stopped from going to Quebec because of any danger. During the Trooping the Colour in 1981, she was shot at, but she carried on. It was later discovered that the shots were blanks. In 1982, a man called Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace in the morning, and found the Queen's bedroom. He woke her up, and sat on her bed, until the guards came to take him away