ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

The British Monarchs and Queen Elizabeth II

Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-ruling British monarch. Her Highness’ consort Prince Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history.

Buckingham Palace: Administrative HQ and residency of British Monarchy. The Photo by Debbie Fan on Unsplash

Born on April 21, 1926, as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of the United Kingdom and head of state of 14 other countries. The other 14 countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand are not a republic but sovereigns where HH (her highness) acts as the head of state.

The current British monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) was born to King George VI. World war II erupted during his reign. King George VI was known for his generous nature towards the soldiers taking part in the war. Largely because the King himself was a part of the Battle of Jutland in WWI as a royal navy officer. The King never left Buckingham palace during world war II bombings despite the palace getting bombed nine times during the war(the blitz). His Highness had good ties with Winston Churchill. His reign also witnessed the largely successful evacuation of Dunkirk and the dissolution of the British Raj in India. During his reign then Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary joined the Auxiliary Territorial Services where she trained as a driver and mechanic with the rank of Second Subaltern.

King George VI was born to King George V (born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria). WWI erupted during the reign of George V. The empire of his first cousin Tsar Nicholas II of Russia fell. The German empire of his other first cousin Kaiser Wilhelm met the same fate. The anti-German sentiment was built in WW1 era Britain and thus George V became the first monarch of the House of Windsor and the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was dropped from the title. The British empire reached its greatest effective extent during the reign of George V. The British empire got so massive geographically and extensive that it seemed as though it was always daytime in at least one part of its territory. This, led to the famous English saying: “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

George V of England, Nicholas II of Russia (who bear a striking resemblance to one another), and Wilhelm II of Germany all shared a grandmother in Queen Victoria. Victoria’s reign of Sixty Three years and Seven months is called the Victorian Era. Great Britain witnessed drastic improvements in Politics, Science and the Military. The Industrial Revolution had pretty much established itself across the Western nations by the time her reign started. Britain officially colonised India after the Sepoy Mutiny during her reign. She was granted the title of Empress of India by the British Parliament. Victoria married her first cousin which further led to haemophilia in the European royalty.

A princess at war. Princess Elizabeth joined ATS (British Army Women Section) when she turned 18 in 1944.

Her majesty also acts as Duke of Normandy. In the November of 1947, her majesty tied the knot with Philip Mountbatten(later entitled Duke of Edinburgh). Upon the demise of her father in February 1952, then princess Elizabeth inherited the throne and became the queen (a constitutional monarch). Her reign has so far witnessed the events like “The Troubles in Northern Ireland”, “Decolonisation of Africa” and “UK’s withdrawal from the European Union”.

India visit and controversy: On 14 October 1997, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh(Prince Philip) went to Amritsar to pay obeisance at Jallianwala Bagh. However, the Duke later stated, that the casualties caused in the massacre of 1919 were highly exaggerated. Duke also stated he had learnt about the actual numbers from Dyer’s (officer who carried the massacre) son, while they both met in the royal navy. These statements stirred huge controversy in the former British colony(India).

On 13 October, the Queen referenced the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in a state banquet address. “It is no secret that there have been some difficult episodes in our past — Jallianwala Bagh, which I shall visit tomorrow, is a distressing example,” she said. Many parties did not think that it was an adequate apology, while other parties thought her statement was contrived.

“The Queen is doing everything she can to make India like her. But so far it does not seem to be working.” The Independent reported on October 13 of 1997.

(PS: Prince Philip’s mother was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria)

2022 marks Seventy years of Her majesty’s (Queen Elizabeth II) rule. The heir apparent to the British Throne is majesty’s eldest son Prince Charles. Prince (of Wales) Charles is both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent and prince of Wales in British history. He served in Royal Air Force and Navy from 1971 to 1976.

In the unfortunate event of the demise of Queen Elizabeth: Operation London Bridge would be triggered across the UK and subsequently the world. BBC’s iconic red colour will be switched to black and no comedy shows would be broadcasted. Prince Charles would inherit the throne. Queen would be buried next to her father George VI in Westminster Abbey.

Prince Charles’ official coronation would take place a year later and he would go and meet the head of nations in England (London), Scotland(Edinburgh), Wales(Cardiff) and Northern Ireland(Belfast).

Also visit: https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-British-Peerage/

DISCLAIMER: The author does not intend to support the idea of colonisation or political dependence. The author does not intend any form of disrespect to anyone mentioned or related to the blog above. The blog is written purely for academic and awareness purposes. The blog is written based on data collected from magazines, books, newspapers, movies, documentaries, wikipedia.

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Abhijeet Rai

Abhijeet Rai

Hi, I am Abhijeet. I believe everyone has a story to tell. Come, let’s chit- chat. We might end up discussing programming, history, or life. Who knows!