- Elder daughter of George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Elizabeth was born 21 April 1926 in London. When the young Princess Elizabeth started poking about in a toolbag belonging to Mr. Albert Tippele, a telephone repair man, Mr. Tippele smacked her on the bottom. 'She ran away and her mother seemed pleased', Mr. Tippele commented later. As children, both Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were persistent nail-biters, no matter how much their governesses tried to stop them. One day in the Palace they saw the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, biting his nails. 'If he can do it, why can't we?' they asked.
On 15 May 1939, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret went for their first ride on the London Underground System. They sat next to Mrs. Simmons, a charlady from Muswell Hill. Princess Elizabeth registered at the Windsor Labour Exchange on her sixteenth birthday, as required by law.
On 20 November 1947 in London she married Philip Mountbatten, previously a Prince of Greece and Denmark, who received the title of Duke of Edinburgh, they have four children.
When bad weather threatened to prevent her subjects seeing the Queen on her Canadian tour in 1951, Prince Philip proposed that a plexiglas bubble be constructed to cover the open car, an idea subsequently used by other heads of state. 'How do I look?' the Queen asked her husband's Equerry. 'Like an orchid wrapped in cellophane' was the reply.
Nothing seemed to be amiss at the Queen's Coronation, until after the ceremony when the congregation had left. The Peers' vacated seats were found to be the final resting-place for an impressive number of empty half-bottles of spirits. The exact quantity has never been disclosed.
On a visit to Jamaica in 1953 the Queen nervously walked around the white linen jacket schoolteacher Warren Kidd laid down in her path in imitation of Sir Walter Raleigh. Kidd was later arrested and sent for observation to a lunatic asylum.
The Queen and Prince Philip visited the Oji River Settlement in Africa on 9 February 1956. There they adopted several leper children and have paid for their medical and other needs ever since. In Belfast in 1966, a seventeen-year-old youth, John Morgan, threw a block of concrete at the Queen's car. It missed.
When the Queen was sitting beside an African ruler in a horse-drawn carriage, one of the horses farted. 'I'm so sorry', said the Queen. 'Oh, don't worry', replied the African ruler, 'If you hadn't apologised, I'd thought it was the horse.'
In 1961, the people of the village of Berending in Gambia gave the Queen a two-year-old crocodile in a pierced silver biscuit box as a present for Prince Andrew. The Queen's Private Secretary Sir Martin Charteris had to keep in in his bath for the rest of the trip. The next year, on a visit to Liberia, the Queen was presented with two hippos, also for Prince Andrew.
Touring Poole General Hospital in 1968, the Queen stopped by the bed of a little four-year-old girl. 'Do you know who this is?' the nurse asked the little girl. 'Yes', came the reply, 'It's Granny.' The Queen opened her speech on the anniversary of her Silver Wedding by saying, 'I think that everyone will concede that on this of all days I should begin my speech with the words, 'My husband and I''. When the Queen visited Eton during a downpour in 1973, a boy shouted, 'Vive La Reine!' and the Queen replied, 'Yes, it is pelting isn't it.'
In 1977 the Labour Defence Minister, Mr. Fred Mulley, fell fast asleep in the chair next to the Queen while they were both supposed to be watching a Royal Air Force review.
Queen Elizabeth celebrated her sixtieth birthday on 26 April 1986. The Observer produced a symposium on the Queen, in which Katherine Whitehorn wrote the first essay, entitled _Queen of Hearts,_ pointing out that she was certainly the object of every tourist's interest. When asked why Americans should be so besotted with royalty after all their efforts to get rid of George III, one historian explained it neatly: 'It's the fairy stories that keep it going,' he said. 'Whoever heard of a girl kissing a frog and it turning into a handsome senator?'
Leo van de Pas – 2008