She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
At the time she stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, The Duke of York. But it was not expected that her father would become King, or that she wouldbecome Queen.
The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. She was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
The Princess's early years were spent at 145 Piccadilly, the London house taken by her parents shortly after her birth, and atWhite Lodge in Richmond Park.
She also spent time at the country homes of her paternal grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, and her mother's parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.
In 1930, Princess Elizabeth gained a sister, with the birth of Princess Margaret Rose. The family of four was very close.
When she was six years old, her parents took over Royal Lodge in WindsorGreat Park as their own country home. In the grounds of Royal Lodge Princess Elizabeth had her own small house, Y Bwthyn Bach (the Little Cottage), which was given to her by the people of Wales in 1932.
Princess Elizabeth's quiet family life came to an end in 1936, when her grandfather, King George V, died. His eldest son came to the throne as King Edward VIII, but, before the end of the year,King Edward VIII had decided to give up the throne in order to marry the woman he loved, Mrs Wallis Simpson.
Upon his abdication, Princess Elizabeth's father acceded to the throne as King George VI, and in 1937 the two Princesses attended their parents' coronation in Westminster Abbey.
Princess Elizabeth was now first in line to the throne, and a figure of even more intense public interest.EDUCATION
Princess Elizabeth was educated at home with Princess Margaret, her younger sister.
After her father succeeded to the throne in 1936 and she became heir presumptive, she started to study constitutional history and law as preparation for her future role.
She received tuition from her father, as well as sessions with Henry Marten, the Vice-Provost of Eton. She was also instructedin religion by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Princess Elizabeth also learned French from a number of French and Belgian governesses. It is a skill which has stood The Queen in good stead, as she often has cause to use it when speaking to ambassadors and heads of state from French-speaking countries, and when visiting French-speaking areas of Canada.
Princess Elizabeth also studied art andmusic, learned to ride, and became a strong swimmer. She won the Children's Challenge Shield at London's Bath Club when she was thirteen.
Princess Elizabeth enrolled as a Girl Guide when she was eleven, and later became a Sea Ranger.
In 1940, at the height of the Blitz, the young Princesses were moved for their safety to Windsor Castle, where they spent most of the war years.
It was atime of austerity and anxiety for the whole country, including the Royal Family. But at Christmas time there was a period of light relief when the young Princesses put on pantomimes with the children of members of staff for the enjoyment of her family and employees of the Royal Household.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on 20November 2010.
Shortly after the Royal Family returned from South Africa in 1947, the Princess's engagement to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced.
The couple, who had known each other for many years, were married in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. The event was fairly simple, as Britain was still recovering from the war, and Princess Elizabeth had to collect clothing coupons...