Queen Elizabeth II Timeline
1926 (21st April)
Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary at 2.40am, 17 Bruton Street, London to Albert
, second son of George V
, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
. She was styled Princess Elizabeth.
1926 (29th May)
Princess Elizabeth was christened by the Archbishop of York, Cosmo Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace.
The family moved to White Lodge in Richmond Park, London.
1930 (21st August)
Elizabeth’s sister, Margaret Rose
, was born at Glamis Castle, Scotland to Albert, second son of George V, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Elizabeth began her education. She was home-schooled by her governess, Marion Crawford.
The family moved again making their home at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
1936 (20th January)
1936 (10th December)
Edward VIII formally abdicated the throne in order to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson
1936 (11th December)
The abdication meant that Elizabeth’s father became King George VI
and Elizabeth became heir to the throne.
1937 (12th May)
Elizabeth’s father was crowned King George VI and her mother was crowned Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth and her sister were present for the ceremony.
1937 (9th June)
Princess Elizabeth joined the Girl Guide movement. The 1st Buckingham Palace Company was formed for Elizabeth and the daughters of members of the Royal household.
King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon left Britain for a tour of Canada and the United States. The young princesses were left at home.
1939 (21st April)
Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, was hired to tutor Elizabeth. She also learned French from her governesses.
1939 (22nd July)
Princess Elizabeth met Captain Philip of Greece
, her second cousin once removed, at the Royal Dartmouth Naval College and thought he was very handsome. They began to write to each other.
1939 (3rd September)
World War Two
began. It was suggested that the two princesses be moved to Canada for safety, but this was rejected by their parents. They initially remained at Balmoral in Scotland.
Elizabeth and her sister spent Christmas at Sandringham with their parents. After the celebrations, they moved to Windsor where they remained for the war years.
1940 (13th October)
Princess Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during BBC Children’s Hour speaking to all those children who had been evacuated from the cities.
Elizabeth made her first solo public visit. She made a visit to the Grenadier Guards.
1945 (4th March)
Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
1945 (8th May)
Victory in Europe Day. Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were allowed to leave the palace and join the victory celebrations incognito.
1947 (28th February)
In preparation for his engagement to Elizabeth, Philip of Greece renounced his Greek nationality and became a British subject. He took the surname Mountbatten.
Princess Elizabeth accompanied her parents on a tour of Southern Africa.
1947 (21st April)
On her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth made a broadcast to the Commonwealth in which she declared that she would dedicate her whole life to the service of the people.
1947 (10th July)
Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten were formally engaged to be married.
1947 (19th November)
Philip of Greece was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.
1947 (20th November)
Princess Elizabeth married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. They began married life by living at Windlesham Moor near Windsor Castle.
1948 (14th November)
Elizabeth and Philip moved to Clarence House, London.
1950 (15th August)
Princess Elizabeth frequently stood in for her father at public events due to his declining health.
1952 (31st January)
Elizabeth and Philip left Britain to begin a tour of East Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
1952 (6th February)
Elizabeth, who was on tour in Kenya, became Queen when her father died from lung cancer. Prince Charles became Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles and Baron Renfrew upon his mother’s accession to the throne.
1952 (15th February)
The funeral of Elizabeth’s father, King George VI was held at St George’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
1952 (7th April)
It was announced that Elizabeth would retain the surname ‘Windsor’. Many people had thought she would take her husband’s surname, Mountbatten. Her choice to keep Windsor is said to have upset Philip.
Elizabeth’s sister, Margaret told her that she wished to marry Peter Townsend, a divorcee with two children. Elizabeth told her that if she went ahead with the marriage she would have to renounce all rights to the succession. She later decided to give Townsend up.
1953 (24th March)
Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary
, widow of George V, died.
1953 (2nd June)
Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey by Dr Geoffrey Fisher Archbishop of Canterbury
. It was the first royal coronation to be televised and was watched by an estimated 277 million people worldwide.
1953 (24th November)
Elizabeth and Philip left Britain to make a seven-month tour of the Commonwealth. Their children Charles and Anne were left in the care of their governess.
1954 (15th May)
Queen Elizabeth II and Philip returned to Britain. Their tour had been a great success.
1957 (27th February)
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was granted the style His Royal Highness (HRH).
John Grigg, Lord Altrincham published a criticism of the Queen stating that she was out of touch with the people. As a result she made several changes including stopping the annual presentation of debutantes.
1958 (26th July)
Elizabeth’s son, Prince Charles was created Earl of Chester and Prince of Wales.
1960 (19th February)
A son, Andrew Albert Christian Edward was born to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, London.
1960 (6th May)
Elizabeth’s sister Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.
1964 (10th March)
A son, Edward Antony Richard Louis was born to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, London.
Prince Charles was made a Knight of the Garter.
1969 (1st July)
Elizabeth invested her son, Charles, as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle.
1973 (14th November)
Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne, married Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey.
Prince Charles was made a Knight of the Bath.
1977 (17th May)
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip embarked on a three month tour of Britain to celebrate her Silver Jubilee.
1977 (7th June)
Celebrations were held throughout the commonwealth to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
1977 (15th November)
A son, Peter Mark Andrew, was born to Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, Queen Elizabeth’s first grandchild.
1979 (27th August)
Elizabeth’s second cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional IRA. A bomb had been placed on his boat and exploded off the Western coast of Ireland. The assassination shocked the Royal family.
1981 (24th February)
1981 (15th May)
A daughter, Zara Anne Elizabeth, was born to Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips.
1981 (13th June)
Shots were fired at Elizabeth during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony. Although teenager Marcus Sarjeant had used blanks he was jailed for five years.
1981 (29th July)
Prince Charles married Lady Diana Frances Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral.
1982 (21st June)
1982 (9th July)
Michael Fagan broke into the Queen’s home at Buckingham Palace and entered her bedroom. The police eventually arrived and he was arrested.
1984 (15th September)
1986 (23rd July)
Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey. Andrew was created Duke of York to mark his marriage.
1988 (8th August)
A daughter, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, was born to Prince Andrew and Sarah.
1990 (23rd March)
A daughter, Eugenie Victoria Helena, was born to Prince Andrew and Sarah.
1992 (19th March)
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson separated.
1992 (7th June)
The Sunday Times published the first part of Andrew Morton’s book ‘Diana, Her True Story’ which was fiercely critical of the Royal family.
1992 (20th November)
Windsor Castle, one of Elizabeth’s favourite properties, was badly damaged after a fire broke out.
1992 (24th November)
Queen Elizabeth II made a speech calling 1992 her ‘annus horribilis’.
1992 (late November)
Amid increasing criticism of the Royal family it was announced that from 1993 the Queen would pay income tax on any income she earned. Civil list payouts were also reduced.
1992 (9th December)
It was announced in the House of Commons that Prince Charles and Lady Diana were to separate.
1992 (12th December)
Princess Anne married Timothy Laurence, a Royal Navy Commander.
1996 (30th May)
The marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was formally dissolved.
1996 (28th August)
The marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer was formally dissolved.
1997 (31st August)
Lady Diana Spencer was killed in a car crash in Paris.
1997 (early September)
The Queen was fiercely criticised for remaining in Scotland rather than returning to London and also for not flying the flag on Buckingham Palace at half mast following the death of Lady Diana.
1997 (5th September)
Queen Elizabeth II made a public broadcast commending Diana and expressing her feelings as a grandmother for her two grandsons.
1999 (19th June)
Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. He was given the title Earl of Wessex to mark his marriage.
2002 (9th February)
Elizabeth’s sister, Margaret, died following a stroke.
2002 (30th March)
Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth known as the Queen Mother, died at the age of 101.
2002 (30th April)
Celebrations were held throughout the Commonwealth to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. During the year Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia and Canada as well as the four countries of the United Kingdom.
Elizabeth underwent keyhole surgery on both knees.
2003 (8th November)
A daughter Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary, was born to Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones.
2005 (9th April)
Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles
. The ceremony was held in a registry office and was intentionally low key as many people blamed the relationship between Charles and Camilla for the divorce and subsequent death of Diana.
2006 (21st April)
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday.
2006 (17th June
A service of Thanksgiving was held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor and also at ST Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official 80th birthday.
Elizabeth was incapacitated due to a strained back muscle.
2007 (20th November)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Mountbatten celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
2007 (17th December)
A son, James Alexander Philip Theo, was born to Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones.
2008 (20th March)
Queen Elizabeth made a visit to Northern Ireland where she attended the Maundy Service at the Church of Ireland St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.
2011 (29th April)
Elizabeth’s grandson, second in line to the throne, Prince William
, married Catherine Middleton
at Westminster Abbey. She granted him the dukedom of Cambridge on his marriage.
Queen Elizabeth II made the first ever state visit to the Republic of Ireland.
To celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Prince Charles and Camilla visited Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea while her grandson William and his wife Kate Middleton visited Tuvalu.
2012 (2nd – 5th June)
Celebrations were held throughout the Commonwealth to celebrate Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Despite poor weather thousands turned out to witness the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant where 1,000 boats and barges sailed up the River in procession. A live concert was also held outside Buckingham Palace.
2012 (27th July)
Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by Prince Philip officially opened the London Olympic Games
. She also appeared as a ‘Bond Girl’ in a short film made for the opening ceremony.
Queen Elizabeth was admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis. A planned trip to Rome was cancelled.
2013 (22nd July)
A son, George
, was born to Prince William and Catherine. He became third in line to the throne.
2015 (2nd May)
A daughter, Charlotte
, was born to Prince William and Catherine. She became fourth in line to the throne.
2015 (9th September)
Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning British monarch having surpassed the reign of Queen Victoria.
2016 (21st April)
The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday.
2016 (12th December)
Queen Elizabeth attended the funeral of her cousin and closest friend, Margaret Rhodes who died aged 91 years after a short illness.
2016 (25th December)
Queen Elizabeth was notably absent from Sandringham church service due to recovering from a heavy cold. A service she had always attended with other members of the royal family.
2017 (1st January)
Queen Elizabeth continued to be unwell and missed the New Year Church Service.
2017 (6th February)
Queen Elizabeth celebrated her sapphire jubilee having been Queen for 65 years.
2017 (21st April)
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 91st birthday making her the eldest reigning monarch in history.
2018 (22nd April)
Queen Elizabeth started the London Marathon from Windsor Castle. This was done to celebrate the fact that in 1908 the Olympic Marathon was started at Windsor Castle by Princess Mary of Teck.
2018 (20th April)
Leaders of the Commonwealth voted that Prince Charles should succeed Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth.
2018 (23rd April)
A son, Louis Arthur Charles
was born to Prince William and Catherine. He became fifth in line to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth had cataract surgery.
2018 (19th May)
Elizabeth attended the wedding of her grandson, Prince Harry, to Meghan Markle
at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. She gave him the title Duke of Sussex on his marriage.
2018 (12th October)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel Windsor.
Elizabeth took the decision to give up driving on public roads.
2019 (23rd April)
Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest reigning monarch in the World after the death of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg.
2019 (18th May)
Queen Elizabeth II attended the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Mr Thomas Kingston at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
2019 (20th November)
The Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, was forced to retire from all public duties following a BBC interview about his relationship with convicted paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
2019 (19th December)
Queen Elizabeth II opened Parliament with the Queen’s Speech. She was accompanied by Prince Charles. For the first time she did not wear the heavy ceremonial cape or crown. Instead the crown was placed on a crimson cushion to her right.
2019 (20th December)
Prince Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London for observation and treatment of an existing condition.
2020 (8th January)
Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced that they would be stepping back from being senior royals. They expressed a desire to divide their time between the UK and north America and to become financially independent.
2020 (18th January)
It was officially announced that Harry and Meghan would step back from Royal duties and would not receive public funding. They would no longer use their HRH titles and nor would they represent the Queen. Harry and Meghan also stated that they would repay the £2.4 million public money used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage.
2020 (19th March)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip left London for Windsor Castle due to the coronavirus outbreak.
2020 (5th April)
Queen Elizabeth II made a broadcast to the British Commonwealth calling for unity in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
2020 (8th May)
Queen Elizabeth II made a broadcast to the British Commonwealth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day).
2020 (17th July)
Elizabeth attended the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice. The ceremony was held privately at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor.
2021 (17th February)
Prince Philip was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London as a precaution after feeling unwell for a few days.
2021 (1st March)
Prince Philip was transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he underwent further tests and surgery for a pre-existing heart condition.
2021 (11th March)
On behalf of the Queen, the palace issued a short response to accusations made about the Royal Family by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The response expressed sadness that Harry and Meghan felt unhappy and affirmed they remained loved members of the family. The response also commented on the interview – ‘The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’
2021 (9th April)
Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, died at Windsor.
2021 (17th April)
Queen Elizabeth II attended the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
2021 (4th June)
The Queen’s great-granddaughter, Lilibet (Lili) Diana was born to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in California.
2022 (10th May)
Elizabeth did not attend the state opening of Parliament due to mobility issues. She was represented by Charles, Prince of Wales, who delivered the Queen’s speech, and his son, Prince William.
2022 (2nd June)
A four-day programme of events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee began with the Trooping of the Colour. The Queen did not take part, but other members of the royal family did. Elizabeth made two appearances on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the crowds’ delight.
It was announced that the Queen would remain in Scotland at Balmoral Castle rather than return to Buckingham Palace due to mobility issues.
2022 (8th September)
Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully in her sleep at Balmoral Castle, Scotland. She was succeeded by her eldest son Charles as King Charles III.
First published 2016; updated and republished Sept 8 2022 @ 7:58 pm – Updated – [last-modified]