• INTRO
  • EARLY YEARS
  • LOVE AND PHILIP
  • WORKING MOTHER
  • WINDSOR WIVES
  • THE NEXT GENERATION
  • ELIZABETH AS QUEEN
  • SNAPSHOTS FROM A ROYAL LIFE
  • EIGHT FACTS FOR EIGHT DECADES
  • QUIZ
  • LATEST STORIES
  • ELIZABETH AS QUEEN
    Her role

    On February 6, 1952, while on a visit to Kenya, 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth awoke to find her father George VI had passed away during the night, making her the sovereign.

    Known for the strength of her work ethic, the monarch spends an average of three hours a day reading state papers. Since ascending to the throne she has received ten prime ministers, with Harold Macmillan finding her "incredibly well informed". His successor, Harold Wilson, called her "the most professional head of state in the world," adding: "My God, she put me through it if I hadn't done my homework."

    Recently the Queen indicated she is unlikely to step down from her role. In a TV interview her cousin Margaret Rhodes explained: "The vows she made on Coronation Day are so deep and so special she wouldn't consider not fulfilling those vows until she dies."

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