Sweet face: Queen Elizabeth II as a baby.

Queen Elizabeth II is probably the most famous monarch in the world – but what was the childhood of the princess, who was born in 1926 as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, like? We look back on the early years of the British Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II has already passed her 91st birthday.
Bild: Philip Toscano / Pa Wire / picture alliance / dpa

When a little girl named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary saw the light of day in London on April 21, 1926, there was no telling what impressive career the little princess would one day embark on. In the meantime, the bundle of joy from yesteryear is worldwide as Queen Elizabeth II. well-known and has left its unmistakable stamp on the British royal family – no wonder given a reign of fabulous 70 years.

Queen Elizabeth II. Pedigree: She was not supposed to be queen at all

At the time of the birth of today’s Queen Elizabeth II, her grandfather, King George V, still sat on the British throne. Elizabeth’s father, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, the Duke of York, was only second in line to the throne – his brother Prince Edward was the heir to the throne and was consequently made king in January 1936 after his father’s death.

The carefree childhood of Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret

Since little Elizabeth was “only” the niece of the British heir to the throne, the young princess was spared the pressure that usually rests on the heir to the throne in her early childhood. The daughter of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Prince Albert was able to grow up quite carefree and had a younger sister with Princess Margaret at the age of four. Little “Lilibet”, as the princess was called by her family members, was a real sunshine, especially her grandfather King George V was downright infatuated with his granddaughter.

Little “Lilibet” has loved that since she was a child

Elizabeth and Margaret never went to a regular school – rather the princesses were homeschooled. Even as a young girl, Elizabeth distinguished herself as neat, well-behaved and responsible, as can be read in the biography of her former governess Marion Crawford. When the young Royals Not just cramming history, literature or music, the girls were guaranteed to be around animals – even in childhood, Queen Elizabeth II was a real horse lover and loved dogs more than anything. The queen retained her passion for four-legged friends well into old age and even when she is over 90 she swings in the saddle or walks with her corgis through the palace gardens.

All because of Wallis Simpson! Princess Elizabeth is drilled to be queen

However, the carefree childhood of number 3 in the British line of succession came to an abrupt end when Elizabeth was ten years old. Back in 1936 died Elizabeth’s grandfather King George V., her uncle Edward became king and Elizabeth’s father Albert replaced the heir to the throne. But, as is well known, King Edward VIII did not last long on the British throne, abdicated for the sake of his great love Wallis Simpson and caused an outcry of unimaginable proportions among the British royals. This is how Prince Albert found himself as King George VI. on the throne again and little Elizabeth became the heir to the throne practically overnight.

PHOTOS: Queen Elizabeth II. Your record reign in pictures

This also changed the daily routine of the young princess fundamentally: From then on, Elizabeth was prepared for her role as future queen and was instructed in politics, history and monarchical processes by a private tutor. The young girl’s foreign language skills were also polished to prepare Elizabeth for her international role. Official trips abroad with her parents also became a must.

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