Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926)[a] has
been Queenof the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New
Zealand since 6 February 1952. Additionally, she is Head of the Commonwealth and queen of 12 countries that have become
independent since her accession: Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua
New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of
his brother Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive.
She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary
Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she
has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne,
Princess Royal; Andrew, Duke of York; and Edward,
Earl of Wessex.
Elizabeth's many historic visits and meetings include a state
visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. She has seen major constitutional changes, such as devolution
in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation
of Africa. She has reigned through various wars and conflicts involving many of her realms. Significant events have
included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the oldestand longest-serving current head of state.
Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal
family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages and the Windsor Castle fire in 1992 (her annus horribilis) and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana,
Princess of Wales; however, support for the monarchy remains high, as does her personal popularity.