Elizabeth II has enjoyed an incredible 65 years on the throne, surpassing Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. But in the same month that her husband Prince Philip retired from his royal duties, reports emerged that the Queen herself was thinking of following suit. Indeed, it’s suggested that she may even be planning to step down from the throne.
And perhaps only a few would begrudge her retirement, given her long and honorable service to the British people. She’s also now into her nineties, as she was born in 1926, the first child of the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Like any royal, her birth attracted huge interest, even though she was never expected to take the throne. But after her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, she suddenly found herself in line for the crown.
In 1947, meanwhile, Elizabeth courted controversy when she announced her engagement to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. He was her second cousin once removed, and she claimed to have first fallen for him at just 13 years old. However, he wasn’t considered a particularly suitable catch. Indeed, not only was he foreign-born and not rich enough to be a good match for Elizabeth, but he also had siblings married to German grandees with Nazi connections.