Skip to main content

Queen Elizabeth II during World War II

Elizabeth  on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with her family and Winston Churchill, May 8, 1945. Image: Wikimedia Commons

From September 1939 until 1945, Great Britain was plunged in World War II. Many of London's children were sent away to the countryside for their safety. London and the suburbs were heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe, thus, many of the children were sent away to the countryside. The place was no longer safe for everyone, more so for the Royal Family. It was suggested that Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret  be evacuated to Canada, but Queen Elizabeth rejected the idea. "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave," she said. While they never left the British soil, they lived for most of the war years (1940-45) at Windsor Castle. Here, they staged pantomimes at Christmas to help the Queen's Wool Fund, which bought yarn to knit into military garments.

A 14-year-old Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during the BBC's Children's Hour, calling out other children who were evacuated from the cities to stay strong. She said: "We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well."

The Princesses also undertook her first solo engagement at the height of the war. In 1943, she visited the Grenadier Guards, of which she was appointed colonel a year earlier. Before she turned 18, Parliament passed a legislation that made her one of the five Counselors of State should King George VI be incapacitated or travel abroad. Thus, Elizabeth acted as counselor of state when the king left to visit Italy in July 1944. In February 1945, she was appointed as an honorary second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service with the service number of 230873, obtaining training as a driver and mechanic. Five months following the training, she was given the rank of honorary junior commander. 

During the Victory in Europe Day at the end of World War II, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret secretly joined the celebratory crowds in the streets of London. Elizabeth later said in a rare interview, "We asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised ... I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief."

Princess Elizabeth’s experiences during the war helped strengthen her commitment to her duty of service to the nation. In fact, 21st birthday while embarking on her first overseas tour with her parents through southern Africa, she made a pledge saying "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong."

Check out our next article for snapshots of a young Princess Elizabeth on active service during World War II (1939-1935). 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian Princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there is no “Princess Qajar,” but there is a the Qajar dynasty of Persia that ruled over Persian for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, …

Queen Mary and the Delhi Durbar Tiara

In 1911, King George V and Queen Mary were to be proclaimed Emperor and Empress of India. That was the first and only time that a British sovereign attended the durbar, which was hailed as the largest gathering of princes, noblemen and landed gentry in India to pay homage to their sovereigns. The King and Queen should never be outdone by the petty rulers. They were sure these local princes would come garbed with all the gold and diamonds from their treasure chest. It was decided that they should showcase the crown jewels with them. But British law prohibits anyone from taking these treasures outside Great Britain. A new set of coronation regalia  had to be made! Thus, the India Office commissioned Garrard and Co. to make the Imperial Crown of India for King George V. It has eight arches, with 6170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered with sapphires, emeralds and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap all weighing 34.05 ounces (965 g).

However, Queen Mary was without the empress' …

Why Prince Harry is a Commoner?

Prince Harry is a commoner according to common law, explains royal expert Marlene Eilers Koenig in her blog.
“In the United Kingdom, the law is based on English COMMON law -- from where we get the word Commoner,” she explained. That puts Prince Harry under the rule of the normal law.
Only the sovereign (e.g. The Queen) and the peers of the realm are not commoners, she explained. The peerage of the United Kingdom is composed of, in order of precedence, Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons.
“That leaves everyone else, including princes and princesses, who have not been created peers of the realm,” Eilers continued to explain. Thus, even if Harry is a Prince of the United Kingdom, he is, by law, a commoner. In precedence, as the queen’s grandson, he ranks higher than the Duke of Norfolk, who is the premier duke in the peerage of England, but according to the law, the Duke of Norfolk is not a commoner, while Harry is is.
However, once he gets married, Her Majesty is highly …