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 was no “Princess Qajar,” only the Qajar dynasty  that ruled over Persia 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, ruled Persia from 1…

7 Interesting Facts About York Cottage in Sandringham

York Cottage is one of the many houses in the grounds of the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The house, which is just a short walk from Sandringham House, was recently placed under the spotlight after it was reported that Queen Elizabeth II has gifted it to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. If ever the couple finally decides to call this cottage their country home, the will follow the footsteps of the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, who lived here after his wedding to Princess Mary of Teck until he succeeded the throne in 1910. Read on the find out some interesting facts about York Cottage.

1. It was once called the “Bachelor’s Cottage”. It was originally constructed as Sandringham House’s overflow residence with the purpose of accommodating the estate’s male guests.
2. King Edward VII bestowed the cottage as a wedding gift to his son Prince George (the Duke of York and later King George V) and his wife, the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary), in 1893. It served as the c…

Queen Victoria and Her Conflict with Lord Palmerston

Moving on with our Queen Victoria series, today we will discuss about Queen Victoria’s “cold” treatment of one of her ministers, Lord Palmerston. We shall see how this long-running conflict began.
The defeat of the Tories in the 1846 General Elections saw the dismissal of Sir Robert Peel from the office. With the Whigs on the helm of the government, Henry John Temple, the Viscount Palmerston was appointed Minister of the Foreign Office. His ascension to that post ushered in the greatest struggle between the crown and its ministers since the day when George III had dismissed the coalition government of Fox and North.
Lord Palmerston’s long tenure in public office made up almost untouchable Palmerston’s appointment to the Foreign Office came shortly after he celebrated his 60th birthday, a time when he could proudly look back on his achievements and career in the government that began in 1809, ten years before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were born. Always confident in his wit and dip…