(NEXSTAR) — Britain’s
Queen Elizabeth II marked 70 years on the throne in February 2022. Britain’s longest-serving monarch is the only sovereign most Britons have ever known. The queen had been a constant presence as Britain navigated the end of empire, the swinging ’60s, the labor strife of the 1980s, international terrorism, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Queen Elizabeth II sitts and laughs with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in the town of Widnes in Halton, Cheshire, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) 1944-London, England: Portrait of Princess Elizabeth wearing her Sea Rangers uniform. (Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II After Her Coronation (Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II of England at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis, 28th September 1952. (UPI color slide/Getty Images) Princess Elizabeth, Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten, her then fiance, her mother, then Queen Elizabeth, now the Queen Mother, and her father, King George VI, in a family photograph made shortly before the Princess’s wedding. (Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II attends a service for the Order of the British Empire at St Paul’s Cathedral on March 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool /Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017 in Chichester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (Centre Foreground) and Prince Philip (Right Foreground) are joined at Clarence House in London by Prince Charles, (Left Foreground) Prince Edward, (Right Background) Princess Anne (Centre Background) and Prince Andrew (Left Background) on the occasion of a dinner hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to mark the forthcoming Diamond Wedding Anniversary of The Queen and The Duke, 18 November 2007. (Photo by TIM GRAHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II inspects men of the newly-renamed Queen’s Own Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force, at Kaduna Airport, Nigeria, during her Commonwealth Tour, 2nd February 1956. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II attends a polo match at Windsor, UK, 4th August 1958. (Photo by Bob Haswell/Express/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh watch a cricket match at Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire, 3rd August 1958. (Photo by Victor Blackman/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to New Zealand, March 1970. (Photo by William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images) Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, circa 1952. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II prepares to greet Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at Buckingham Palace on November 4, 2015 in London, England. The President of Kazakhstan is in the UK on an official visit as a guest of the British Government. He is accompanied by his wife and daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the service of thanksgiving at St.Paul’s Cathedral on June 5, 2012 in London, England. For only the second time in its history the UK celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of a monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Thousands of wellwishers from around the world have flocked to London to witness the spectacle of the weekend’s celebrations. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of young people from across the Commonwealth working to improve the lives of people across a diverse range of issues including supporting people living with mental health problems, access to education, promoting gender equality, food scarcity and climate change. (Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images) (L-R) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) watch the fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 13, 2015 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II’s annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century, when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wear 3 D glasses to watch a display and pilot a JCB digger, during a visit to the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research centre, on November 18, 2010 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by John Giles – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the gates at Balmoral, as she takes up summer residence at the castle, on August 9, 2021 in Ballater, Aberdeenshire. (Photo by Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images) A man wears a face mask while he feeds birds, as the screen in Piccadilly Circus is lit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, in London, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) watch a fashion show at De Montfort University on March 8, 2012 in Leicester, England. The royal visit to Leicester marks the first date of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK between March 8 and July 25, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff – WPA Pool / Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II and husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrive in the Royal Carriage on the third day of Royal Ascot 2005, Ladies’ Day, at York Racecourse on June 16, 2005 in York, England. One of the highlights of the racing and social calendars, Royal Ascot was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and royal patronage continues to the present day with a Royal Procession taking place in front of the grandstands each day. This year’s Royal Meeting is relocated to York Racecourse due to a major redevelopment programme at Ascot, due to re-open in 2006. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech from the throne during State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on May 18, 2016 in London, England. The State Opening of Parliament is the formal start of the parliamentary year. This year’s Queen’s Speech, setting out the government’s agenda for the coming session, is expected to outline policy on prison reform, tuition fee rises and reveal the potential site of a UK spaceport. (Photo by Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch the RAF 100th anniversary flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II leaves the Venue Cymru Arena after a visit on April 27, 2010 in Llandudno, Wales. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on a two day visit to North Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry attend at the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Simmonds – WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father,
King George VI, and five years after marrying Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, at London’s Westminster Abbey. She and Prince Philip had four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The youngest great-grandchild, the daughter of
Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, was born Sept. 20, 2021.
Prince Philip died at age 99 in April 2021.
In remarks released for the 70th anniversary of her rule, the monarch expressed a “sincere wish’’ that Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, should be known as “Queen Consort” when her son succeeds her as expected. With those words, Elizabeth sought to answer once and for all questions about the status of Camilla, who was initially shunned by fans of the late Princess Diana, Charles’ first wife.
In backing Charles and Camilla, Elizabeth remembered the support she received from her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year after decades at her side, as well as the role her mother played as the wife of a king.
“I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. I was blessed that, in Prince Philip, I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it,″ she wrote. “It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”
“And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.