One of the biggest events of the 1950's was the coronation of Elizabeth II, when those people lucky enough to have a television invited friends, family and neighbours around to watch.
Queen Elizabeth II
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 21st April 1926 - 8th September 2022.
After 70 glorious years as our monarch and at 96 years old, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has died, leaving her family, the country, the Commonwealth and the world mourning her passing. She was a truly remarkable woman who dedicated her life from a very young age to the service of her people, and who brightened our lives with her colourful outfits, her grace and her smile. She is succeeded by her eldest son, now King Charles III.
A Short Biography of Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on 21st April 1926 in London, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. When she was born, nobody knew that she would one day be queen. Her grandfather, King George V, was king, and her father was only his second son. His older brother, Edward, Elizabeth's uncle, was the "heir apparent", the heir to the throne.
A princess's childhood
In 1930 Elizabeth's little sister Margaret arrived on the scene. The two girls were brought up in London and in Windsor, and educated at home by a governess and tutors. "Lilibet", as she was known, loved horses and dogs, and was apparently sensible, organised and well-behaved.
A portrait of Princess Elizabeth in 1933 by Philip de Laszlo
She becomes heir apparent
In 1936, when Elizabeth was 10, her beloved grandfather died and her uncle succeeded him as King Edward VIII. Unfortunately, Edward wanted to marry a divorced lady, Wallis Simpson. When he was told that he could not marry her while he was king, he decided to abdicate, which means to give up the throne. That meant that the next in line, his younger brother, became King George VI, and Elizabeth became heir apparent. [A visitor has pointed out that actually Elizabeth became "heir presumptive" rather than "heir apparent". If a younger brother had been born, the rules at the time meant that Elizabeth would have been skipped over and a brother would have been next in line. As time went on and no brother was born, it became obvious that Elizabeth would succeed her father.]
World War II
In 1939, World War II began. London was being bombed heavily and the Prime Minister suggested that Elizabeth and Margaret were evacuated to Canada. But their mother disagreed, saying, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave." Instead, the princesses spent the war at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Sandringham House in Norfolk and at the Royal Lodge and Windsor Castle in Windsor.
The teenage princess
Princess Elizabeth began to take on more royal responsibilities, making appearances on her own from 1943, and, in 1945, training as a driver and mechanic for the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Famously, on VE Day, she and Margaret managed to slip out and celebrate with the crowds in the streets of London without being recognised!
Princess Elizabeth in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, 1945
Her promise to the Commonwealth
In 1947 Elizabeth went on tour abroad for the first time, travelling through southern Africa with her parents. During the tour, on her 21st birthday, she made this speech to the Commonwealth, including this solemn promise:
"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."
Love and marriage
In 1939, aged 13, Elizabeth was shown around the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth by her distant cousin, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. She fell in love! The two exchanged letters for many years and in 1947, a few months after Elizabeth's 21st birthday, their engagement was announced. King George VI gave Philip the title Duke of Edinburgh, and they were married in November 1947 in Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth and Philip had their first child, Charles, in 1948, and their second child, Anne, in 1950. (Their sons Andrew and Edward followed some time later, in 1960 and 1964). As a young married couple they lived in Windsor, London and Malta, and Elizabeth frequently stood in for her father at public events as his health was declining.
Succeeding to the throne
In early 1952 Elizabeth and Philip set off for a tour of Australia and New Zealand, stopping first in Kenya. It was there in Kenya that Philip had to break the news to his wife that the King had died, and she was now Queen. She was crowned in Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
On the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, 1953, with the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen's roles
The Queen was passionate about the Commonwealth and made sure that she was always up to date with events. Over her reign she visited all but two Commonwealth countries, some many times.
As head of state of the United Kingdom, the Queen did not vote and remained neutral politically, but she met regularly with the prime minister. There were 15 prime ministers during her reign, and she is said to have been a good person to talk to, a "sounding board" in stressful times. Her first Prime Minister was Winston Churchill, and her last was Liz Truss.
The Queen was patron of more than 600 organisations and charities, and had an extremely full diary of visits all around the country and world.
The Queen visited at least 117 countries during her reign, with her last visit abroad made in 2015. According to The Telegraph, her journeys were equivalent to travelling 42 times around the circumference of the Earth. Of all the countries she visited, the Queen spent most time in Australia.
The Queen was a devoted granddaughter, daughter and sister. She had 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
In April 2021, Prince Philip, the Queen’s beloved companion and her “strength and guide”, died, aged 99. 17 months later, on 8th September 2022, Queen Elizabeth died peacefully, aged 96, while at Balmoral, her favourite family home.
Some Interesting Facts about the Queen
- The Queen's full title was: Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
- In 2022, the Queen became the first British monarch to have reigned for 70 years. We celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in style!
- The Queen is said to have met at least one quarter of the Presidents of the United States. (I don't know if that's true!)
"Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust."
Queen Elizabeth II
Our Queen Elizabeth II Activities
6th February 2022 marked the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne and in June 2022 we celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. What a wonderful service she has given this country and the Commonwealth!
As we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, marking the 70th year of our Queen's reign, why not mark the occasion with a writing activity using this lovely frame, complete with corgis! We have blank, lined and handwriting lines to choose from.
Announce the accession of a new queen with this newspaper report! Children could use this together with our other newspaper report worksheets when learning about Queen Elizabeth II, or in her Platinum Jubilee year when she has served for 70 years on the throne.
Children can use this story paper for a creative writing activity. Perhaps they will write about a visit to Balmoral Castle on holiday?
There are lots of reasons to visit lovely Balmoral Castle - and the official website says you should allow plenty of time for a visit! Find out more about this historic building, then write your own tourist leaflet using our printable template.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert paid £30,000 for full ownership of Balmoral Castle in 1852. What other facts can your children find out and record on our Balmoral Castle writing page?
Tourists from all over the world queue at the railings for a look at Buckingham Palace. Here's a simple Buckingham Palace colouring page for you to print and colour.
Here's a poster of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, for you to print and display.
A must-see event on any tour of London, kids can enjoy the Changing of the Guards with this colouring page even if they can't visit!
Immortalised by A. A Milne in his lovely poem, and one of the most popular tourist sites in London, the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace draws crowds every morning. Use this story paper to make up a story, record a real visit, or write about what you see in the picture.
This colouring page captures the excitement of June 1953 and Queen Elizabeth's coronation. Make sure to colour the Queen's coach in gold! Imagine watching this procession and cheering as she drove by!
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953, although she had become Queen in February 1952 on the death of her father. Use this newspaper report to research and write about the events of her coronation day.
We've based this royal crown colouring page on the Imperial State Crown, worn by Queen Elizabeth on special royal occasions.
Here's a colouring page of a royal crown for younger children. We've kept the details simple so it would also work well as the base for a collage, perhaps?
We have two versions of our Queen Elizabeth II notebooking page, one with a box for your child's own illustration or in which to stick a photo or other bits and pieces, and one lined throughout, more suitable for older children.
This simple lettered God Save the Queen colouring page will be fun for younger children, and can look extremely effective when complete, whether they choose royal purple colours, something completely different, or traditional red, white and blue.
Here's a fun printable activity for a royal theme - or for children who love dogs! Learn to draw a corgi by following the steps in this tutorial, then colour it in using our guidelines.
People come from all over the world to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace! Now children can learn to draw their own Guard with our fun printable tutorial with step by step follow along instructions.
Have fun learning how to draw Buckingham Palace, with our fun step by step tutorial for kids. Just print out and follow along.
Make yourself this postcard which shows the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London. Make sure you colour the soldier's uniforms red, and their furry busby hats in black!
Copying out the National Anthem is a good way to learn it by heart, and improve handwriting at the same time. Here we have the words to the first familiar verse of "God save the Queen".
Here's something a little different! Colour in our royal corgi for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee 2022! We've done the Union Flag for you...
Commemorate the remarkable 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II and her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022 with this fun "royal corgi" poster!
Practise handwriting with the help of this Platinum Jubilee handwriting worksheet, which provides words and phrases that might be useful for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, and beyond.
This Platinum Jubilee newspaper report printable is one of 3 newspaper report worksheet sets which can be used independently or together - perhaps on a "compare and contrast" basis.
Here's a lovely, doodly, detailed colouring page for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of her reign. It's perfect for older children (and adults) to colour in.
We have 4 acrostic poem printable pages with "Queen" as the theme, illustrated with a lovely image of the Queen herself.
On special occasions, the Queen and members of the Royal Family come out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to the crowds below. We hope you enjoy this lovely Queen Elizabeth balcony appearance colouring page!
Remember the Queen with this lovely photo poster, which is available in either colour (Her Majesty dressed in a lovely lemon yellow outfit) or in black and white. In either version her smile shines through.
Print out our short biography of the life of Queen Elizabeth II. We learn about her childhood, her accession to the throne, her family and her roles as Queen.
Print and fold our little booklet for Queen Elizabeth II, and fill it with facts, stories, drawings or thoughts. Once you've learned to fold our origami booklets you will find it is hard to stop, and we know many children who have built up quite a library!
After 70 glorious years as our monarch and 96 on this earth, we say goodbye to Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
Each member of the Royal Family has a cypher, rather like a monogram, using initials and often a crown. Here is the royal cypher of Queen Elizabeth II for the children to colour in.
Our second worksheet for the Queen, this one is aimed at slightly older children. The photo is one of the Palace's official Diamond Jubilee photos and it is quite special. Challenge the kids to fill out all the blanks and come up with some interesting facts about Her Majesty.
Here's a fun mask of Her Majesty the Queen, ready to print and cut out for some royal role play with the kids. It might also be fun to make a life-size display of the queen, cutting out and decorating a dress for the Queen to wear.
What would you talk about if you met the Queen? Can you find out an interesting fact about her? These are just some of the questions on this fun printable worksheet about the Queen.
Early learners can use this worksheet for repeated finger tracing, to get used to the letter formations, with the help of our arrows. You could also laminate the worksheet and use it with a dry-wipe pen in the classroom.
Here's a fun handwriting worksheet for little ones, perfect for royal occasions. Each line gives a little less help than the last.
Kids can make a special gold frame for a drawing of the Queen, complete with crown on the top of the frame. Very royal!
There are so many ways you could use our Queen template! It comes in 4 sizes, and is based on the very familiar silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II, seen on stamps and coins all over the world.
Especially for the Queen's birthday, this boggler puzzle contains at least one hidden word which will gain your child some extra points!
Many a child - and tourist - have tried to distract the Queen's Guard while on duty, and failed. And many have been amazed and impressed at their discipline and dedication. Here's a lovely colouring page of a proud Queen's Guard standing at attention for the kids to colour in.
This fun printable shows the main members of the Royal Family. We have updated it to include Meghan and Prince Louis.
Here's a fun way for the kids to learn how the Royal Family fit together! On the first page we provide cartoon images for the kids to cut out and stick into the correct places in the blank grid on the second page.
The Royal regalia, or crown jewels, are worn by the sovereign for the first time during the coronation ceremony, and thereafter at state occasions. Our colouring page shows not only one of the crowns, but an orb and sceptre.
Imagine a long rod of gold, encrusted with precious jewels and topped by a diamond cut from the largest diamond ever disocvered. That's the Sovereign's Sceptre, originally made for King Charles II's coronation, and handed to new monarchs on their coronations ever since.
Here's a simplified illustration of the Sovereign's Sceptre, part of the Crown Jewels and presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on her coronation. It makes a perfect colouring page for younger children. We have a version for older kids here.
For all the most important Royal occasions, the Queen rode in her wonderful golden state coach. Here's a craft that you can do with the kids, perfect for a royal theme. You might even want to draw a picture of the Queen, waving, and stick it onto one of the windows!
Cut out the Queen's crown, her sceptre, a very royal throne and an immaculate Queen's Guard on parade - perfect for your royal topic.
There are 16 cards in this set, outlining the major events in the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Cut them out and put them in order, learning about the Queen's remarkable life and reign in the process.
Every king or queen needs a grand throne for royal occasions. Here's a lovely detailed colouring page of a very grand throne indeed for the kids to colour in. We have a simpler version for younger children here.
If I was a queen, this is exactly the sort of throne I would like to sit on - grand and imposing, but still very comfortable! What colour will it be? We have a more detailed throne colouring page for older kids here.
Although Elizabeth became Queen on 6th February 1952, she wasn't crowned until 2nd June 1953. Many people bought a television specially for the occasion, and lucky friends, family and neighbours were invited round to watch the coronation.
Here's a colouring page of Windsor Castle to print. Originally built in the 11th Century it has been used as a royal palace since the reign of Henry I.