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The current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has been the head of the British Royal family for over 60 years, having succeeded her father George VI after he died in 1952. 2012 is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, with the actual celebration itself taking place between 2nd June and 5th June. This coincides with the date of her coronation on 2 June, 1953.
While most people will be aware of Queen Elizabeth II from her high-profile presence lasting 60 years and counting, few will know that much about her. The following websites contain all the information anyone seeking to learn about the present British monarch could ever wish to know. And a little more besides.
The section dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II on The Official Website Of The British Monarchy is packed full of information. We get to find out about her life before she became Queen, and the timeline of events which led to that happening. We also find out about her various interests and work with charities.
This being the official site we also get an insight into a day in the life of the Queen, and galleries of both photos and videos. There is also a simplified description of the etiquette for greeting the Queen and details of how anyone can contact her directly, whether a subject or not.
The BBC History website has a whole section dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II. There is a short description of her life to date with key events singled out, videos of highlights from BBC programming about the Queen, and radio shows concerning different aspects of her reign. It should be noted that some content may not be available outside of the U.K.
There are also links to other related content across the BBC, including a profile of her husband Prince Philip, and lots of information regarding the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This includes food that would be perfect to eat to celebrate Great Britain, its traditions, and its Royal Family.
The Wikipedia entry for Queen Elizabeth II is all about the facts and figures. This is where to go to find out which other countries regard Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch, or to see key events of her life organized by decade.
The various coats of arms of Queen Elizabeth II are also highlighted, along with the order of succession that will occur when her reign comes to an end. As with all Wikipedia entries more information can be gleaned from following the references and bibliography listed at the bottom of the page.
The best part of the site, and the one which differentiates it from the others on the list, is the Profile Connections feature. This lists other people connected to Queen Elizabeth II, ranging from family members such as the Duke Of Windsor to Helen Mirren, who portrayed the Queen in the aptly-named film The Queen.
In honor of the Diamond Jubilee, Time magazine found 86 Surprising Facts About Queen Elizabeth II. This makes a refreshing change after a gamut of profiles listing the basics, as these are facts few people will have ever heard before.
Highlights include the fact the Queen has “received over 3.5 million items of correspondence during her reign,” that there have been “12 U.S. Presidents during her reign,” that she was the “first British monarch to visit China,” and that she “once demoted a footman for giving her corgis whiskey.”
As should be expected Queen Elizabeth II has an entry on Britroyals.com. This is last on the list as it’s a site that you’ll want to explore further if you have any interest in the British Royal Family. For the Queen herself there is a short biography, an example of her signature, and some choice quotes.
Beyond that the site lists all the members of the British Royal Family through the years all the way back to King Offa in 757 AD. The attention to detail and sheer amount of information available makes this one for Royal geeks. The ‘Family Trees’ section is particularly interesting for those with a fascination with genealogy.
Whether you agree with countries being ruled over by Royal Families or not, Queen Elizabeth II is an iconic personality that has been a presence in the lives of millions of people. Especially after spending so long as the reigning monarch of the British Isles and Commonwealth.
There has surely never been a better time than this Diamond Jubilee year to learn about the person British citizens know simple as “the Queen.” Hopefully these websites will help those interested in the head of the British Royal Family add to their existing knowledge.
Image Credit: Lee J Haywood