Queen Elizabeth II Children & Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Queen Elizabeth II Family

TIM GRAHAM/AFP via Getty Images Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (front row, third from left) and Prince Philip (front row, third from right) are joined at Clarence House in London by family members 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, on November 18, 2007.

Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, at age 96.

Her death came shortly after news broke that doctors were concerned for her health and that her family had rushed to her bedside at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Later that day, the royal family shared on Twitter, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Elizabeth was a unifying figure in the United Kingdom, serving as the head of state since her coronation in 1953, according to her official biography. She ascended to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, and celebrated her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years since her Accession — earlier in 2022.

Here’s what you need to know about Queen Elizabeth II’s family:

1. The Queen Was Married to Prince Philip for 73 Years

The queen was married to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for 73 years until his death last year, on April 9, 2021, at age 99. According to her official biography, Elizabeth II and Philip met in 1934 at the wedding of Philip’s cousin Princess Marina of Greece to the Duke of Kent, one of Elizabeth II’s uncles. They announced their engagement on July 9, 1947, and married a few months later, on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth II spoke about her husband on their 50th anniversary in 1997, describing him as “someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments,” according to her biography. She said:

He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.

On her 95th birthday, just three weeks after his death, Elizabeth II wrote, “While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has a been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband. … We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”

2. The Queen Had 4 Children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward

Queen Elizabeth II had four children. Charles, who was born in 1948, was the heir apparent to the throne and is now the king. Two years later, Elizabeth gave birth to Princess Anne, according to her royal biography. Between 1949 and 1951, Elizabeth and Philip lived in Malta due to Philip’s work as an officer in the Mediterranean Fleet.

Elizabeth ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, after which she had two more children with Philip. Their third child, Prince Andrew, was born in 1960, and their fourth child, another son named Prince Edward, was born in 1964.

The queen was private about her family and rarely discussed them in public, but she did share during her 25th wedding anniversary in 1972, “If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction, I am for it,” according to People.

3. The Queen Had 8 Grandchildren & 12 Great-Grandchildren

According to the queen’s royal biography, Elizabeth and Philip had eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Their grandchildren are Peter and Zara Phillips, born in 1977 and 1981, respectively; Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry of Wales, born in 1982 and 1984, respectively; Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, born in 1988 and 1990, respectively; and The Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, born in 2003 and 2007.

Queen Elizabeth II had 12 great-grandchildren, including the three children of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Prince George, born in 2013, Princess Charlotte, born in 2015, and Prince Louis, born in 2018. With Elizabeth’s death, the three children become second, third and fourth in line to the throne.

The queen was close with her family and they usually spent the Christmas holidays together at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, north of London.

4. The Queen Had Only 1 Sibling, Her Sister, Princess Margaret

The queen had only one sibling, her sister, Margaret, who was four years younger than her. Margaret was born in 1930 and died at age 71 in 2002. Princess Margaret was a controversial member of the royal family and a famous socialite whose divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, generated some negative publicity for the royal family.

According to Page Six, Princess Margaret once said, “When there are two sisters and one is the queen, who must be the source of all honor and all that is good, the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister.”

She died after suffering a stroke, her fourth, following a series of illnesses later in life. After Princess Margaret’s death, the normally stoic queen was seen crying at her funeral, according to USA Today.

5. The Queen Ascended the Throne at Age 25, When Her Father Died

Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London. She was the first of two children, both girls, born to The Duke and Duchess of York, who would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, according to her royal biography.

In December 1936, the lives of Elizabeth and her family were forever changed when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne. That meant that her father became king and she was next in line to the throne. In 1937, when she was just 11 years old, Princess Elizabeth attended her father’s coronation, according to her biography.

King George VI died on February 6, 1952, when Elizabeth was in Kenya, and she ascended to the throne. One year later, on June 2, 1953, she had her official coronation.

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