Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II

Today marks the 85th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was born on April 21, 1926 as HRH Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York at her parents home in Picadilly (Royals didn't give birth in hospitals until the 1960's). Until the age of ten, she was fourth in line to the throne. Things changed of course, when her uncle Edward VIII bagged the throne to marry Mrs. Simpson. All of a sudden, Princess Elizabeth found herself not only second in line to throne, but facing the very real prospect that she would be Queen one day. Her idyllic childhood changed in that moment.  Not that the Queen has ever complained about her life. She has a strong sense of duty (comes from being a Taurus).  According to the April issue of Majesty Magazine, the Queen actually likes the structure and the routine of monarchy, every day regimented, knowing her schedule six months in advance. It's not just that she was brought up with it. No doubt, if Edward VIII had done his duty and married and sired a son (although there is speculation that he was probably sterile), she would have married some nice aristocrat and settled down to a life in the country with her horses and dogs, only occasionally fulfilling royal duties.

Although the Queen will have been on the throne for 60 years next year, there is still so much we don't know about her, and that's as it should be. She has actively cultivated the mystique of the monarchy. We do know that she keeps her breakfast cereal in Tupperware, eats her dinner on trays when she's home, and goes around turning out the lights in Buckingham Palace. We also know that she's worn the same hairstyle for the past 50 years, and wears neon colors so that she can be easily seen by the crowds in public. Beyond that, she is unknowable. Only three people in the world probably know the Queen intimately, her sister Margaret, her mother, Queen Elizabeth, and her husband Prince Philip. Even her children don't know her that well. They are always conscious that their mother is not just their mother, but also their Queen.

The Queen has been married for almost 64 years (Whoa) to Prince Philip. Royal Watchers know that she met her future groom when she was 13 and he was an 18 year old cadet at the Dartmouth Naval College. Apparently from that moment on, she had decided that he was going to be her husband (that stubborn Taurus Sun). Lucky for her, Prince Philip went along with the program and they were married when she turned 21.

That's her dress on the left. Isn't it beautiful? Seriously, I think it's much more beautiful then the dress that Diana wore for her wedding. It's simple but classic. If you shortened the sleeves, it could be worn today, and the color is stunning, from the picture it almost looks like a champagne color. And I adore the embroidery on the dress. It was designed by Norman Hartnell, who designed many of the Queen and the Queen Mother's clothes over the years. Can you imagine being couturier to the Queen of England?

Here is a picture of the happy couple on their wedding day.  The war had been over for only 2 years when the then Princess Elizabeth married her dashing Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who renounced his Greek titles and citizenship to marry the Queen. The King made him the Duke of Edinburgh on their wedding day, so that she became HRH, the Duchess of Edinburgh. It had to have been hard for such an Alpha male like Prince Philip to know that he was going to have to walk 3 paces behind his wife for the rest of his life.

It would be interesting I think to see a TV movie about the Queen's early years, from the time of the war through the coronation. It would have to be carefully cast, like The Queen or The King's Speech. Otherwise, you end up with something like the Lifetime movie William and Kate.

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