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Last Updated: Wednesday April 19 2006 12:19 GMT

Timeline: Queen Elizabeth II

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen celebrates her 80th birthday on 21 April 2006.

She has been on the throne for nearly 54 years, and has four children and six grandchildren.

Early days

1926
Princess Elizabeth was born in London.

1936
Elizabeth's father became king when his older brother stepped down.

1930s
Princess Elizabeth was taught at home, not at school.

She studied art and music and enjoyed drama and swimming.

1937
The Queen and her sister
She became a Girl Guide when she was 11.

1940
At 14 she sent a radio message to the children of Britain.

The young princess

1942
Her first public engagement. She inspected the soldiers of the Grenadier Guards on her 16th birthday.

1947
Her first official overseas visit. She celebrated her 21st birthday on a tour of South Africa.

1947
The Queen with young daughter Anne, and her family
Elizabeth got married in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. Her husband Prince Philip was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece.

1948
When she was 22 the Queen's first child Prince Charles was born.

1950
Two years later Princess Anne was born.

Elizabeth becomes the Queen

1952
Her father died of cancer and Princess Elizabeth became the Queen.

1953
The Queen opens Parliament
Her coronation (crowning) took place in Westminster Abbey.

1960
Prince Andrew was born.

1964
Prince Edward was born.

1965
The Beatles got MBE medals from The Queen.

1973
The spectacular Sydney Opera House in Australia is officially opened by The Queen.

1977
The Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated.

1981
Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.

1982
Prince Andrew came back safely from the Falklands war.

1982
Prince Charles with sons Wlliam and Harry
Prince William is born.

1984
Prince Harry is born.

1986
The Queen celebrated her 60th birthday.

Difficult times

1992
A fire wrecks part of the Queen's home at Windsor Castle.

1993
The Queen starts to pay income tax to the Government.

1996
Prince Charles got divorced from Princess Diana.

1997
Princess Diana was killed in a car crash. Some people were angry about the Queen's reaction.

1999
The Queen's son Edward, Earl of Wessex, married fiancée Sophie Rhys-Jones, who becomes the Countess of Wessex.

2002
The Queen with her mother and sister
The Queen's younger sister Princess Margaret died following a long illness.

Soon afterwards, the Queen mother died making 2002 a sad year for the Queen.
During that year she also marked her Jubilee - spending 50 years on the throne.

2003
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have a baby girl named Louise.

2005
Prince Charles marries his second wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, who becomes The Duchess of Cornwall. The Queen gives their marriage her blessing.

2006
The Queen celebrates her 80th birthday on 21 April.



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