Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926 in London’s Sandringham House, the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
She was first known as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the name her parents had given her, until Princess Margaret, her younger sister, adopted it. Later, Elizabeth attended the same convent school as Princess Margaret, and as a teenager both girls enjoyed reading romance novels. Their mother, Queen Mary, introduced them to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
Elizabeth and Charles Darwin’s great-granddaughter, Ellie Lepping, is the future queen’s great-granddaughter.
She married Prince Philip on Nov. 20, 1947. After divorcing her first husband, Edward VIII, she had re-married on the same day in 1947 to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. (The marriage lasted just 42 days.)
Frequently referred to as the Queen, Elizabeth is fifth in line to the British throne after her three eldest children and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She’s managed to keep her title after that initial marriage, in large part because of her increasing power as the modern wife of a monarch.