How old was Queen Elizabeth when she became the Queen?

The Queen’s official coronation took place in 1953

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 09 September 2022 11:24 BST
Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day in 1953
Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day in 1953 (AFP via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II has died, aged 96.

Her Majesty’s death, whcih was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon (8 September) comes three months after the monarch celebrated her platinum jubilee.

The special occasion to celebrate her majesty’s 70-year reign marked the first time in British history that a monarch has reached this milestone and celebratory events were planned around the country and across the Commonwealth.

Formal events included a platinum jubilee concert, Trooping the Colour, a pageant and a Service of Thanksgiving. The occasion was also an opportunity for many to reflect on the past 70 years and all that she has achieved.

But when was the Queen crowned sovereign and how old was the Queen when she became the Queen? Here’s everything you need to know.

How old was the Queen when she became the Queen?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on the day of her coronation in 1953 (INTERCONTINENTALE/AFP via Getty )

Princess Elizabeth was just 11-years-old when she watched her father King George VI being crowned king at London’s Westminster Abbey in 1937.

And on 2 June 1953, her own coronation took place. She was just 27-years-old.

By this stage, Queen Elizabeth II had already been serving as the head of the British royal family for 16 months, following the death of her father at the age of 56 from coronary thrombosis in February 1952.

She was in Kenya at the time and became the first sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad.

What were the Queen’s early years like?

Queen Elizabeth II (right) and Princess Margaret (left) in 1933 (AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen was born on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.

Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930. The two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford. Lessons concentrated on history, language, literature, and music.

During World War II, she and Princess Margaret spent much of their time safely away from the London blitz and separated from their parents, living mostly at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, and Windsor Castle.

After meeting her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947 when she was just 21-years-old.

Their marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, and their first child, Prince Charles, was born on 14 November 1948 at Buckingham Palace.

According to the 2018 documentary The Coronation, the Queen began preparations for her coronation at the age of just 11-years-old.

Her father, King George VI, apparently made her note down a review of his own coronation in 1937 in order for her to understand all the different elements involved.

“I thought it all very, very wonderful and I expect the Abbey did too,” wrote the future Queen, according to Vanity Fair.

“The arches and the beams at the top were covered in a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so.”

The young Elizabeth added that the service became “rather boring” towards the end, however, because “it was all prayers”.

In 2015, the Queen surpassed Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Follow the latest updates as the world pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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