Elizabeth II will go down in history as the greatest queen the British monarchy has known in its more than 1000 years of existence.

She came to the throne via detours. Actually, a completely carefree life was mapped out for her. Her father, Prince Albert, who suffered from a severe speech impediment since childhood (he stuttered), lived with his wife, later Queen Mum, in a spacious but relatively modest flat in central London at 145 Piccadilly, without much staff. He was the younger brother of King Edward VIII.

1929: Protected childhood.  Parents Elizabeth and George VI.  1929 with daughter Elizabeth.  The nickname of the later Queen:

1929: sheltered childhood. Parents Elizabeth and George VI. 1929 with daughter Elizabeth. The nickname of the later Queen: “Lilibet”

Photo: Rex Features

In fairy tales, but also in real history, the unforeseen often happens.

AND THIS WILL BECOME BIG!

Happy child: Princess Elizabeth at the age of two in 1928

Happy child: Princess Elizabeth at the age of two in 1928

Photo: ddp / Camera Press

★★★

On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII signed his certificate of abdication as a result of his forbidden love for Wallis Simpson (American, commoner, divorced, Nazi sympathizer). This sealed the fate and future of his younger brother and Elizabeth.

1936: Edward VIII abdicated. THE moment of crisis for the monarchy!  Elizabeth's uncle gives up the throne for love of American Wallis Simpson

1936: Edward VIII abdicated. THE moment of crisis for the monarchy! Elizabeth’s uncle gives up the throne for love of American Wallis Simpson

Photo: Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When Elizabeth’s father began to realize that he would be the next king, he panicked. He is said to have cried on his mother’s shoulder for an hour.

Elizabeth’s nanny later wrote in her memoirs that the ten-year-old girl took the news with more composure than her father. But: “She prayed for a brother every night.” If her prayer had been answered, he would have become heir to the throne in her place.

It should not be.

1937: Coronation of George VI.  Elizabeth's father (right) ascends the throne.  This makes the princess (2nd from left) the direct heir to the throne

1937: Coronation of George VI. Elizabeth’s father (right) ascends the throne. This makes the princess (2nd from left) the direct heir to the throne

Photo: Getty Images

★★★

Elizabeth’s father, George VI, suffered under the burden of the crown. But he led his country through the Second World War – and fulfilled his involuntary kingship with a great sense of duty. That shaped Elizabeth. With his early death in February 1952 (lung cancer), “Lilibet’s” life as a princess (then only 25) ended abruptly.

But any thought of an early abdication was beyond the imagination of the deeply religious Elizabeth. When she received the anointing with holy oil at her coronation in Westminster Abbey (in that mysterious ritual that dates back to the anointing of King David in the Bible), she was firmly convinced that, as she put it, “there was something sacred about me happened”.

1952: Elizabeth II becomes Queen.  Her father, King George VI, died unexpectedly on February 6, 1952.  Elizabeth II returns from her trip to Kenya and ascends the throne

1952: Elizabeth II becomes Queen. Her father, King George VI, died unexpectedly on February 6, 1952. Elizabeth II returns from her trip to Kenya and ascends the throne

Photo: TopFoto

Religiosity often results in great serenity. And serenity makes humor possible.

At least that’s how it was with the Queen. When I first met her, it was a family dinner at Windsor Castle, I was extremely nervous and sitting next to her, she noticed my tension. In order to take these from me, she performed a trick: she opened a small silver cookie jar. At the sound, her favorite short-legged creatures—the Corgi dogs—wobbled from every corner of the dining room. The sound promised them treats. Then she closed the cookie jar again and the corgis lurched back to their corners in disappointment. The queen repeated this so many times that my nervousness gave way to laughter.

Rare relaxed moment: The Queen on board the

Rare relaxed moment: The Queen on board the “HMYBritannia” in March 1972

Photo: Lichfield Archive/Getty Images

★★★

The Queen was the most famous person in the world. And at the same time a highly private one. We know everything about her. And nothing!

For example, what was actually in her legendary purse? Never cash. no key The Queen did not have a passport either. The handbags from the Launer company made of calf, ostrich or alligator leather, made exclusively for her (she owned around 200 of them), held reading glasses, lipstick and a small tin of mints, as well as small, personal items. Photos of her grandchildren, pens and an Asprey’s pocket diary with her initials ER (‘Elisabeth Regina’ meaning Queen Elizabeth) and her lucky charm: a silver make-up box given to her by Prince Philip after their engagement. Also: a jam sandwich, as Her Majesty revealed with a wink in a video on the occasion of her 70th throne anniversary.

★★★

To write about her love for Prince Philip, one would have to fill entire libraries.

Here only so much: He was her great love since she saw him for the first time. She was 13 at the time and he was 18. He was the only person in the world she looked up to. She reigned in the kingdom, he in the family.

The man of her life: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married on November 20, 1947, this photo shows the couple a few days later on their honeymoon in Hampshire

The man of her life: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married on November 20, 1947, this photo shows the couple a few days later on their honeymoon in Hampshire

Photo: mauritius images / Dom Slike / Alamy

★★★

The Queen’s death is not just a turning point for the United Kingdom. In our uncertain times, she was the last remaining constant. Like a heavenly star. From now on everything is different – as if the moon had disappeared from the firmament.

The great constants of her reign were serenity and optimism. In doing so, she conveyed confidence and courage to the country through political turmoil, economic crises and terrorist attacks. examples?

► On June 13, 1981, at the great military parade (“Trooping the Color”), a man fired six shots at her. tumult broke out. The Queen sat calmly in the saddle, tightened the reins, and patted her horse’s neck reassuringly. Only later did it turn out that the man had only fired blank cartridges.

The military parade

The military parade “Trooping the Color” 1981: The Queen and her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Photo: Bob Dear/AP

► Then July 9, 1982. A mental patient invaded her apartments in Buckingham Palace. She woke up to see the man sitting on the edge of her bed with a sharp shard of glass in his bloodied hand. Instead of panicking, she talked to him and calmly listened to his story until, under the pretense of getting him a cigarette, she managed to sound the alarm. Then she went about her business again.

★★★

But it was her stoic calm that cost the Queen affection after Diana died in an accident in 1997. She refused to lower the flag at half-mast at Buckingham Palace. That was interpreted as cold-bloodedness.

The relationship with Lady Diana (here in 1982 at the opening of Parliament in London) was up and down

The relationship with Lady Diana (here in 1982 at the opening of Parliament in London) was up and down

Photo: Getty Images

But I’m sticking to it: her calm blood kept her country together and gave it self-confidence. It also had a calming, balancing effect globally.

There is something almost apocalyptic about her departure. With this Elizabethan epoch, it can be said with certainty, a world comes to an end.

★★★

One of the wisest men who ever lived, the Renaissance scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam, held that the best fit to be a monarch was he who was not eager to become one.

That applied to her. She played in the league of King Arthur and King David. What a blessing that we were able to experience them.

1926: Birth of Elizabeth.  The oldest known photo shows the little princess just a few weeks after her birth on April 21st

And this is how it all started: In 1926 the greatest queen of the British monarchy was born. The oldest known photo shows the little princess just a few weeks after her birth on April 21st

Photo: Rex Features

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