Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom - in addition to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, among other territories. Her reign began in 1952, which makes her one of the longest reigning monarchs in British history. She is the daughter of Prince Albert (the former King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the former Queen Elizabeth) - also known as the Duke and Duchess of York.
After World War II broke out, Elizabeth joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she drove a military truck. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the couple has four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. She sent her kids to boarding school instead of educating them at home, a decision which distinguishes her from past monarchs.
After her father's death in 1952, Elizabeth became Queen. She lives in Windsor Castle but has traveled extensively; she is the first monarch to take a tour around the entire world. In 2002, the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the throne.
The British Monarchy
Visit the official Web site for more information about the Queen and the royal family.
A biography from the British Broadcasting Corp.