Queen Elizabeth II’s Path to the Throne Was Actually Pretty Nuts – E! NEWS

Queen Elizabeth II’s Path to the Throne Was Actually Pretty Nuts – E! NEWS

Queen Elizabeth II
Getty Images/Shutterstock; E! Illustration Heavy was the head that assumed the crown 67 years ago. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor became queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on Feb. 6, 1952, but it was a sorrowful day, as her accession technically occurred the moment her father, King George VI, had died. And that is why, though Feb. 6 remains a historic date, Queen Elizabeth II does not demonstratively mark Accession Day in any way, let alone celebrates it. Instead, she usually spends the day in private reflection at Sandringham House, in Norfolk. Now she's almost 93 years old and is Britain's longest-reigning monarch ever, but one wonders if she has ever spent much time dwelling on the turn her life took, the fact that—though she was born a princess, third in line to the throne, and groomed from an early age for the most public of public service—becoming queen wasn't a given at all. Elizabeth—or Lilibet, as her family affectionately called her—was very close to her grandfather, King George V, a grandson of Queen Victoria who was, as a second-born son, considered a spare heir. But George V's older brother, Prince Albert Victor, died at only 28—of pneumonia during a flu epidemic—making George the presumptive ....

They had two girls, Elizabeth and Margaret. But David remained a bachelor,  cycling through—and sticking with—various affairs, including a 16-year relationship with the very married Freda Dudley Ward. One school of thought is that Albert's wife was actually in love with David, who despite being, by many accounts,  a not particularly impressive man and possibly not mentally stable, was easily the most eligible bachelor in Britain—made all the more so when he became King Edward VIII on Jan. 20, 1936, when George V died. By then, however, David had already lost his heart to Wallis Simpson (née Warfield), the soon-to-be twice-divorced American who, with Britain also on the brink of war with Germany, no less than helped reroute the course of history. "My theory is that the Queen Mother was really rather in love with the Duke of Windsor and probably would have quite liked to have married him, " Hugo Vickers, author of the Wallis Simpson biography Behind Closed Doors, told NPR in 2011. "It must have passed through her mind. And I think it suited her very well to present the Duchess of Windsor as the woman who stole the king. And people rather swallowed that line." Hulton Archive/Getty Images Elizabeth ....

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