Diary of events in the early life of The Queen

Published 01 February 2002


The following facts, taken from Buckingham Palace archives, document events in the life of Princess Elizabeth in the lead-up to her Accession in 1952. This diary of events is intended for use as a resource, and does not intentionally highlight any particular aspects of The Queen's early life.

21.4.26 Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary born at 17 Bruton Street, London. Educated by private tutors under the supervision of Marion Crawford, (died 1999) a graduate of Edinburgh University. When older, The Princess studied law and constitutional history under the Vice-Provost of Eton, Mr. C.H.K Marten (died 1948); and studied piano under Miss Mabel Lander.

21.12.37 Enrolled as a Girl Guide; became Patrol Leader of 1st Buckingham Palace Guide Company, and later became a Sea Ranger.

13.10.40 First broadcast. Message given during Children's Hour to children of Britain and Commonwealth at home and overseas.

20.4.42 First official audience. The Princess received Colonel Prescott of Grenadier Guards on the eve of her 16th birthday, who gave her a diamond Regimental brooch as a birthday gift from the officers and men.

21.4.42 First official public engagement. Inspection of the Grenadier Guards on her 16th birthday.

3.2.43 The Times announced the King and Queen had consented to Princess Elizabeth becoming President of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

26.2.43 Princess Elizabeth is enrolled as a Sea Ranger

13.4.43 First public engagement alone when The Princess spent the day with the tank battalion of the Grenadier Guards in Southern Command.

31.5.43 Accepted Presidency of the Royal College of Music in place of the late Duke of Kent.

22/23.3.44 Princess Elizabeth's first official tour with her parents. The Princess spent two days with the King and Queen on a military inspection tour in Yorkshire.

31.3.44 First civic tour. Princess Elizabeth completed a two-day tour of South Wales with the King and Queen.

1.8.44 With the Queen, received an Address from the House of Commons, and replied on behalf of the Throne.

22.9.44 First official tour of Scotland with the King and Queen, made first appearance alone in Scotland when The Princess received purses for the YMCA.

3.10.44 First opening ceremony, when The Princess opened Aberdeen Sailors' Home which had been reconstructed.

1.12.44 Launched HMS Vanguard at Clydebank and flew her own personal standard for the first time. It was the first time The Princess had travelled from London without the King and Queen to take part in a ceremony of national significance.

14.4.45 The Princess completed her driving course and passed out as a fully qualified driver.

23.12.45 Announced that The Princess had consented to become President of the Prince of Wales' General Hospital, London.

18.3.46 Launched new aircraft carrier HMS EAGLE in Belfast. Crossed in the cruiser SUPERB, the first naval vessel to fly The Princess's own standard.

30.4.46 Launched tanker "BRITISH PRINCESS" at Sunderland.

10.7.46 Honorary degree of Bachelor of Music of London University conferred on The Princess by great-uncle Earl of Athlone, Chancellor of University.

23.12.46 Girl Guides Association announces that The Princess had agreed to become Chief Ranger of the British Empire Rangers - senior Branch of the Girl Guides' Association.

27.1.47 Accepted office of Permanent Grand Master of Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators.

20.4.47 The King gave orders for appointment of Princess Elizabeth as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and of the 16th/5th Lancers.

21.4.47 Celebrated 21st birthday in Cape Town; broadcast address to the Commonwealth in which she made a "solemn act of dedication".

9.7.47 Announced engagement to Lt Philip Mountbatten (The Duke of Edinburgh).

20.11.47 Marriage to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

27.5.48 Freedom of the City of Cardiff.

14.11.48 Birth of Prince Charles.

1.3.49 Visit to Edinburgh with The Duke of Edinburgh.

25.5.49 Visit to Northern Ireland; received Freedom of Belfast on 26th May.

21.6.49 Visit to Channel Islands with The Duke of Edinburgh.

4.7.49 Took up residence in new London home, Clarence House.

20.11.49 Visit to Malta.

15.8.50 Princess Elizabeth's daughter, Princess Anne is born at Clarence House.

26.5.51 Presented the King's Colour to the RAF in Hyde Park in His Majesty's absence.

5.6.51 Read the King's Speech of welcome to King of Norway at a State Dinner at Buckingham Palace.

27.9.51 The Princess appointed a Counsellor of State during the King's illness.

9.10.51 Announced from Buckingham Palace that the King, on advice of his doctors, would not carry out intended visit with the Queen to Australia in 1952; and that their places would be taken by TRH Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh.

8.10.51-12.11.51 Tour of Canada.

4.12.51 Introduced as Member of Privy Council.

30.1.52 Attended Drury Lane Theatre in family party with the King, Queen, Princess Margaret and The Duke of Edinburgh on eve of departure for Commonwealth tour.

31.1.52 With Duke of Edinburgh, left London on first stage of tour, arriving Nairobi 1st February.

3.2.52 Arrived at Sagana Hunting Lodge in Nyeri, in the foothills of Mt Kenya. Spent the night at Treetops Hotel. It was at Sagana Lodge that The Princess received the news of the death of HM King George VI on 6th February.

6.2.52 Left Entebbe, Uganda, by air for London, arriving 4.30pm on 7th February.

6.2.52 Her Majesty was proclaimed the new Sovereign at Accession Council at St James' Palace.

8.2.52 The new Queen made Accession Declaration to members of the Privy Council at St James' Palace. Public proclamation of accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.