Elizabeth II: The Young Princess

The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh, embarking HMCS Crusader in Vancouver for Victoria.
BC Archives NA-42089

Royal visit of the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to Victoria; seen here on the steps of the Legislative Buildings.
BC Archives I-02131

The image of the Royal Family had been heavily damaged by the abdication of Edward VIII for a divorced woman.  The family of George VI and Queen Elizabeth offered a more reassuring traditional role model.  The young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret captivated the media.  They won the hearts of the public when the two Princesses did a radio broadcast to the children of the world.  During World War II Princess Elizabeth, like other young women,  worked for the military.  She joined the Auxiliary Transport Service and trained as a driver and mechanic.

Lieutenant governor Clarence Wallace, The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, Primier Byron Johnson, and Duke of Edinburgh, state luncheon, Victoria.
BC Archives NA-40829

The Royal Marriage

During World War II Princess Elizabeth fell in love with the exiled Prince Philip of Greece.  Prince Philip was an outstanding and handsome officer in the British Royal Navy, nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  His 1946 proposal of marriage required that he become a British subject, renounce the title of Prince of Greece and his claim to the Greek throne.  King George VI considered the proposal while taking Princess Elizabeth on a tour of South Africa to educate her on the racial and political issues that she would inherit.  After her 21st birthday permission was granted.  On November 20, 1947 the Royal couple married.  The King’s gift was the title of Duke of Edinburgh.  They soon had two children. Prince Charles and Princess Anne.  On their 10th wedding anniversary the Queen bestowed the title of Prince of the United Kingdom.  They will be celebrating their 65th year of their marriage in 2012.