When King George V died his eldest son Edward became King. Edward was somewhat of a controversial figure due to his relationship with American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
The year before his accession to the throne Edward invited Wallis to the King’s Silver Jubilee Ball causing outrage from his father.
Edward assured the family Wallis was merely a friend but after George V’s death he announced to the British Prime Minister Stanley Balwin that he intended to marry Wallis and make her queen.
This was a complete scandal. As head of the Church of England, the monarchy was not allowed to marry divorced women. Baldwin tried to remind Edward of this but he ultimately decided to follow his heart.
Less than a year after he became King, Edward abdicated. Handing the throne to his younger brother, the soon-to-be King George VI.
This was a tough time for Elizabeth who was still trying to process the loss of her grandfather. It was said that Elizabeth was one of the only people in the country who wasn’t afraid of King George V.
In fact the pair were quite close. The archbishop of Canterbury recalls seeing young Elizabeth leading the King around by his beard like a horse.
Now she had lost her grandfather and suddenly became heir presumptive.
At the time of Edward’s abdication her younger sister Margret asked, “Does that mean you will have to be the next queen?”
“Yes, someday,” replied 10 year-old Elizabeth.
“Poor you,” said her precocious little sister.
Margaret wasn’t the only family member reluctant about the throne. Prince Albert, now George VI, was equally unwilling.
George VI wasn’t groomed to be King as his brother was. At the time he’d never seen a state paper and he had a horrendous fear of public speaking due to a severe speech impediment.
However, George VI always had a sense of duty and tradition. He took the name George to symbolise continuity. In time his eldest daughter would pick up these traits too.
When Elizabeth was in her early 20s her father’s health began to decline and she had to step in for him at public events. She toured Canada and visited Washington in his place.
In 1952 at age 25 Elizabeth and her husband Phillip Moutbatten were in Kenya when the worst occurred. George VI was dead, Elizabeth was now Her Majesty The Queen.
Unlike her father, Elizabeth chose to retain her name making her Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen who was never meant to be would go on to reign for 70 years, until her death on September 8, 2022, UK time. She was 96.
Her eldest son will now ascend to the throne to become His Majesty King Charles III.
WATCH BELOW: Queen Elizabeth II Line Of Succession