Elizabeth 2 is the Queen of Great Britain. She was born in Windsor on 21 April 1926. Her full name is Elizabeth-Mary-Alexander Windsor. Her pet name is Lilibet. She was educated at home, taught to read and write by her parents. She knew foreign languages. Elizabeth was made her speech on the radio in 1940. She was learned to drive. She was married Prince Philip in 1947. Her first son Prince Charles was born in 1948. She came to throne in 1952. Elizabeth was crowned in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.
Now she plays an important role in the country. She travels a lot. The Queen has got four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. She has five official residences in Britain; Buckingham Palace and Windsor among them.
I’d like to speak about Elizabeth 1 and Queen Victoria. Elizabeth 1 came to throne in 1558. She had many of her father’s qualities including common sense and the strength of character. Like him, she understood the people. She loved hunting and dancing. She traveled a lot round the country. She wanted to know her people and to be known by them. Her soldiers and sailors admired her courage [мужество]. The universities were surprised at her leaning, for she could speak Latin, Greek and several modern languages. She enjoyed a joke. During her reign Queen Elizabeth solved her first problem, the Church. The Anglican Church under Elizabeth followed a middle course. Most people in Britain wanted what her father, Henry 8, had given them: a reformed Catholic Church that used the English language and was free from foreign influence. And they got what they wanted. Elizabeth’s next problem was to keep her enemies quiet until her country was strong enough to defend itself. The greatest danger came from Spain. In July 1588 the Spanish Armada of 130 Spanish ships arrived in the Channel. The English ships were faster than slow Armada. The English guns could shoot farther. After the battle less than half of the proud Armada came back to its home ports. This defeat of Spain was very important for England, though some people said that the Spanish Armada was defeated more by bad weather than by English guns.
During Elizabeth’s reign England sent its explorers to different lands. They tried to find a quick way to India round the north of Russia. As a result they came to Archangelsk, were welcomed in Moscow and opened a new trade with Russia. England wanted to find empty lands where it could plant her own colonies. Queen Elizabeth’s reign was also famous for arts and theater development. Elizabeth was a good musician herself. English music was then among the best in Europe. Many great men whote poety, drama was also famous. William Shakespeare’s plays were written in the years of her reign.
Queen Victoria was a strong queen. Her monument you can see in front of Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria came to throne in 1837 and reigned until her death in 1901. She ruled for the longest period in the English history, for 64 years! Victoria married a German, Prince Albert, but he died at the age of 42 in 1861. That was a great tragedy for Queen Victoria. She left London and never lived in the city where she had been so happy with her husband and nine children (5 daughters and 4 sons). But there are places in London that reminds us of their love. One of them is the Royal Albert Hall – a very large concert hall where the best musicians of the world perform classical music. In front of the Albert Hall there is a monument to Prince Albert built by Queen Victoria. Another place is theVictoria and Albert museum (V & A) with its rich collections of paintings and other works of art. The family life of Queen Victoria touched people’s hearts. But this is not only reason why Queen Victoria became very popular. During her reign Britain became a rich industrial country with a developed trade, an empire with a lot of colonies.