On August 15, 1950, Her Majesty Elizabeth II became a mother for the second time, a year after welcoming her first child, Prince Charles. The 94-year-old monarch gave birth to Princess Anne, her only daughter, the result of her marriage to Prince Philip. But, unlike her first childbirth, the sovereign was welcoming her second child to Clarence House and not Buckingham, as she did for her sons, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. And this, since the palace was undergoing renovation following the significant damage it had suffered during World War II, as the British tabloid The Express recalled. According to our colleagues from across the Channel, Buckingham Palace was struck sixteen times during the Blitz, a bombing campaign carried out by the German air force against the United Kingdom, and more particularly the port of London, September 7, 1940 to May 11, 1941.
The palace was thus bombed for the first time on September 8, 1940. The multiple explosions had left the south and north wings of the palace damaged and, at the time of the events, King George VI, the Queen Mother and Her Majesty Elizabeth II were had not wished to leave Buckingham. Shortly afterwards, the Queen – still a princess during WWII – was sent to Windsor Castle with her younger sister, Princess Margaret. A radical change of scenery with Balmoral Castle, where she lived until 1939 with her family. Nine years after the first bombardments that struck Buckingham, she took refuge in Clarence House during the renovation work, until 1953, three years after the birth of Princess Anne … and while Her Majesty Elizabeth II s’ was preparing to retake the throne of England following the death of King George VI in February 1952.
She has been an active crowned head in the field. Because if she was still only a teenager when England was hit hard by the Blitz, Her Majesty Elizabeth II did not hesitate to get her hands dirty (and more really dirty, since she received training in driving and mechanics) in wartime, making her first public appearance, alone, in 1943. Appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards, an infantry regiment of the Guard of the Sovereign’s House, she was even crowned second lieutenant of the Auxiliary Territorial Service. A military past that gave her a certain and perpetual love for cars and driving: she was responsible for the technical control of her cars until the mid-1980s.
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