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Royal biographer offers glimpse into Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood: She learned the ‘virtues of detachment’

Queen Elizabeth II’s biographer offered a glimpse into the early years of the young princess who grew up to rule Great Britain with a steady hand and deep love of country in a special that aired on Fox News Sunday night.

As the world prepares for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral Monday, the special “Queen Elizabeth II: For the Love of Country” reveals little-known details about her upbringing and early character that followed her to Buckingham Palace and the ascension of the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of her father, George VI.


Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on Wednesday, April 21, 1926, at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London, which was a townhouse owned by her maternal grandparents (The Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne). When she was eight months old, her parents set off on a six-month tour of Australia, leaving the young princess in her grandparents’ care, her biographer Robert Lacey said in the special.

“The first time the young Elizabeth re-encountered her parents, she didn’t quite recognize them,” Lacey said. “She’d actually grown closer to her grandfather and grandmother.”


Lacey said the experience taught her “from a very early age, the virtues of detachment.”

After her parents’ return, Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret’s childhood was described as relatively “normal.” But the future queen struggled to formulate relationships in which she felt comfortable, royal biographer Gyles Brandreth said.

“I think it was difficult for people to treat her normal, for her to have normal relationships with people,” he said. “She was perhaps a bit wary of everyone except for those she knew very well.”

The Queen’s cousin recalled having “lovely unorganized fun” with the princesses in the special, adding that Elizabeth was “always the more serious of the two.”

Elizabeth’s life changed when her father was crowned king when she was just 11 years old at London’s Westminster Abbey in 1937. He died in 1952 after a long battle with an illness. Princess Elizabeth, the elder of the king’s two daughters, was next in line to succeed him and became Queen, reigning for more than 70 years.

Watch the full documentary now on FOX NATION.

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