Warren Woman’s Club discusses life of Queen Elizabeth II

President Tana Fegely welcomed members to the April 8 meeting and luncheon of the Warren Woman’s Club.

Laura McGill presented a short report on the Centennial Campaign for 2013.

Cathy Grant, program chairman, introduced Rebecca Ryan, Woman’s Club member, who gave a talk on “The Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth II.”

Queen Elizabeth, the present queen of England, was born in London on April 21, 1926. She is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states, known as the Commonwealth realms and their territories and is head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. She is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She is also the devoted wife of a sometimes difficult husband and the loving mother of four sometimes unlovable children. Her reign of 60 years is the second longest in British history. Only her great great grandmother, Queen Victoria, reigned longer at 63 years.

She and her sister, Princess Margaret, were educated privately at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess Marion Crawford. Much to the disappointment of the Royal Family, in 1950 Crawford wrote the book the Little Princesses. The book describes Princess Elizabeth’s love of horses and dogs and her attention to details and her sense of responsibility.

Her father George VI acceded to the throne in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. King Edward VIII abdicated because of his wish to marry an American divorcee.

On September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War which lasted until 1945. It was suggested that the little Princesses leave the country for a safer location like Canada. This was rejected by the Queen who said, “The children won’t go without me, I won’t leave without the King and the King will never leave.” Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret spent the War years for the most part at Windsor Castle. During those years their Governess kept them busy as members of a Girl Guide Troop, putting on pantomimes at Christmas, planting a vegetable garden and learning to cook and bake.

At age 18, at the end of the War, she undertook public duties and also served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip met in 1934 and again in 1937. For the Princess it was love at first sight and from that time they exchanged letters. They were engaged the spring of 1947 and married November 20, 1947.

On a 1952 trip to Kenya she received word that her father George VI had died and she was Queen of England.

Major events in her life include troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War and wars with Iraq and the War in Afghanistan. Personal sorrows include the death of her father at the age of 55, the assassination of Lord Mountbatten, Prince Phillip’s uncle, the breakdown of her children’s marriages all in 1992 and the death of her mother and sister both in 2002. Despite criticism of the monarchy, her personal popularity remains high. In 2012 she marked 60 years as queen with celebrations throughout her realm and beyond.

President Fegely thanked Ryan and the needle arts groups for the table decorations and the unique fascinator hats provided as table favors for Woman’s Club members.

Josie Gerardi was welcomed as a new member. Annual dues are due April 1. Fashion show tickets are available for the May 6 fashion show, and plans are underway for an exciting event. Invitations for the Centennial Gala Event, the culminating event for the Woman’s Club\r Centennial Celebration, were passed out.

A cleaning bee has been scheduled for April 17. Members are to call Anne Ferguson if they are able to help.

Club member Ann Ferguson will talk about her trip to Tanzania and the Majengo Children’s Center at the group’s April 22 meeting.