Who was Queen Elizabeth II, the UK monarch for 70 years?

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(CNN Spanish) — Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, known as “Lilibet” to her friends, was born on April 21, 1926. And just a decade later Isabel she knew that she was truly destined to lead an empire.

And it was a ruse of history, the work of scandal: his uncle Eduardo abdicated in order to marry wallis simpsona divorced American woman, the love of his life, but an impediment to the throne.

Elizabeth’s father became king. And she happened to be the heiress by accident. And she developed a deep sense of duty.

Even before she was crowned, Elizabeth devoted herself body and soul to playing her “royal” role.

“I declare before all of you that my whole life, long or short, will be dedicated to your service and to the service of this great imperial family to which we all belong.”

“I think I remember hearing that speech and I remember it very well, I certainly remember reading not many years later how he dedicated his life to the country; it was an example of exactly what I felt years later when I grew up; that’s what it was all about: to dedicate your life to your country.

For more than half a century, he led his empire and then watched it decline, in controlled descent, into what became known as the British Commonwealth of Nations, an association of now independent countries. 16 countries kept her as the symbolic head of state.

For decades, he has endured everything that history and his family have thrown at him, with a comforting composure.

Their reign began when Winston Churchill was prime minister.

He has met with every president of the United States except one; he always gave priority to those encounters.

“She remembers learning from her parents the importance of keeping America on your side during the war. And America went into the war. She remembers that very well. She remembers American soldiers, D-Day and all that. For her, was an important part of his upbringing,” says Robert Hardman, author of Our Queen.

The British monarch has no political power, but Elizabeth had immense power as a figurehead, as demonstrated in 2011 in the first state visit by a monarch to neighboring Ireland since Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom.

Then-British Prime Minister David Cameron described the trip as a turning point in Anglo-Irish relations.

“All of a sudden she started speaking in Irish Gaelic. I’m not going to even try to say what she said. It did indeed mean president and friends, and it took everyone by surprise, including the president who looked around the room mouthing ‘wow’ . It was a special moment. Usually guests at these kinds of state banquets don’t go around saying ‘wow,’ but the moment fit that description,” Hardman said.

A year later, the queen visited Belfast for one of the most significant moments in her reign: the historic handshake with the former commander of the Irish Revolutionary Army, Martin McGuinness.

An outspoken symbol of peace after decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.

Now, this wife, mother and grandmother, with her firm composure in public, had a private side, so secretive that very little material exists showing the queen’s famous sense of humor behind closed doors.

Some years, there was little to laugh about. With unusual honesty and candor, the queen marked 1992 as a very bad year: a fire at Windsor Castle and several separations in the family.

Three of his four children are divorced: one of them, the most famous. And then, Diana’s car accident happened.

The queen learned a hard lesson in the midst of all the grief: she would never be just a mother or grandmother; First of all, she was the queen of a people, and to point it out, the enduring moment when she bowed before Princess Diana’s coffin; a very low point for Great Britain, for the monarchy and for the relationship between Great Britain and her monarch.

It took more than a decade to rebuild the public’s faith in the royal family. The queen was openly moved by the support for the royal wedding in 2011.

Then the following year, polls showed the British royal family at the height of their popularity. And the queen was celebrating 60 years on the throne.

On his diamond anniversary he introduced a streamlined monarchy. He alone paraded and greeted senior royalty: a sign of a more frugal family for the 21st century.

“The monarchy is as strong now as it was at any stage in its reign. I think it’s future-proof. When you’re at the head of a hereditary institution, you aim for that,” Hardman said.

He gradually lightened his busy schedule, especially in terms of travel, but he sent out a clear message in September 2015 when he attended the opening of a new railway in Scotland.

There was no grand procession or commemorative fireworks.

For her it was a normal day, greeting a crowd of admirers. But it will go down in history as the day Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her revered predecessor Queen Victoria to become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.