Queen Elizabeth took on ‘unglamorous’ WW2 role against King George’s wishes
During the war, the future monarch wanted to do her part in Britain’s fight against Nazi Germany. But King George VI refused to let the Princess enlist in the British military.
Reports at the time from LIFE magazine said Elizabeth wanted to serve the way other Brits her age were made to.
The report, referring to her as ‘Betts’, states: “[The] King ruled after long deliberations with his councillors that her training as a princess outweighed the nation’s increasing manpower problems and that ‘Betts’ should not join any of the women’s auxiliaries, nor work in a factory.
“But Betts had other ideas.
“It was not surprising that not long afterward the Palace made a straight-face announcement that the King ‘had been pleased to grant an honorary commission as second subaltern in the ATS to Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth.’”
Eventually, the future Queen was allowed to serve in the military in 1945, at the age of 19.
Kenneth Rendell, director of the International Museum of World War II in Natick, Mass, said: “To me it’s a really interesting example of women’s roles in the war.
“Women wanted to be part of what was going on. They were a part of what was going on.
“It fits in with the statement made by Elizabeth’s mother, Queen Elizabeth, that when Buckingham Palace was bombed she felt she could look the East Enders in the eye.”
Last year, the Queen said World War 2 troops would “admire” the UK as it is today while remembering the 75th anniversary of the conflict’s end.
She said in a televised address: “When I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation that those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire.”
Her Majesty also acknowledged Victory In Europe (VE) Day “may seem hard as we cannot mark this special anniversary” due to coronavirus restrictions.
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.