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HistoryQueen Elizabeth II

Back to School with The Queen

The Queen has broken many records in her lifetime but one less known is that she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were the last to be educated by private tutors from home.

Up to the age of seven, Princess Elizabeth was educated by her mother in reading and writing.

With her father becoming King, their governess Marion Crawford (an Edinburgh graduate), who was like a second mother to the girls, homeschooled the two princesses. In addition to the education provided by Marion, tutors taught further lessons to the young Elizabeth.

Henry Marten, the provost of Eton, taught the princess constitutional history. She also learnt how to speak fluent French from her other governesses and is fluent in German. Other lessons included math, history, dancing, art and singing.

Unlike the younger generation of royals, who are all expected to have top schooling, Her Majesty had hands-on experience. During World War II, the princess was part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service repairing vehicles.

Thrown into her role as Queen at a young age, Her Majesty quickly and elegantly slipped into her position. Lessons can be learnt in books but are nothing without first-hand experience.

That first-hand experience had to come later than her parents would have hoped, with the war restricting travel. Until the age of 17, Princess Elizabeth mostly stayed at Windsor Castle until, at that point, she joined her parents in public outings. Taking a full public role at 18.

Despite all this, few can say The Queen has never fulfilled her role. Over her years, her travels, her thousands of hands shaken, it is without a doubt that The Queen has possessed an education more than any of us could hope for.

Some have gone as far as to compare The Queen to a “housewife” due to the lack of a “serious education”, but in her youth, her parents did their best to give her what was a typical royal education while maintaining her childhood in a life that was never meant to be hers.