Queen Elizabeth II Might Have Never Been Queen if This 1 Thing Didn’t Happen

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne more than 65 years ago, meaning that many people can’t remember a time when she wasn’t the monarch. But some royal family fans aren’t aware that Her Majesty almost wasn’t queen at all.

No one in Elizabeth’s family expected her to become queen until something happened that changed the course of history. Here’s more on the shocking thing that occurred and ensured Queen Elizabeth would be the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Elizabeth was third in line at the time of her birth

Princess Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926. At the time her grandfather, George V, was the king and she was third in the succession to the British throne behind her uncle, Prince Edward, and her father, Prince Albert.

Because her uncle was the king’s oldest son and heir apparent, any children he had would be ahead of her in the line. Just like Prince Harry was bumped down after the birth of William’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

What her uncle did that changed everything

Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII
Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII | Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When King George V died in 1936, Edward became King Edward VIII. However, he fell in love with an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson, who he intended to marry. But as the head of the Church of England, he was couldn’t wed someone who had been married twice and divorced. Edward chose love over the crown and announced his decision to abdicate the throne, making Elizabeth’s father the king.

“You must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love,” Edward stated.

Her uncle’s choice catapulted Princess Elizabeth from having a minor role in the royal family (the equivalent to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie’s) to being the heir apparent, who would ascend the throne after her father.

Elizabeth’s coronation was televised in 1953

Queen Elizabeth's coronation
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation | Fox Photos/Getty Images

Elizabeth’s dad, Albert, became the king on Dec. 11, 1936. He took the name George VI  to honor his father and served until his death on Feb. 6, 1952. At the time of his passing, Elizabeth was just 25 years old and was traveling abroad. The final time she saw her father alive was before she left the Heathrow airport.

“The King went on to the roof of the building to wave goodbye,” Lord Chandos, the Colonial Secretary told The Telegraph. “The high wind blew his hair into disorder. I felt with foreboding that this would be the last time he was to see his daughter, and that he thought so himself.”

Elizabeth’s coronation took place on June 2, 1953. Her husband, Prince Philip, pushed for the event to be televised. It was with an estimated 20 million people around the globe tuning in to watch the crowning of the woman who was never supposed to be queen at all.

Read more: Why Queen Elizabeth II’s Parents Did Not Approve of Her Relationship With Prince Philip