The young Elizabeth enjoyed a close relationship with her
family, always referred to by her father, George VI, as "us four".
Her father, whose own upbringing had been austere and regimented,
was anxious to create a warm and loving home for his daughters. The
princesses were home-educated under the supervision of a governess
and their mother who, in spite of her many duties, made time to
provide guidance, religious and otherwise, for her daughters.
When, in 1936, the Abdication crisis made her father King and herself heir to the throne, aged just ten. both parents sought to prepare Elizabeth for her future role, extending her educational syllabus, and ensuring she met many influential people.
During the Second World War King George VI was extremely protective of his elder daughter, resisting her requests to join the armed forces until 1945. His premature death, at the age of just 57 in 1952, was a terrible blow for all his family, and thrust a stoical, but grieving, Elizabeth onto the world stage.
The Queen Mother continued to inspire her eldest daughter by serving her country assiduously and long, remaining involved in public life into very old age.
Both the monarch and her mother were passionate horse-racing
fans - The Queen's passion for horse-racing, which took seed in
childhood, was fuelled by her mother, herself a keen supporter of
National Hunt racing who made many contributions to the sport, and
who over half a century as an owner had more than 400 winners. In a
stately gesture, the Queen covered her mother's racing expenses
until her death.
When she passed away, peacefully in her sleep at the Royal Lodge at Windsor at the age of 101, the Queen was at her bedside.