'The Queen wasn't educated. She never expected the top job'

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

The Queen is the world’s longest-serving monarch, surpassing her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. Although having a female head of state is not unusual now, in 1952, things were very different.

“She was a world leader before any women were leading in the world,” royal producer Nick Bullen tells Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box.

Elizabeth was not expected to be Queen, but when her Uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936, her father George VI became King. The then Princess Elizabeth became heir to the throne at the age of 10.

The Queen is dedicated to her role (Photo: PA)

George VI’s reign lasted just 16 years and as his health deteriorated through lung cancer, his daughter took on more of his duties. He died on 6 February 1952 and Elizabeth returned from her tour of Kenya to mourn his loss and to prepare for her duty as Queen.

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Bullen reveals his production company have filmed an obituary for the Queen about her role as a working woman and a mother, featuring an all-female cast.

He says: “She was born into a family that, she wasn’t expected to be Queen, so she wasn’t educated.

“Her mother felt girls didn’t need educating and really what they needed to do was marry a nice duke or a nice earl and live in the country.

“So she hit that top job with very little education behind her and was born into a man’s world.”

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh after her coronation in 1953 (Photo: PA)

The Queen has had 13 Prime Ministers during her reign so far – 11 of which have been male. She has also met 10 out of 11 US Presidents.

“If you look at those shots when she comes down the steps of the plane as Queen for the first time coming back from Africa, it’s all men, in big black coats and black hats, there are no women in sight,” Bullen explains.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were already parents to Prince Charles and Princess Anne when she took the crown, and she threw herself into her duties. Just four years before her coronation,  she declared in a broadcast on her 21st birthday: “My whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

While the country has changed beyond recognition since 1953, the Queen has remained a constant.

Even at the age of 92, she continues to carry out official duties, while preparing the younger generation of royals for their future and passing on her legacy.

Bullen says: “The idea of what she did and how she broke the mould is incredible.

“She is, I think, the ultimate working woman, working mother and I’d love to know whether she would argue that you can have it all or whether you can’t, but she has pulled it off.”

Nick Bullen is the founder of TrueRoyalty.TV.