Even Winston Churchill was impressed by two-year-old Lilibet, as her family called Princess Elizabeth.
On a visit to Balmoral in 1928, he wrote to his wife Clemmie: ‘She has an air of authority & reflectiveness astonishing in an infant.’
Granted, the constant company of doting adults encouraged a certain guileless precocity.
At age nine, when Lilibet was about to go for a walk with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the garden at Sandringham, she apparently requested that their conversation did not dwell on God. ‘I know all about Him already,’ she said solemnly.
Until she moved with her parents to Buckingham Palace, Lilibet lived at 145 Piccadilly, near Hyde Park, a grand four-storey building that came complete with a ballroom, electric lift, library, dining room for 30, and around 17…
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