Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same. The fact, indeed, against the Queen’s highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my behalf, I do wash my hands thereof in innocency, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day.
From the day a footman delivered the news in 1936 that Edward VIII had abdicated the British throne, it was clear that his brother’s 10-year-old daughter would one day rule the Commonwealth. Fifteen years later, the princess, by then the wife of a Greek prince and mother of two, became Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen enters the Diamond Jubilee of her reign—the second longest in English history—VF.com presents a look back at the days of her youth.