Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
Political development in modern Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea. During the early days of the British administration, Gibraltar was maintained as a military outpost with limited attention paid to its role as a trading post. Long term settlement of Gibraltar was uncertain but as Spain's power waned it became established as an important base for the British Royal Navy. Throughout the 19th century there was conflict between the competing roles of military and trading posts, leading to tensions between the civilian population and the Governor of the day; some Governors encouraged the development of the civilian role in government, whilst others regarded it as a nuisance. As a result, compared with other former British colonies, civilian Government in Gibraltar emerged in the 20th century as the needs of the civilian population were considered by Governors as subordinate to the needs of the military. Since World War II, Gibraltarians have asserted their own individual identity.
The Rock's relationship with Spain and the sovereignty dispute continues to affect the Politics of Gibraltar to this day. The majority of the original Spanish population left Gibraltar following the Anglo-Dutch Capture of Gibraltar in 1704, taking with them the articles of the former Spanish administration; as a result, the current constitution and laws of Gibraltar reflect English common law and Acts of Parliament. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the remnants of the Spanish population were augmented by a settler population established as the British maintained a trading post alongside the military garrison; as the number of inhabitants continued to grow, they found their political and legal standing became dependent on individual Governors and their commitment to the development of a civilian society. Long term settlement of Gibraltar was not contemplated and on several occasions in the 18th century the British considered returning Gibraltar to Spanish rule. In addition, several Spanish attempts to retake Gibraltar, most notably during the Great Siege of Gibraltar meant that long term settlement was never inevitable.
Gibraltar was unquestionably a fortress and a colony second during the 18th century. During the 19th century, as Spain's power waned, the Napoleonic Wars reinforced the importance of Gibraltar as a fortress and Royal Navy base, it was declared a Crown colony in 1830. The first civil judiciary was authorised in 1720, with a separate criminal and civil jurisdiction for Gibraltar created in 1739. However, there were no civilian courts and jurisdiction was exercised by the military under the authority of the Governor. Justices of the peace were first appointed in 1753 and a vice admiralty court established in 1793 to provide for the public auction of enemy ships captured by the Royal Navy; the first political advances took place during the governorship of Sir George Don which started in 1814. An Exchange and Commercial Library was founded in 1817, with the Exchange Committee focused on furthering the interests of merchants based in the fortress; the Exchange Committee evolved into an organ that provided for a local voice in government, although of itself it had no real powers.
Upon declaring Gibraltar to be a Crown Colony in 1830, the Crown established an independent judiciary and a Supreme Court of Justice. This reflected the British colonial system, where individual colonies had their own, distinct governments and judicial systems; the Charter, fell short of explicitly providing for a local role in government, although responsibility for government of Gibraltar passed from the War Office to the newly created Colonial Office. The Gibraltar Police Force was established following the model of the Metropolitan Police. Although there was not an explicit role for the local population in Ggvernment, Governor Sir George Don encouraged the development of the civilian administration. Following the establishment of the Exchange Committee by merchants and landowners, Don looked to the committee to provide a local voice, his successor Sir Robert Gardiner proved to be less keen, arguing that the needs of the civilian population were subordinate to the military garrison. Sir Robert suppressed a public petition from the Exchange Committee pressing for an enquiry into his administration in 1852 but was recalled to London in 1855 as unease in his administration grew.
The role of the civilian administration remained focused on order. Political development remained slow and limited by the role of Gibraltar as a fortress. An 1889 ordinance defined the rights to residency, highlighting the importance of native-born individuals. In 1910, the new governor Sir Archibald Hunter sought to administer Gibraltar as a fortess, regarding the civilian population as something of a nuisance. Following disquiet in the civilian population, Sir Archibald was recalled before his term of office ended, it was not until 1921. The outbreak of World War II in 1939 put an early end to the beginnings of self-government in Gibraltar. Gibraltar's strategic geographical position and the threat of bombing raids by the Axis powers led to the evacuation of most of the civilian population. Many were evacuated first to Morocco and to the United Kingdom, others were taken to the Portuguese island of Madeira or the British colony of Jamaica; the evacuation led to conflicting emotions. Spanish neutrality ensured Gibraltar was never the subject of a
History of nationality in Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a juridically independent area in western Europe, forms part of the Commonwealth of Nations as a British overseas territory. As with rest of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar was inhabited by various groups, including Phoenicians, Romans and Visigoths, until 711 when the Muslim conquest of the peninsula began with the invasion of Gibraltar. In 1492, with the reconquest of the peninsula, the Catholic Monarchs took control of the area. In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet seized Gibraltar from the Spanish crown. After the surrender, most of the Spaniards who inhabited Gibraltar left for the Spanish hinterland. In 1713, Gibraltar was formally ceded by Spain to Britain in perpetuity under article X of the Treaty of Utrecht. In 1721, the number of civilians able to bear arms was 45 British, 96 Catalans, 169 Genoese, for a total of 310. By 1753 the civilian population had grown to 1816 persons, the main elements in which 597 were Genoese, 575 Jews and 351 British inhabitants.
These numbers show the heterogeneity of the small number of civilians considered official residents of The Rock in its early stages. The treaty of 1713 stipulated that in the event of any change in sovereignty, Spain would have first claim to the territory. With the treaty, Her Britannic Majesty promised the Catholic King of Spain that no Jews or Moors would be permitted to live in Gibraltar. However, Gibraltar was still open to commerce with Moors, their ships would be permitted entry into the port. Furthermore, Roman Catholics would be granted the right to exercise their religion. Gibraltar has been described as "probably the most fought over and densely fortified place in Europe, therefore, in the world"; as a fortress it was most useful to the British Empire, when the Royal Navy was internationally dominant. Due to its conception as a military base, the constitutional development of Gibraltar was retarded. In 1720, under letters patent a civil judiciary was authorised, in 1739 criminal and civil jurisdiction was granted to Gibraltar.
However, no courts were created and this jurisdiction was exercised by the military, headed by the Governor himself. After the Great Siege of Gibraltar, Gibraltar transformed from a small military town into a major centre for European and Mediterranean trade. There was a spike in the percentage of the civilian population of foreign origin, immigration had a large role in defining nationality. However, immigration to Gibraltar was discouraged. Gibraltar was one of the most densely populated areas in western Europe, control of civilian population was the main concern of the British administration in the 19th century. In 1720, the first permit system was introduced in Gibraltar, aimed at restricting foreign labourers, who were Spanish; the object of the system was to "preserve peace and good government in Gibraltar, to add security to the fortress, to promote the health of the garrison." By 1891, the civilian population had grown to 19,100, considered problematic due to overcrowding. However, there was a trend of families settling in the neibourghing Spanish town of La Línea de la Concepción, because of less expensive housing and due to the stagnation of trade in Gibraltar.
The 1891 census divided the civilian population into British Foreigners. British Subjects were recorded as "native of" either Gibraltar, the UK, other parts of Her Majesty's dominions and foreign countries. Foreigners were recorded as natives from Spain, Italy, Morocco, or other nationalities. Despite the growing civilian population, during the 18th and 19th centuries, civilians in Gibraltar were considered as second-class citizens, subordinate of the colonial regime without significant political authority. At the time, there was a visible ethnic difference between the Gibraltarians and the British colonisers, politically the Gibraltarians were powerless; the official citizens of Gibraltar were the garrison of soldiers and the hierarchy of colonial administrators. Furthermore, as a garrison, between 1878 and 1945 adult males outnumbered their female counterparts ten to one, infants and children made up less than 2% of the community at any point in time. British soldiers had preferential access to scarce resources such as housing, water and frozen meat, free medical care, their own hospital.
The troops lived in barracks with sanitary facilities. In contrast, most civilian dwellings did not have running water until after World War II. One of the first manifestations of the will for a voice for civilians was the formation of the Exchange Committee, it was formed by "a few of the leading gentlemen of the three religious denominations — Hebrew, Catholic". Their goals were to forward the interests of the prosperous merchant group which had developed in Gibraltar, they had no political objectives, concentrated on matters of a social and economic nature insofar as they affected the merchants. In 1817 the Exchange and Commercial Library was founded, to rival the Garrison Library from which civilians, however eminent, were excluded. In the 1830s, the status of Gibraltar evolved from "The town and garrison of Gibraltar" to the "Crown Colony of Gibraltar". Yet, civilian rights could still be suppressed in light of military order. A Charter of Justice, Civilian Magistracy Supreme Court, Civil Rights were created that same year.
The Gibraltar Police Force was created at the same time, making it the first Police Force to be set up outside the UK. The changes of 1830 were important in recognising the rights of civilian inhabitants. However, political advancements were dependent of the particular views of the Governor. For example, in 1848 the new Governor contended that the population of Gibraltar could n
British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories or United Kingdom Overseas Territories are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories; these territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of scientific personnel, they all share the British monarch as head of state. As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN; the other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man are under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom; the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries with historic links to the British Empire. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres.
The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres, constitutes the uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, accounts for a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula; the United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory. Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were known as "Plantations"; the first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Labrador.
It retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia, its offshoot, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires; these include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas. The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa.
From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia; these and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean gained independence; some colonies becam
Joseph Garcia (Gibraltarian politician)
The Hon. Joseph John Garcia MP is a Gibraltarian historian and politician, the current leader of the Gibraltar Liberal Party and Deputy Chief Minister of the Government of Gibraltar; the GLP controls three of the 17 seats in the Gibraltar Parliament after the 2011 general election and is in government with its political allies, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. Garcia graduated from the University of Hull with a First Class Honours degree in history and obtained a doctorate on "The Political and Constitutional Development of Gibraltar". Garcia has been leader of the GLP since 1992 and was first elected to the Gibraltar House of Assembly on a by-election, he served as Shadow Minister for Tourism and Commercial Affairs from 1999 to 2000. He was re-elected at the 2000 election and served as Shadow Minister for Trade, Industry and Financial Services until 2003. In 2011 Garcia was appointed Vice President of Liberal International. Garcia's party formed a coalition to contest the 2003 election with the GSLP, which won five seats, re-electing Garcia to serve as Shadow Minister for Trade, Industry and Heritage until 2007 when he was again re-elected at the 2007 election serving in the same Shadow Ministry.
After 12 years in opposition, Garcia was elected into Government following the election of 8 December 2011. The newly elected GSLP Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, appointed Garcia Deputy Chief Minister with responsibility for planning and lands, political and civic reform, civil aviation. During the general election campaign in 1996 Garcia ripped up the GSLP manifesto during a leaders debate programme on GBC, his party now forms the Government with the GSLP. Garcia supports Panorama, a daily newspaper in Gibraltar, his father Joe is the editor of the paper. List of Gibraltarians Politics of Gibraltar
Gibraltar identity card
The Gibraltar identity card is an official identity document issued by the Government of Gibraltar to all British citizens living in Gibraltar, which serves as a valid travel document within the European Economic Area and Switzerland for holders who are British Citizens or British Overseas Territories Citizens connected to Gibraltar. In June 2015, the Government of Gibraltar started issuing electronic identity cards. Gibraltar passport National identity cards in the European Union HM Government of Gibraltar: ID cards & Civilian registration cards Gibnet.com unofficial guide to the Gibraltar identity card
2002 Gibraltar sovereignty referendum
The Gibraltar sovereignty referendum of 2002 was a referendum, called by the Government of Gibraltar and was held on 7 November 2002 within the British overseas territory on a proposal by the UK Government to share sovereignty of the territory between Spain and the United Kingdom. The result was a rejection of the proposal by a landslide majority, with only just over one per cent of the electorate in favour. Although Gibraltar was ceded to the British Crown under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht, Spain has wished to recover the territory, first by force and by restrictions and diplomacy. Recovering sovereignty remains a stated objective of successive Spanish Governments. In July 2001, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw began discussing the future of Gibraltar with Spain, a year in July 2002, following secret talks with Spain announced that "the UK was willing to share sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain" and that "the final decision would rest with the people of Gibraltar in a referendum."HM Government of Gibraltar decided to hold its own referendum on 7 November 2002 regarding the proposal of shared sovereignty with Spain, which it opposed.
This pre-empted any referendum planned to be held after the negotiations between Britain and Spain had concluded. Jack Straw described the Gibraltar referendum as "eccentric", Britain's Foreign Office announced it would not recognise its results. Although Straw had felt confident enough to announce that there had been talks on joint sovereignty, a number of issues still remained to be resolved. Firstly, Spain was insisting on a time element for a full transfer of sovereignty to Spain. Secondly, Spain would not agree to give Gibraltar a referendum on either joint sovereignty or self-determination. Spain wanted a greater role than joint use of Gibraltar as a military base. Researcher Peter Gold argued in a 2009 paper that these disagreements made the possibility of an agreement being finalised remote; the Gibraltar Referendum 2002 asked the voters of Gibraltar their opinion in the following words: On 12 July 2002 the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, in a formal statement in the House of Commons, said that after twelve months of negotiation the British Government and Spain are in broad agreement on many of the principles that should underpin a lasting settlement of Spain's sovereignty claim, which included the principle that Britain and Spain should share sovereignty over Gibraltar.
Do you approve of the principle that Britain and Spain should share sovereignty over Gibraltar? Permitting a simple YES / NO answer. Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, said of the result: "We say to the British Government: Take stock of this referendum result, it's the will of the people of Gibraltar", that the planned path to joint sovereignty was a "dead end road for everyone"; the Government of Gibraltar invited a panel of observers headed by Gerald Kaufman MP. Their report stated that "The observers were impressed with the organisation of the referendum and welcome that the role of the observers was integral to the process, as distinct from the more passive role of observers in other elections; the meticulous way in which votes were counted exceeded requirements and went beyond requirements adopted for UK elections". Reaction in Spain was negative, with El País calling the referendum a "dishonest consultation", while Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Palacio described it as "illegal" and "against all the UN resolutions".
However, El País said that "no Spanish Government, neither this one or its predecessors, has done enough to make joint sovereignty or integration with Spain an attractive prospect". In London, Jack Straw was criticised by the Commons foreign affairs committee, whose report stated that he was wrong to agree to joint sovereignty with Spain, when this was unacceptable to the people of Gibraltar; the report emphasised the importance of the referendum, which represented the views of Gibraltarians. The Telegraph said "the people of Gibraltar today overwhelmingly rejected the principle of Britain sharing sovereignty of the Rock with Spain". Prior to the referendum the British Government stated that it would not recognise the outcome. After the referendum Gibraltar's Government felt it could demand a say in its future in any talks with Spain. Under an initiative started in 1999, the Government of Gibraltar together with opposition parties negotiated a new constitution for Gibraltar; the major sticking point in negotiations was the desire by Gibraltar politicians for a preamble whereby the "British Government ought to commit itself to the question of self-determination in unequivocal terms."
The British Government sought to avoid doing so but when there was a cabinet reshuffle and a new foreign secretary, the new incumbent was more willing to listen to the views of Gibraltar officials. There was a shift in the British Government policy on Gibraltar that recognised the preamble to the 1969 constitution was sacrosanct, that any discussions on sovereignty would involve Gibraltar and future discussions on sovereignty with Spain would require an improved relationship between Spain and Gibraltar; the British Government compromised recognising its commitment in the 1969 constitution that it would not negotiate with Spain without the consent of people of Gibraltar. The compromise lead to the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 in which the powers of the Governor were reduced and transferred to local officials and a bill of "fundamental rights and freedoms" enshrined in the constitution. Although this had cross-party support in Gibraltar, when submitted to a referendum on adoption a significant no vote emerged.
Although reasons were diverse, there wer