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Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home. Her father ascended 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 Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
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‘If it's royal I'll take it home’: Inside the treasure troves of Britain's royal super-collectors

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the Changing of the Guard. ‘My cousin put her head through to get a better view and I did the same, but when it came [time] to take it out I couldn’t,’ she recalls. ‘I started to cry and they sent for the fire brigade.’Eventually she wriggled free, but a part of her remained forever ensconced just beyond the palace gates.Martin is now 65 and a dedicated collector of royal memorabilia.

Cherished among her collection of hundreds of items (she has long stopped counting) are those produced to celebrate various jubilees – including a Golden Jubilee tin of biscuits with all the Commonwealth countries ringed around the outside, and a Ruby Jubilee bone-china cup and saucer she bought at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, a favourite spot of Queen Victoria’s. ‘I’ve no idea how much I’ve spent,’ says Martin, a former nurse. ‘It’s all been worth it so it doesn’t matter.’Her favourite piece is the first she ever received: The Country Life Book of the Royal Silver Jubilee, written by Patrick Montague-Smith and illustrated with photographs celebrating 25 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

It was a gift from her parents when she was 20. Like most mass-produced jubilee memorabilia, it is not worth much in monetary terms – you can currently buy a used copy on Amazon for just over £1.

But for Martin it is the jewel in the crown of her collection. ‘That is the thing I treasure the most.’Commemorative items have long been churned out to celebrate significant moments in royal life.

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