She assisted in the WW2 effort as a teenager, uptaking an industry role in England prior to becoming the head of state in 1952. But what job did Queen Elizabeth II have during WW2?
While World War two may feel like ancient history for many of us, there are many people alive today or recently deceased who lived through or contributed to Britain’s wartime efforts.
Aged just 13 when the second world war began, Queen Elizabeth II was initially not old to contribute her labor to the British Armed Forces.
However, in 1944 when the Queen turned 18, she volunteered her services and contributed alongside large numbers of women on the home front.
What job did Queen Elizabeth II have in WW2?
It’s no secret that the Queen was always greatly fond of cars and could often be spotted driving around her estates in her downtime.
And clearly, her love affair with automobiles was a long-lasting one. Having joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service, which was effectively the women’s army, in 1944, the Queen underwent training as a mechanic in March 1945.
She qualified for the role in April of the same year, just days before her 19th birthday, and went on to serve as a mechanic for the final three months of the war.
During her time in the ATS, she worked her way up from the junior position of Second Subaltern to the more esteemed role of Junior Captain, earning the nickname ‘Princess Auto Mechanic’ in the process.
Queen Elizabeth II’s WW2 job made history
The Queen’s role in the army was viewed as particularly honorable at the time, as she made grounds for women in the royal family.
Specifically, the Queen became the first-ever female member of the Royal Family to take up an active role within the British Armed Forces, a record which still stands to this day.
Until yesterday, September 8, the Queen was the last surviving head of state that served during WW2.
Following her contributions to the war effort, Elizabeth II went on to maintain a close relationship with all branches of the armed forces during her tenure.
Buckingham Palace in WW2
Not only did the Queen serve during WW2, but she was involved in a rather close scare when Buckingham Palace was involved in a German bombing spree.
The bombing, which occurred on September 13, 1940, saw five bombs fall on Buckingham Palace after being dropped by a German raider.
The attack destroyed large areas of the palace, injuring four and killing one member of staff at the estate. Describing the attack the Queen remarked:
“I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East-End in the face”, a statement which highlighted the Queen’s attitude towards the war, which was evidently one which centered around all sides of the community coming together.