Why Queen Elizabeth II was marked by WWII

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Why Queen Elizabeth II was marked by WWII
US President Barack Obama (4th L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (3rd R) pose during a group photo for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Benouville Castle, June 6, 2014. World leaders and veterans gathered by the beaches of Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy on D-Day during World War II. Also pictured (bottom, L-R) are Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko, Slovakia's President Ivan Gasparovic, Norway's King Harald V, Britain's Queen Elizabeth, French President Francois Hollande, Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Netherland's King Willem-Alexander. REGIS DUVIGNAU/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin (3rd R) arrives for a group photo for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Benouville Castle, June 6, 2014. World leaders and veterans gathered by the beaches of Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy on D-Day during World War II. Also pictured are (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, Britain's Queen Elizabeth, French President Francois Hollande, Denmark's Queen Margrethe II and Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri. REGIS DUVIGNAU/AFP/Getty Images
BENOUVILLE, NORMANDY - JUNE 06: (L-R) King Harald V of Norway, US President Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, French President Francois Hollande, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a luncheon at Chateau de Benouville on June 6, 2014 in Benouville, France. Friday 6th June is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy, these assaults are credited with the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. A series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary are planned for the week with many heads of state travelling to the famous beaches to pay their respects to those who lost their lives. (Photo by Stephen Crowley - Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla (R) attend a bi-national France-UK D-Day commemoration ceremony at the British War Cemetery of Bayeux, on June 6, 2014, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. THOMAS BREGARDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II speaks with US President Barack Obama during a group photo of world leaders attending the D-Day 70th Anniversary ceremonies at Chateau de Benouville in Benouville, France, June 6, 2014. The D-Day ceremonies mark the 70th anniversary of the launching of 'Operation Overlord', a vast military operation by Allied forces in Normandy, which turned the tide of World War II, eventually leading to the liberation of occupied France and the end of the war against Nazi Germany. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) meets veterans following a British D-Day commemoration ceremony in Bayeux cemetery, northern France, on June 6, 2014, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth lays a wreath during a bi-national France-UK D-Day commemoration ceremony at the British War Cemetery of Bayeux on June 6, 2014, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) flanked by Britain Ambassador to France, Sir Peter Ricketts (L) meets guests during a garden-party at the British Embassy in Paris on June 5, 2014, upon her arrival for a state visit in France. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Paris for an increasingly rare foreign visit that will see her feted as France's 'super guest of honour' at D-Day commemorations attended by an A-list of world leaders. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend a garden party in Paris, hosted by Sir Peter Ricketts, Britain's Ambassador to France ahead of marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II on June 5, 2014 in Paris, France. Friday 6th June is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy, these assaults are credited with the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. A series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary are planned for the week with many heads of state travelling to the famous beaches to pay their respects to those who lost their lives. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) shakes hand with French businessman Bernard Arnault during a garden-party at the British Embassy in Paris on June 5, 2014, upon her arrival for a state visit in France. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Paris for an increasingly rare foreign visit that will see her feted as France's 'super guest of honour' at D-Day commemorations attended by an A-list of world leaders. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: French President Francois Hollande walks next to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she leaves the Elysee Palace after a bilateral meeting during an Official visit in Paris ahead of the 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day, on June 5, 2014, in Paris, France. Friday 6th June is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy, these assaults are credited with the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. A series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary are planned for the week with many heads of state travelling to the famous beaches to pay their respects to those who lost their lives. (Photo by Frederic Stevens/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: French President Francois Hollande walks next to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she leaves the Elysee Palace after a bilateral meeting during an Official visit in Paris ahead of the 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day, on June 5, 2014, in Paris, France. Friday 6th June is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy, these assaults are credited with the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. A series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary are planned for the week with many heads of state travelling to the famous beaches to pay their respects to those who lost their lives. (Photo by Frederic Stevens/WireImage)
ARROMANCHES, FRANCE - JUNE 6: (L_R) Queen Margrethe of Denmark, the Duke of Edinbrough, Queen Elizabeth II, French President Jacques Chirac, Bernadette Chirac, U.S President George W Bush, First Lady Laura Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the commemoration ceremony on the 60th anniversary of D-Day June 6, 2004 in Arromanches, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
BAYEUX, France: Queen Elizabeth II of England and French President Jacques Chirac attend the French-British ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the WWII D-Day landings in Normandy, 06 June 2004 at the British cemetery of Bayeux. Tens of thousands of Allied troops against all odds stormed the Normandy beaches 06 June 1944, liberating France and speeding the defeat of Nazi Germany. PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCE - 1901: Pierre Trudeau, Queen Beatrix , King Olav V, King Baudouin I, Francois Mitterrand, Queen Elizabeth II, Grand Duke Jean and Ronald Reagan during ceremony on 40th Anniversary of D-Day at Utah Beach. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
BAYEUX, FRANCE - JUNE 06: Queen Elizabeth Ll Attending A Service For The 50th Anniversary Of D-day. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
BAYEUX, FRANCE - JUNE 06: Queen Elizabeth Ll And Her Husband, Prince Philip, Walking Through The Commonwealth War Graves Before Attending A Service For The 50th Anniversary Of D-day. The Queen Is Wearing A Hat By Milliner Ian Thomas. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - MAY 4: Queen Elizabeth ll, wearing the garter star, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh sit with U.S President Bill Clinton (L) at a banquet at Portsmouth Guildhall to commemmorate D-Day on May 4, 1994 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
NORMANDY, FRANCE - JUNE 06: Utah Beach In Normandy D-day 40th Anniversary. Left To Right: King Olav Of Norway, King Baudouin Of Belgium, President Francois Mitterand Of France, Queen Elizabeth II Of Great Britain, Grand Duke Jean Of Luxembourg And President Ronald Reagan Of The USA - Heads Of State Of The Allies Countries (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
From left to right, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Grand Duke Jean Of Luxembourg and US President Ronald Reagan commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, 6th June 1984. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is seated behind them. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
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BY THOMAS ADAMSON

PARIS (AP) -- Though Queen Elizabeth II has cut back on making foreign trips, the 88-year-old British monarch traveled to France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. And it's little wonder: she lived and lost through World War II and it marked her life more than many.

On a three-day state visit to France, she and her husband Prince Philip on Friday commemorated the landings at Sword Beach in Normandy, after having spent Thursday in Paris attending a British Embassy garden party, and laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe.

Here are some reasons why World War II marked Queen Elizabeth so much:

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HER PARENTS WERE NEARLY KILLED

Her father, King George VI and the Queen Mother, narrowly escaped being killed by a German air raid when Elizabeth was a teenager.

A Luftwaffe plane flew straight down the Mall in September 1940 and dropped bombs on the Buckingham Palace grounds that exploded in great columns of smoke and caused the queen's parents to leap for their lives.

The Queen Mother, whose knees knocked for two minutes, wrote to her mother-in-law the same day evoking the "unmistakable whirr-whirr of a German plane" and then the "scream of a bomb," according to official biographer William Shawcross, who published the letter.

Several servants were injured and the palace chapel was hit.

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HER UNCLE WAS KILLED

Prince George, Duke of Kent - King George VI's younger brother - died in a military plane crash on a mission to Iceland in 1942.

The death of Elizabeth's 39-year-old uncle shook the royal family, its only casualty during World War II. It also marked the first death in active service of a British royal in about 500 years. The Duchess of Kent had just given birth to their third child only six weeks earlier.

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THE QUEEN SERVED IN WAR

The queen, though young, was keen to do her part in the war - and planned to join the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) when she came of age.

In February 1945, at 19, the then-princess became honorary Second Subaltern with the service number of 230873.

She trained as a driver and mechanic, sleeping at home rather than in the barracks with the other recruits - and was promoted to honorary Junior Commander five months later.

During these D-Day 70th commemorations she will be among only a small number of visiting heads of state - including the Greek and Italian presidents - to have lived and served in the war.

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THE WAR RAVAGED HER FRAIL FATHER

The stress of World War II ravaged her father George VI and took huge tolls on the king's health.

He died seven years after the end of the war at age 56, of fatigue and the subsequent development of lung cancer.

Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive, took on more royal duties as her father's health deteriorated and she became queen at age 25

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