CELEBRITY historian Kate Williams will explore the early years of Queen Elizabeth II in a talk at Otley.

Kate, Professor of Modern History at Reading University, was the co-presenter of BBC Two's Restoration Home and has presented and contributed to many historical shows.

Those have included the BBC Two documentary Young Victoria and a recent BBC One show on VE Day. She also, to accompany the major BBC Two drama Versailles, co-presented two series of Inside Versailles which took a deeper look into the history of the French court.

Her appearance at Otley Courthouse on Friday, February 9 will see her discussing Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen.

We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne, yet for much of her early life the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold.

Her father initially refused to let her volunteer as a nurse during the Blitz, but relented when she was 18 and allowed her to work as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.

It was her forward-thinking approach that ensured that her coronation was televised, against the advice of politicians at the time.

Kate reveals how the 25-year-old queen carved out a lasting role for herself amid the changes of the 20th Century and created a very different monarchy to that of her parents and grandparents, which has retained its popularity in the 21st Century.

Her Otley talk runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and tickets cost £16. They can be booked by visiting www.otleycourthouse.org.uk, calling (01943) 467466 or popping into the Courthouse, on Courthouse Street.