On February 6, 1952, a young Princess Elizabeth became the Queen of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and the Commonwealth. The year 2022 marks 70 years on the throne, making her the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Here’s a look back at Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign.
Princess Elizabeth is crowned the Queen on her Coronation Day
On June 2, 1953, Princess Elizabeth was officially crowned the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She was just 25 years old when she acceded to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth II delivers her first Christmas Broadcast from Auckland, New Zealand
From 1953 to 1954, the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, embarked on a six-month tour of the world, which included Australia and New Zealand. While in Auckland, the Queen gave her first annual Christmas Broadcast, a long-standing tradition for British monarchs since 1932.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip return home after touring the Commonwealth
In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, along with their young children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, returned to England after their Royal Tour of the Commonwealth.
The Queen is greeted at 10 Downing Street by Sir Winston and Lady Churchill
In 1955, on the eve of his retirement, Sir Winston Churchill held a dinner to mark the end of his second term. The distinguished guests included Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen and the Prime Minister famously forged an unlikely yet strong friendship.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the First Lady pose with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
In 1961, just months after President Kennedy was inaugurated, he and his wife, Jackie, visited the royal couple for dinner at their home in Buckingham Palace. According to reports at the time, there was friction between the Kennedys and the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Wales following the Aberfan mine disaster
In 1966, part of the mining town of Aberfan, Wales, was buried in roughly “140,000 cubic yards of black slurry.” In total, 144 people were killed, mainly children who were attending school at the time the disaster struck.
The Queen initially refused to visit the village and sent Prince Philip instead, which sparked heavy criticism. The Queen eventually visited the site eight days later. In 2002, she referred to her delayed visit as “her biggest regret.”
The Queen invests her son, Prince Charles, as the Prince of Wales
In 1969, Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales during a ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle. The event was broadcast live to some 500 million viewers around the globe.
The Queen is greeted by crowds on a royal walkabout for her Silver Jubilee
In 1977, the Queen celebrated her first 25 years on the throne with her Silver Jubilee. The Queen marked her jubilee with an extensive tour of the United Kingdom as well as other nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Canada, and the West Indies.
Prince Philip, the Queen, Prince Charles, and Lady Diana Spencer greet crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the marriage of Charles and Diana
On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. The wedding took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was broadcast on TV to a billion viewers worldwide.
A somber Queen gives her famous Annus Horribilis speech
To mark the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne, the Queen delivered a speech at Guildhall, London, on November 24, 1992, calling the past year an Annus Horribilis. The “horrible year” was marked by royal scandals, including the release of Princess Diana’s “tell-all” memoir, tensions between the media and the Royal Family, and a fire at Windsor Castle
The Queen and Prince Philip view the floral tributes to the late Princess Diana outside Buckingham Palace shortly after her death
After a rocky marriage and four years of separation, Prince Charles and Princess Diana finally divorced in 1996. The following year, the People’s Princess was killed in a car accident in Paris.
The Queen was heavily criticized for her reaction to Diana’s death, from refusing to fly the flag at half-mast at Buckingham Palace to remaining at Balmoral Castle in Scotland while thousands laid flowers and grieved outside the palace in London. The Queen ultimately caved to public pressure and returned to London to view the flowers and face the crowds.
The Queen and Prince Philip inspect the armed forces in Portsmouth during her Golden Jubilee
In 2002, the Queen celebrated 50 years on the throne with her Golden Jubilee. The Queen marked her jubilee with yet another vast tour of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, including visits to Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
The Queen rides her horse at Windsor Castle
In 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary after 60 years of marriage. The couple got engaged and married in 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Throughout her life, the Queen has nurtured a strong fondness for horses and riding.
The Queen attends the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton
In April 2011, Prince William—the Queen’s grandson and the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana—married Catherine Middleton. Prince William is in the immediate line of succession to the throne, after his father.
The Queen embarks on a historic visit to Ireland
In May 2011, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since it broke from the United Kingdom. The four-day visit was met by protests and violence from opponents. The visit was intended to forge a new relationship between the two countries.
The Queen plants a tree to mark her Diamond Jubilee
In 2012, the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne with her Diamond Jubilee. The Queen marked her jubilee by planting a tree in the Diamond Jubilee Wood at Sandringham Estate (one of the Queen’s royal residences) in Norfolk, England. The Queen and Prince Philip also toured the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to celebrate the milestone.
The Royal Family watches the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 2015
Prince Charles, Prince William holding a young Prince George, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry watch the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 2015. That year, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in history. In 2013, the Queen’s great-grandson Prince George was born. Young George is in the immediate line of succession to the throne, after his father and grandfather.
The Queen and Prince Philip attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
In 2018, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple’s relationship with the Royal Family has been fraught with tension, and they stepped down from royal duties in 2020.
The Queen attends the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99. The Prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen. They were married for 73 years and had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
The Queen delivers her annual Christmas Broadcast at Windsor Castle
The year 2021 was challenging for most, and the Queen was no exception. The year was marked by royal scandals, from Oprah Winfrey’s revealing interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and Prince Andrew’s involvement in the Epstein sex scandal to the ongoing pandemic, and, of course, the loss of her husband.
Source: MSN | Espresso