Today marks the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the British throne. Thus begins her Platinum Jubilee Year.
Not only is Her Majesty the longest reigning monarch in Britain History, she is currently the longest reigning monarch in the world.
Her Majesty succeeded to the throne on this date. February 6, 1952 upon the untimely death of her father, King George VI of the United Kingdom.
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born April 21, 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms.
Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father ascended the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive.
She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she had four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, as well as Head of the Commonwealth.
Elizabeth has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa.
The number of her realms has varied over time as territories have gained independence, and as realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), have become republics. Her many visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes.
Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. In April 2021, after 73 years of marriage, her husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99.
Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiment and criticism of the royal family, particularly after the breakdown of her children’s marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the 1997 death of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom c been and remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity
Here are some interesting facts (courtesy of Wikipedia)
September 11, 2015, The Queen surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British and Commonwealth history (as well as the longest-reigning female monarch in world history).
February 6, 2022, she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. At that point she would be 95 years, 291 days old.
May 24, 2024, she will surpass 72 years held by Louis XIV of France as the longest reigning monarch in European history. At that point she would be 98 years, 36 days old.