Elizabeth II - 70 Years of Dedication
On June 2nd 1953, a young woman was crowned Queen Elizabeth II in London England’s Westminster Abbey. One year earlier, she had succeeded to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI.
As a young girl growing up, she had not expected to ever become Queen, but once her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated before his Coronation in 1936 to marry the divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson, Elizabeth’s father, George became the reluctant King and Elizabeth, as his oldest daughter, was automatically heir to the throne. Her father died young and so in her mid-twenties Elizabeth, a newly married young mother of two, was thrust into this difficult position.
Undaunted, she took over the role with strength and fortitude, and this year the United Kingdom has been celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years of service to the British Commonwealth.
Elizabeth’s Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey in June of 1953 was the first to be broadcast live on television and was watched by some 27 million people. Another 11million listened on the radio. Afterwards, at least 3 million people lined the route as the Queen and her entourage made their way back to Buckingham Palace for the famous balcony scene.
Here are some amazing events that the Queen has lived through during her long reign:
- Fourteen Prime Ministers have served her – from Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson (twice), Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and John Major to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Ten were Conservatives and four were Labour. And just two were women.
- Beatle-mania took the world by storm in the 1960s.
- The European Union happened in 1973.
- Her annus horribilis (1982) when a fire destroyed parts of Windsor Castle and the marriages of three of her children began to crumble.
- The World Wide Web in 1989 and a new age of technology.
- The death of Princess Diana (1997) which rocked the Monarchy.
- Many ongoing family scandals.
- The death of her mother, her sister, many lifelong friends and more recently her beloved husband, Prince Philip.
- The drama of Brexit – from the Referendum until the UK ceased to be a member of the European Union (2016 -2021). It was a long process of “will they or won’t they?”
- And currently Covid-19 throughout the world and the tragedy of the war in Ukraine.
The second Elizabethan Age (1952-2022) in the United Kingdom has been an example for the world of strength and fortitude by a woman who has devoted her whole life to the job she was given back in 1952.