By the grace of God, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Queen of other estates, the head of the Commonwealth, the protector of the faith – it will be seventy years on Sunday that II. Queen Elizabeth bears the above titles.
She is the fortieth Anglo-British monarch since William the Conqueror was crowned king at Westminster Abbey in London on Christmas 1066, but none of the predecessors of the 96-year-old queen was given such a long life and so much time on the English throne.
The record was held by her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who died in 1901 at the age of 82. She had had the crown for 63 years, seven months and three days.
II. Elizabeth’s father, VI. King George was not – nor was his eldest daughter – a heir to the throne on a straight line. They were taken to the British throne by the “courtesy” of Edward. Edward preferred marrying a divorced American lady, Wallis Simpson, to the crown, and on December 10, 1936, after barely 327 days of reign, he gave up the throne to his younger brother, Prince Albert of York.
King George, although revered by his people as a national hero, collapsed early under the responsibility of the war, especially under the weight of the ordeals of the war years, and died on February 6th, 1952, barely 57 years old, leaving the throne of the United Kingdom to the young Elizabeth.
Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father’s death in Kenya. When she left for Africa a week earlier, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip of Edinburgh, she and the court officials suspected she could no longer see her father. Her luggage also contained a black mourning robe for this reason, as well as a file containing the official written declaration of her accession to the throne.
II. Queen Elizabeth’s first prime minister of the fourteen to date was Winston Churchill.
Four of the five British prime ministers of the last quarter century – Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May and the current head of government, Boris Johnson – were born after the Queen’s ascension to the throne, and Gordon Brown, who succeeded Blair, was still an infant when Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of less than 26, at the time of her father’s death.
She was the first British monarch whose coronation could be seen live on television – in at least in the 1.5 million British households that already had television at the time.
The seven decades of Queen Elizabeth’s reign had not been free from family afflictions and tragedies.
“Annus horribilis” – a horrible year, he said, for example, in 1992, in tears.
It was then that it became apparent that the marriage of his eldest son, Charles, heir to the throne, and Princess Diana, set up as a fairy tale until then, had fallen into disrepair; their separation was announced by Prime Minister John Major in the House of Commons.
However, the real “annus horribilis” was 1997, the year of Princess Diana’s death in Paris, which causied a worldwide shock. Court chroniclers largely agree that Diana’s death and the series of mutual adultery and then divorce scandals that preceded it were the greatest upheavals in the life of the British monarchy in the last century.
In April last year, two months before her centenary’s birthday, the Queen’s husband, Prince of Edinburgh, passed away.
II. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip lived in marriage for more than 73 years, and this is also a record in the history of the Anglo-British monarchy.
All this also means that the current platinum jubilee date will be the first anniversary of the reign of the monarch without her husband.
The year-round series of large-scale platinum jubilee celebrations is also overshadowed by the sex scandal of her son, Andrew (62), who is facing civil lawsuit in the United States after an American woman sued her for sexual assault.
Andrew was later deprived of all his titles in the British royal family and his military past, defending himself as a private individual in a lawsuit due in the autumn.