On this day in 1952 Elizabeth II ascends to the throne of the United Kingdom.
The Queen has witnessed, over her life, the continued transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations. By the time of her accession in 1952, her role as head of multiple independent states was already established. Spanning 1953–54, the Queen and her husband embarked on a six-month around-the-world tour. She became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those nations. During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen her. Throughout her reign, the Queen has undertaken state visits to foreign countries and tours of Commonwealth ones and she is the most widely travelled head of state in history.
Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marked 60 years as Queen, with celebrations throughout her realms, the wider Commonwealth, and beyond. In a message released on Accession Day, she stated: “In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness … I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart”. She and her husband undertook an extensive tour of the United Kingdom, while her children and grandchildren embarked on royal tours of other Commonwealth states on her behalf. On 4 June, jubilee beacons were lit around the world.
Now personally, I like the monarchy. I like the history of it and how far back it can be traced. I like the tradition of it, which I hope they will maintain when it comes to the issue of Prince Charles. I like the fact that the Queen knew Winston Churchill! If I ever met her, I would break protocol and interrogate her about the man. I like the fact that the Queen shares her birthday with my Dad – At least I’ll never forget it! It’s a pretty cool thing in my opinion.