The anniversary of when Queen Elizabeth II became the monarch – is as much a day of mourning as a celebration, because it’s also the 70th anniversary of the death of her beloved father, King George VI.
Thus, Feb. 6 has traditionally been a low-key affair, one the queen marks by somber reflection in private, usually at Sandringham, her Norfolk estate where the king died in 1952 at age 56 following surgery for lung cancer.
But this is simultaneously the 70th anniversary of the queen’s accession, the longest-ever reign for a British or English monarch, exceeded by only two other European monarchs in history (including Louis XIV of France, who was king for 72 years). It’s an important milestone and will be marked with royal hoopla during a four-day Platinum Jubilee beginning June 2, when the weather is (usually) better.
There will be parties, parades, pageants, plantings and puddings – lots and lots of puddings.
“We will be commemorating an anniversary which is unique in over 1,000 years of monarchy and rarely seen anywhere,” says British royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, who says the queen is already at Sandringham and expected to remain there until Feb. 7, as per her custom for more than 30 years. She is staying at Wood Farm, one of the smaller, unpretentious residences on the vast estate, according to the BBC and other British media reports. Note: Sing 2 – Sempre più forte Streaming ITA
“It isn’t palatial; there’s no liveried staff,” says Joe Little, managing editor of Britain’s Majesty magazine, a leading expert on all things royal. “It’s a much more relaxed environment, and intimate by royal standards.”
The queen, who as sovereign is supreme head of the Church of England, is an authentically devout woman, so it makes sense she would want to mark her official accession in private, leaving the ruffles and flourishes for the summer.
There are relatively few Brits alive today who carry her memories of where she was and what she was doing when she unknowingly became queen. At the moment of accession, the then-Princess Elizabeth, just 25 and a mother of two young children, was in a remote treetop hotel in Kenya on a brief holiday with Prince Philip before they embarked on a royal tour, standing in for her ailing father.
“For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen,” wrote British hunter Jim Corbett, who was also staying at Treetops Hotel at the time and signed the visitors’ book, according to the BBC.
Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne Sunday, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor wasn’t born to wear the crown
The woman who became Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne Sunday, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty.
From her early days as a glamorous young royal in glittering tiaras to her more recent incarnation as the nation’s grandmother, the queen has witnessed the end of the British Empire, the advent of multiculturalism, the rise of international terrorism, and the challenges posed by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. In a world of relentless change, she has been a constant — representing the U.K.’s interests abroad, applauding the nation’s successes and commiserating in its failures, and always remaining above the fray of politics. Note: Diabolik Streaming ITA
That constancy should earn Elizabeth a royal epithet like those of her predecessors such as William the Conqueror, Edward the Confessor and Alfred the Great, said royal historian Hugo Vickers.
“I’ve always thought she should be called Elizabeth the Steadfast,” Vickers told The Associated Press. “I think it’s a perfect way of describing her. She wasn’t necessarily expecting to be queen, and she embraced that duty.’’ Note: Belli Ciao Streaming ITA
As the elder daughter of King George V’s second son, Elizabeth, now 95, was expected to live the life of a minor royal when she was born on April 21, 1926. Dogs and horses, a country house, a suitable match — a comfortable but uneventful life — seemed her future. Note: Time Is Up Streaming ITA
But everything changed a decade later when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated so he could marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father became King George VI, making the young princess heir apparent. Note: After 3 Streaming ITA
George VI, whose struggles to overcome a stutter were portrayed in the 2010 film “The King’s Speech,” endeared himself to the nation when he refused to leave London as bombs fell during the early months of World War II.