When you hear the phrase “The Queen,” who comes to your mind? To many, Queen Elizabeth II comes to mind. From America to Africa, from Asia to Europe and Australia, she is a Queen that does not need a description.
On February 2, 2022, Her Majesty the Queen completed 70 years on the British Throne. That makes her the third longest-ruling monarch in history, and in a few days, she will become the second longest-ruling monarch in history. She is also the only British monarch to clock 70 years on the throne.
There will be different activities to mark the Queen’s platinum anniversary from Thursday to Sunday. What has happened in the last 70 years in the monarch’s life, and how will the British people celebrate this record-breaking event? Let us see.
THE QUEEN’S EARLY LIFE
The Queen was born on April 21, 1926. Originally young Elizabeth was not supposed to be Queen until his uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne. That automatically led Elizabeth’s father, George VI, to become King in 1936, 10 years after her birth. Edward VIII’s abdication also means he has relinquished the right to bear the heir to the throne, thereby making Elizabeth II next in line to the throne.
The Queen had no formal education as she was home-schooled. She also experienced World War II for the majority of her teenage years.
Queen Elizabeth II, who is currently a widow, was married for 73 years. He got married to Prince Philip Mountbatten in 1947. Their love story was indeed a beautiful one. They met for the first time in 1934 when the Queen was just 8. They met again in 1939 when the then Princess was 13, and Prince Philip was 18 when the royal family visited the Royal Naval College. It was “love at first sight.”
In the absence of social media, they kept in touch through correspondence. The topic of how romantic their relationship was will be for another day.
Their engagement was announced in 1947 when Queen Elizabeth clocked 21. They got married in November that year in a small ceremony. The King has insisted that an elaborate wedding was not necessary because it was the first significant event after World War II. An elaborate wedding could have passed a wrong message to the British population that was yet to recover from the war.
Prince Philip died in April 2021, after 73 years of being married to the most powerful woman in the world.
ASCENSION TO THE THRONE
At the age of 25, Queen Elizabeth II inherited the throne from her father in 1952. She was vacationing in Kenya with Prince Philip when she heard of her father’s death. However, her coronation was not until 1953.
Sitting on the throne automatically made her the head of the Commonwealth nations. She is currently the Head of State in about 15 countries. The countries include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Queen Elizabeth II completed 70 years on the throne on 6th February 2022.
The life of the Queen has not been without controversies. The controversies are mostly related to the marriages of the royals. Even though the Queen’s marriage lasted for many years, his sons and only daughter could not follow in her step.
The Queen’s first son, Prince Charles, had a controversial marriage with the late Princess Diana. They had a rocky marriage and might have found solace elsewhere outside their marriage. The Queen advised both Charles and Diana to call off the marriage. They finally divorced in 1996.
Prince Charles later got married to Camilla, who was probably a third party in his marriage with Diana.
Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, did not have a happy marriage. She got married to Mark Philips in 1973 but later divorced him to marry Timothy Lawrence, a British naval officer. There were also speculations that Lawrence could have been a third party in her marriage with Philips.
Another son of the monarch also had a failed marriage. The marriage between Prince Andrew and Sarah Furgerson crashed after ten years. Paparazzi photographers released photos that suggested that American financial advisor John Bryan was licking the foot of Sarah Furgerson. After their separation in 1992, the couple divorced in 1996.
Other controversies include Prince Harry’s resignation from the royal family after his marriage to Meghan, accusations that the Queen had backed laws that hide her wealth, and allegations of racism.
The royal family and the British in general had also faced criticism for how they handled the controversial issue of the slave trade and how it accumulated wealth for itself from former British colonies in the name of the spoils of wars.
Even Prime Ministers and Presidents that rule for a few years are not free of criticisms and scandals. How much more a Queen that has ruled for over 70 years.
ACTIVITIES MARKING THE ANNIVERSARY
To mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee, there will be a four-day celebration that has already begun. It has already commenced, and it will end on Sunday.
In the early hours of Thursday, London wore a new look for the trooping of colors, which marked the beginning of the Queen’s platinum anniversary. Other activities will include the Platinum Jubilee Beacons, a thanksgiving service at the St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, the Derby at Epsom Downs, Platinum Party at the Palace, the Big Jubilee Lunch, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant that will climax the celebrations on Sunday.
It is indeed a historical day and week for the British people. For the first time in its history, a monarch has ruled for 70 years. Congratulatory messages are already pouring in from different parts of the world.
In a message released by the monarch, she said, “I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
Despite mobility issues, the monarch made a rare appearance on the royal balcony for the celebration. She was joined by other members of the royal family.
The majorities of the royal family are present for the celebration, including Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan.
It is not surprising that the royal family and the British people are celebrating this historical event because none of them might live to see another Monarch that will spend 70 years on the throne