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The Queen Marks 70 Years on the Throne
On Sunday 6 February 2022, Her Majesty The Queen marks 70 years on the throne, becoming the first monarch in British history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. The nearest we have ever come to a monarch marking 70 years on the throne was Queen Victoria’s impressive 63 years.
On 6 February 1952, Her Majesty’s father, King George VI, died in his sleep at Sandringham and the young princess became Queen Elizabeth II, aged just 25.
On the day of her father’s death, Princess Elizabeth was less than a week into a trip to Kenya with Prince Philip, her husband of five years. The couple were standing in for King George on a long-planned international tour that was also supposed to take them to Australia and New Zealand. The 56-year-old king had been too ill to travel.
At the time of the king’s death, the pair were relaxing at a game-viewing lodge, the now famous Treetops Hotel, 100 miles from Nairobi. Because their location was so remote, news of the king’s death took some time to reach the royal party. When Her Majesty finally heard the news, arrangements were made for the couple’s immediate return home and she wrote letters to all those she was supposed to visit, apologising for cancelling the remainder of her tour.
Although she officially ascended the throne in February 1952, the Queen’s coronation did not take place until the summer of 1953.
Meteorologists advised that 2 June 1953 would be the best date for the coronation because it was predicted to be the day most likely to produce sunshine that summer – although, of course, in typical British fashion, it rained.
Since then, June has remained the preferred date for the Silver, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilees as it promises warmer, sunnier weather than the first weekend in February ever could!
In 2022, to celebrate the Queen’s 70-year reign, events and initiatives will take place throughout the coming year, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 June.
The bank holiday weekend is set to include celebrations throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and around the world.
Events in London will kick off with The Queen’s Birthday Parade, otherwise known as the Trooping of the Colour, on 2 June, followed by the lighting of the Platinum Jubilee Beacons. On Friday 3 June there will be a special Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Saturday 4 June will see the Queen attend the Epsom Derby with members of the Royal Family. In the evening, the BBC will stage and broadcast a live concert from Buckingham Palace.
Sunday 5 June is the official day of The Big Jubilee Lunch and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
For more details on the official events, how to get tickets and other events that might be happening near you, click here to read our official guide to Platinum Jubilee celebrations up and down the country.
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