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1952, The King is dead, long live the Queen

6th February 1952 at 07:30 GMT, The King is Dead, long live the Queen and from this moment Princess Elizabeth, just 25 years of age and married for just five short years became our new Queen. The moment the King drew his last breath Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II with her official title of ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’. Although now in modern times her title varies in each of her 15 dominions other than the UK.

Upon the death of the King the Queen ascended to the throne. On 6 February 1952 after her long flight home from Kenya that was initially delayed by a thunderstorm and with the many stops required for refuelling, she finally arrived back in London on 7th February 1952 to be met by the then prime minster, Winston Churchill, the first of her current twelve prime ministers. Her coronation took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey and so began what has been seen by many around the world as the start of the modern monarchy and without doubt, The Queen has guided her nation through a sometimes turbulent 60 years which has seen our modern monarchy prosper whist many others have declined.

Already well documented was the fact that the Princess Elizabeth never expected to become Queen, her father in fact never expected to become King had it not been for the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII. The Queens father became King and Elizabeth became first in line to the throne.

Despite her gruelling workloads over the years, her countless royal duties both home and abroad, the Queen is also a mother to 4 children and at the time of writing has 8 grandchildren. She resides over state matters every day and

The Royal Standard flying above

Buckingham Palace

even with no two days ever the same she is often supported by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh who without question has been continually at her side, and often one step behind, throughout her 60 year reign. Even the most staunchest anti-royalist cannot deny at aged 85 the Queen impresses all with her work management and fitness!

During the Jubilee celebrations the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh undertook a number of gruelling events, she travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom visiting many towns and cities. Locally she visited Sherborne which surprisingly was her only visit in Dorset, and on the evening of June 4th there was a UK wide lighting of the beacons to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, in our area these included beacons at Hurst Castle, Braggers Wood scout camp Dorset, Ferndown and West Moors and also a number spread throughout Purbeck.

So where does the future of the monarchy lie if indeed it has a future?

It is a fact that one day her reign will come to a sad end. For millions of us that will be a totally new experience, in fact anyone in their early 50’s and younger will have never known another King or Queen. It can be argued that despite some past bad publicity the modern monarchy does have a future. Charles will become King and Camilla his Consort - whether she will become Queen will be for the King to decide but with public feeling turning, much helped by some of our royalist press this is becoming much more of a possibility. Charles will probably have a relatively short reign but already we as a country and as a Commonwealth of nations know that the very popular grandchild of the Queen, William Duke of Cambridge will then be heir to the throne and with his wife Catherine then becoming Queen. One feels that our modern monarchy of today will then take

By Brian Case

another turn to help maintain what our current queen does best, keeping in touch with her subjects. Will Canada, Australia and New Zealand then still have a monarch as head of state? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Her Majesty the Queen is still viewed with great affection across the world which is apparent when she makes her state visits far and wide.

As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, the future already holds one final question. Upon her succession to the throne, the Queen was asked by what name she would like to be known by, “my name she replied” but will the same apply to Charles? Already there is speculation that upon succeeding to the throne he will change his name to become King George. This is mainly due to the bad past history of our other two King Charles, but until then, as we celebrate this Diamond Jubilee let’s all raise our glasses to our current monarch and cheer ‘God save the Queen, long may she reign.’

The Queen by numbers The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Horse Guards Parade

520,000 – The approximate number of congratulatory messages sent to couples celebrating their diamond wedding in the UK and Commonwealth. 110,000 – The approximate number of congratulatory messages sent to people attaining the age of 100 years throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. 50,000 – The number of official guest who attend the Palace each year for banquets, lunches, dinners and garden parties. 800 – The number of staff employed at Buckingham Palace. 600 – The number of sit down guests who can be accommodated at any one time in the Palace by the kitchens. 350 – The number of clocks and watches in Buckingham Palace, and 2 full time staff are employed to look after them! 129 – The number of countries the Queen has made official visits to. 116 – The age of the oldest recipient of a greetings message from the Queen, this was to a Canadian man in 1984. 99 – The percentage of green waste that is recycled on site in the palace gardens. 83 – The number of years in which the Queen sent a congratulatory message to a married couple, this was Mr and Mrs William Jones who in 2006 celebrated 83 years of married life. 6 – The number of both Archbishop of Canterbury’s and Pope’s there have been during the Queens reign.

Life Begins 21

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