The Queen of England has been on her throne longer than most of us have been alive. Tomorrow, she celebrates 60 years of a reign that has seen some of the most eventful changes in human history.
“The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left--the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds.” These fateful words have been attributed to King Farouk in 1948, the man who was in effect the last Pharoah. Four years later, his rule came to an end, and the following year, Egypt was declared a republic.
George VI, the last King of England, died February 6, 1952, and his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Windsor, became Queen, although her Coronation would have to wait another year.
At the time of her father's death, the 25 year old Elizabeth was in Kenya with her husband. Already the mother of two - Prince Charles and Princess Anne - she would go on to have two more sons: Andrew and Edward, and currently, one great-grandchild, Savannah Philips, the grand-daughter of Princess Anne. Tomorrow, Elizabeth II will have been Queen for a staggering 60 years; she and Prince Philip have been married for 65 years. And King Farouk's prophecy? Don't hold your breath. Although it seems unlikely that Prince Charles will now ever be king, it is quite likely that when she reaches her 100th birthday - and she will - Her Majesty will finally hang up her crown in favour of the eldest son of her eldest son, Prince William.
Full details of the Jubilee celebrations including the pageant can be found on the Royal website - where else? One person who appears unlikely to attend is a certain Mr Goodwin; the former Sir Fred was recently stripped of his knighthood for his disservices to banking - and to the nation. Today it has been revealed that he has also resigned from one of the Queen's charities, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Trust, to save her embarrassment.
Hopefully that will be the only embarrassment Her Majesty faces in the months to come. Tomorrow is her Accession Day, and with Prince Philip at her side - a sprightly 90 in spite of a recent heart scare - she will be as busy as ever as among other things the Royal Couple visit a primary school. There will also for the Queen be a tinge of sadness to the day, because it is not only the 60th anniversary of her reign, but the 60th anniversary of the death of her father at only 56.
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