Queen Elizabeth II has made history becoming the first British monarch to reach 70 years on the throne. Throughout this time the Queen has witnessed and shaped the history of the United Kingdom. With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next month, we have decided to look back on seven defining moments of her reign.
1. Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation
On June 2 1953, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation at Westminster Abbey made history as the first coronation to be televised. According to the Royal Family, it was viewed by 27 million people in the United Kingdom out of the total population of 36 million.
As well as making history with her coronation, Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas speech in 1957 was monumental as it was also the first to be televised. The Queen expressed she wanted to make her message “more personal and direct” and believed using a different medium would help.
2. First ‘Walkabout’
In 1970, while on a tour of Australia and New Zealand the Queen walked out and greeted crowds of people. This broke centuries of royal tradition, as normally the royal family wave to the crowds from a safe distance. Now it is a regular practice for British royals when aboard and at home.
3. Visit to Republic of Ireland
In May 2011, President Mary McAleese invited Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to visit the Republic of Ireland. On her visit, the Queen became the first British monarch to set foot in the Republic of Ireland in the last 100 years. The last visit was in 1911 by King George V, before the creation of the Irish Free State. Queen Elizabeth’s visit was extensively admired as the beginning of a new era of friendship and a historic moment.
4. ‘Parachuting’ with James Bond into the London Olympics
In 2012, London became the first city to host the Olympic Games three times. London had previously hosted the games in 1908, 1948 and now 2012. The Queen made the 2012 opening ceremony a night to remember when she starred in a short clip alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig. In the clip, the Queen and James Bond are travelling in a helicopter to the London Olympics from Buckingham Palace. Stunt actors then portray the two parachuting out of the helicopter and arriving at the venue.
5. Prince Harry and Meghan Stepping Down
On May 19 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. However, in 2020 Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties, and accused the royal family of racism and lack of compassion for Meghan’s mental health struggles. The pair officially relocated to the United States in 2020, after temporarily living in Canada.
6. The Death of Prince Philip
After 73 years of marriage, the Queen lost her husband Prince Philip on April 9 2021. The couple met before World War II while Princess Elizabeth and her family were visiting the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Philip was currently studying. On November 14 1947, the couple were married in Westminster Abbey and Philip became Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout the Queen’s reign, Prince Philip supported his wife and her royal duties.
7. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
After 70 years of service, Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Platinum Jubilee. Across the country there are multiple national and local planned events to celebrate the historic milestone. From planting a tree for the Jubilee to the Platinum party at the Palace.