Sixty years ago today, His Majesty King George VI peacefully passed away during his sleep. The King failed to recover from a lung operation which he had some months earlier as a result of his heavy smoking and died aged 56 at Sandringham House. Princess Elizabeth who was in Kenya with Prince Philip left the United Kingdom as a Princess and returned as a Queen. She was a 25 year old mother of two and the Heir to the throne of several countries was now just 3 years old.
The announcement of the King’s death was made at 10:45 on 6th February 1952 in which the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill announced that “We cannot at this moment do more than record the spontaneous expression of grief”.
For 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has been serving her subjects at home and abroad. She has and continues to be the beating heart of the Commonwealth and is widely respected by world leaders past and present. A true public servant who works in the national interest, she is also the Queen of 15 other realms. The Queen has reigned over 12 British Prime Ministers, the first being Winston Churchill.
The Queen normally spends February 6th privately n Sandringham to mark the anniversary of the death of her father, however today she will have two engagements.
To mark 60 years on the throne, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated around the Commonwealth with a flotilla of more than 1000 boats along the River Thames in June and members of the Royal family will visit every Commonwealth country. The Queen and Prince Philip will remain in the UK and visit England, Scotland and Wales. This is largely due to the age of the Monarch and Prince Philip’s recent health scare.
Whilst today we mark 60 years of having Queen Elizabeth II reigning over us, we too must pay tribute to Price Philip who has stood by the Queen and has been her rock. We may know the Duke of Edinburgh for his gaffes but he does an awful lot of work for charitable causes not least the hugely successful Duke of Edinburgh Scheme which has helped millions of people.
Whatever you think of the Monarchy or the Royal family, we owe them a debt of gratitude particularly the Queen. She is an excellent ambassador for the country and has served the country well for 60 long years.
Queen Elizabeth is only the second British monarch in history to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, the first being Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years. If Queen Elizabeth is still reigning on 10th September 2015 she will become the longest reigning monarch in British history.
Long May She Reign.