Sixty years ago today, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the English throne.
On this day in 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at age 27…
Elizabeth understood the value of public relations and allowed her 1953 coronation to be televised, despite objections from Prime Minister Winston Churchill and others who felt it would cheapen the ceremony. Elizabeth, the 40th British monarch since William the Conqueror, has worked hard at her royal duties and become a popular figure around the world. In 2003, she celebrated 50 years on the throne, only the fifth British monarch to do so.
England rarely makes women like Elizabeth anymore. She demanded to volunteer during World War II, and became a truck mechanic and driver after her father said nursing duty in London was too dangerous. Say what you like about her, but she’s always been Britain’s other Iron Lady.
God save the Queen.