Tag Archives: Oldest monarch

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Another Royal Record

Today, 6th February 2012, marks the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne on 6th February 1952.  She is only the second British monarch to have achieved this amazing 60th anniversary. Her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria celebrated her own Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

But the Queen is already a record holder: aged 85 she is the oldest British monarch (Queen Victoria lived to 81 years), and she is also the longest married (64 years) becoming the first British Monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary on November 20 2007.

Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years and 216 days.  If she survives to 10 September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II will have broken this record as well.  Her mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother lived to the age of 101 so fingers crossed…

How the Accession took place:

At no time is the country left without a monarch. For this reason the monarch’s flag, The Royal Standard, can never fly at half mast.

When King George VI died suddenly during the night of 5th/6th February 1952, in keeping with the tradition of ‘The King is dead – long live the King,’ whereby the Royal succession passes ‘from breath to breath’, Princess Elizabeth immediately, and for a few hours unknowingly, became Queen Elizabeth II while staying at Tree Tops in Kenya.

The new Queen returned home to England with the Duke of Edinburgh  on 7th February, and the next day, 8th February, the traditional Accession Council took place at St. James’s Palace, attended by 175 Privy Councillors. The Council’s Proclamation of Accession, which confirms the name of the heir, is signed by all the attendant Privy Counsellors. The Proclamation is traditionally read out at several traditional locations in London, Windsor, Edinburgh and York. It is also read at a central location in each town or village.

Visitors sometimes ask us why the Queen was not crowned until the following year.  This is mainly because in addition to a period of mourning after the death of a monarch, organising a lavish Coronation for the new Sovereign takes a lot of time and planning, so that will be another anniversary for us to celebrate next year!

The Diamond Jubilee Barge (Photo William Dudley)

Meanwhile events planned to take place this summer to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee will focus on the official celebrations of the Jubilee Weekend 2-5 June and include the Queen leading a Jubilee Pageant of a flotilla of a thousand boats along the Thames and a chain of beacons lit across the country.

South East Tour Guides are particularly looking forward to visiting the special Diamond Jubilee exhibition ‘The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years’ in the Drawings Gallery on our next trip to Windsor Castle.  The Exhibition runs  from 4 February to 20 October 2012.