When Did Queen Elizabeth II Become Queen?

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Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, has died at 96. The Queen supplied consolation to the British folks even earlier than she sat on the throne, starting along with her first ever recorded radio broadcast to the UK in 1940 when she was simply a youngster, 13 years earlier than her coronation in 1953. Over her many years as Queen, she was an elusive determine, by no means permitting a lot entry to the press. The function she performed in historical past is maybe greatest summarized in her entry in TIME’s 100 Women of the Year: “In her utter rejection of a public persona, she is greatest understood, nonetheless, as a logo: now not the potent florescence of youth, however a hard-worn tree in whose limbs and roots might be traced the archaeology of an period.” The Queen leaves a complicated legacy along with the households of her 4 kids: Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and the eldest, Prince Charles—who’s subsequent in line for the throne.

Princess Elizabeth, proper, and her sister Princess Margaret ship a message in the course of the BBC’s kids programme, notably to the youngsters who had been being evacuated due to the World Struggle II, in Windsor in Oct. 1940.

POOL/AFP/Getty Pictures

Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne was unexpected, a shock solely surpassed by the period of her reign. Right here’s a quick historical past of how she ascended to the throne.

Learn Extra: See Colorized Photos of a Young Queen Elizabeth II

King George VI takes the throne

Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, turned King after his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Spencer in 1936. Shortly after he assumed energy, World Struggle II broke out. The King gained reputation via his efforts to spice up wartime morale, together with by visiting the websites of bombings throughout the U.Okay. alongside Queen Elizabeth I, and visiting Normandy 10 days after D-Day in 1944. He additionally took the royal household on a momentous tour of South Africa, a primary for the monarchy, in 1947.

Already unwell because of lung most cancers and different illnesses, King George VI died in his sleep of coronary thrombosis at age 56 on Feb. 6, 1952. Elizabeth, then 25 and nonetheless a princess, had been visiting Kenya and returned house to imagine her place as Queen.

Learn Extra: The Surprising Ways Queen Elizabeth Has Become a Cultural Icon

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation

The precise second Queen Elizabeth got here into energy is unknown. The shift of energy takes place the second the reigning monarch dies, however on condition that King George VI died in his sleep and was found by a servant at round 7:30 within the morning, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is alleged to have begun someday throughout that evening.

TIME reported on the way in which she discovered about her father’s demise throughout her journey to Africa. “It was not till early within the afternoon that Philip bought the information (by phone from a neighborhood newspaper) that modified their lives. He despatched an equerry to name London for affirmation, then gently led his spouse all the way down to the river’s edge and informed her that her father was useless. The Queen returned to the lodge on her husband’s arm, shaken however in full command of herself.”

Her coronation passed off on June 2, 1953—14 months after she ascended to the throne.

Learn Extra: See Every TIME Cover Featuring Queen Elizabeth II

A memorable speech

When Queen Elizabeth II was topped, she turned Queen of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. When she addressed the general public, she gave a memorable speech that is still a spotlight of her legacy.

She thanked the general public for his or her help and promised to do proper by the nation. “Many 1000’s of you got here to London from all elements of the Commonwealth and Empire to affix within the ceremony, however I’ve been acutely aware too of the hundreds of thousands of others who’ve shared in it via wi-fi or tv of their houses. All of you, close to or far, have been united in a single goal. It’s arduous for me to search out phrases wherein to inform you of the power which this data has given me,” Queen Elizabeth stated.

She added: “Subsequently, I’m certain that this, my Coronation, is just not the image of an influence and a splendor which can be gone however a declaration of our hopes for the longer term, and for the years I could, by God’s Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.”

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