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Monday, February 6, 2012

Sixty Years a Queen

The famous Coronation portrait of the Queen
by photographer Cecil Beaton.  (Another kind of queen.)
The encyclopedia I had as a child used a full page for this lovely
portrait, which has been engraved on my memory ever since.

Today marks the diamond anniverary of the Queen's accession to the throne upon the death of her father, George VI, in 1952. At the moment she became Queen, aged only 25, the then-Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were in Kenya on the first leg of a planned tour to Australia and New Zealand. In that pre-jet era, it took more than 24 hours for the royal couple to return to England via BOAC airliners.

Below is a documentary of the first days of the Queen's reign, including the famous footage of her first steps on her native soil as Queen, greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet.

Fast-forwarding to the modern era, here is a BBC documentary on the monarchy, filmed in 2007, which on YouTube is divided into 27 clips, covering four episodes, which you can watch in sequence beginning with this one.  It's really very well done, featuring many behind-the-scenes shots of such things as the royal kitchens and stables, as well as interviews with participants and bystanders, and I recommend it to my truckbuddies.

The big celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is planned for the first week in June of this year, including a flotilla pageant on the Thames, a concert at Buckingham Palace, and culminating on June 5th with a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral.  More details at the official Diamond Jubilee website here.

After the jump, for those of you who, like me, enjoy historical footage, a contemporary color documentary of the the beginning of the "New Elizabethan Era," as it was then called.

Part one covers the death and funeral of the late King:

Part two covers the Queen's first Trooping the Color in June of 1952 on her official birthday - this is like the Fourth of July to us:

Part 3 cover the Coronation, held on June 2, 1953:


Davis said...

60 years? I didn't know you'd passed that milestone! lol

Yes long may she reign.

Russ Manley said...

I'm right behind her at 56. Grin.

Davis said...

You're just a kid then, Russ.

Tim said...

She' magnificent, happy 60th Maam.

Russ Manley said...

Davis - "much too young to feel this damn old," like Garth said.

But I do.

RMcD said...

BF loves this stuff. Thanks for putting it out there.

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