Our Queen's Diamond Anniversary

Sixty years ago today, on 6th February, 1952, our Queen, who was then Princess Elizabeth, received the news of her father's death. Her father was King George VI. His death meant she would now be Queen Elizabeth II.

She had left the UK days earlier as Princess Elizabeth; she returned as Queen.

  Her husband would no longer be able to carry on in his much-loved career in the Navy - from now on, he would be the Queen's consort. She would never again make decisions for herself that spoke of personal choice or personal ambition.

Her coronation took place a few months later, a very public ceremony marking what she now was: HRH Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

(Just to be pedantic - she really isn't Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, because she is the first 'Elizabeth' to be Queen of Great Britain. When Queen Elizabeth I was Queen, Scotland had its own monarch. The two crowns were joined when James VI of Scotland became King of a 'united' kingdom. So, HRH Queen Elizabeth is Queen Elisabeth the First .... really. Not that I'm pedantic or anything ;)

With her beloved horses: our Queen at her happiest ...

HRH has served this nation and the Commonwealth for sixty years. Most of us have only know life in her reign. In our country, even some of the most ardent anti-Royalists tend to have no bad word to say against our Queen. 

(Even President Obama, of that Republic across the water that chucked our Monarchy all these years ago, had nothing but praise for our Queen, having met HRH when he visited our shores.)

When Obama was in the UK, in May 2011, I read an article in The Times. Here's a flavour of what was said.  

President Obama has spoken of his family's strong friendship with the Queen on the eve of his first state visit to the UK.

In an interview with the BBC, he described the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as "extraordinarily gracious people” and said they represented “the best of England”. The Obamas have kept in close contact with the Queen and the Duke since they first met in 2009, exchanging letters and speaking of the phone.

(I shall excuse the whole 'England' thing ... indeed.)

Apparently, when they met first, at a reception before the G20 summit in 2009, they hit it off immediately. They appeared relaxed together and shared jokes.

After a photocall for G20 leaders, Mrs Obama and the Queen were seen with their arms around each other's backs, with a palace spokeswoman describing it as a "mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation". As they said goodbye, the Queen was overheard asking Mrs Obama: "Now we have met, would you please keep in touch?". They have since spoken on the phone and written to one another.

In the interview broadcast yesterday, Obama said, "They are extraordinarily gracious people. They could not have been kinder to us."

He revealed that his wife and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, rode in a carriage when they were given a tour of the palace during a private trip to London in late 2009. "She could not have been more charming and gracious to the girls," he said. "They actually had a chance to ride in the carriage on the grounds. I think what the Queen symbolises not just to Great Britain, but to the entire Commonwealth, and obviously the entire world is the best of England. And we’re very proud of her.”

Mr Obama was asked about his conversations with the Queen, who has met every one of the 12 US Presidents since she came to the throne in 1952, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson.

"What you find is that there's a lot of wisdom to be found if you're willing to listen," he replied.

Can you imagine? She has met every US President since 1952 (except Johnson). How many people have come and gone, and she has been an unchanging feature of our nation's life. No wonder President Obama had to say that there was 'a huge amount of wisdom to be found in her'.

***     ***     ***

Throughout these decades she has seen a great deal of change in our nation - economically, socially, morally; she has lived through turmoil and personal grief; and in every situation in which she has found herself, she has given her time, her energy and her commitment to the nation over which she is monarch. She has never been heard to complain even when the national press printed page after page of articles criticising her and her family, vilifying them, and mocking them. Throughout it all, she has carried herself with dignity and grace wherever she has gone.

I think few could have failed to notice her sheer joy on the day of Prince William and Catherine's wedding. Surely most observers felt a real desire to share in her quite evident joy at seeing the outpouring of affection and support from the crowds of onlookers. She was delighted! And I, for one, was delighted for her! I hope that day gave her some idea of just how much we appreciate her, and yes, her family too.

Her Majesty's official Diamond Jubilee message, released today, is as follows:

Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth. 

I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations. 

I send my sincere good wishes to you all.


I can assure Her Majesty that, seeing as actions speak even louder than words, we know her dedication to our nation to be without reproach. 

I can also assure HM (not that she reads my blog, you understand ...) that the support which was so apparent and public over 2011 was but a public display of how we feel.

God bless you, our dear Queen. My greatest prayer for you is that you would know the King of kings for you, like us all, will one day bow the knee to the Eternal King.


  1. You've written a beautiful tribute to Her Majesty who, had she been on the throne 230 years ago, would surely have kept us all together. Long live the Queen!

    1. Laurie, you could have been tried for treason had you cried 'Long live the King' all these years ago!
      Yes, I feel our Queen may have been enough of a wise diplomat to have kept our nations together. Imagine....not so much as a passport would be needed .... ;)

  2. Thank you - this was beautiful. "God save the Queen!"

  3. I was sure I left a comment here...Guess I'll give it another go! This was a great post. I had most of my kiddos gathered round the computer screen reading right along. We had one question....my daughter asked when the monarch is addressed as HRH versus HRM (or is that even used? is it just Her Majesty?) Probably not an earth-shattering topic, just a curiosity! Thanks for the great history, Anne!

    1. His/Her Royal Highness (HRH) is used for members of the Royal Family, particularly the Queen's children, and heirs. Whether they are known as Princes/Princesses or alternative titles like Duke/Duchess, they will be HRH. For example, Prince William's wife, Catherine, is HRH Duchess of Cambridge.
      Her/His Majesty is only used for Kings or Queens.
      Our Queen is Her Majesty ... :)

  4. Interesting post and so well written. What stands out to me is that here in the USA we elect a president every four years whereas the Queen's reign there has been for such an amount of time that the people truly feel she is a part of them. Your admiration of her is evident and admirable. And yes, I too, hope that she knows the one true King.
    Blessings, Julie

  5. I'm feeling old because I remember seeing the Queen on her Silver Jubilee in the 1970's when she visited the place where I grew up. She was not on foot so no opportunity to courtesy but she did acknowledge our group because I was on the float holding all the Brownies and Girl Guides. I went on to become a Queen's Guide and still have my certificate from the Queen and still remember my promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and to serve the Queen. I'm curious to find out if the promise remains the same today. I can imagine some would want to remove the part about duty to God. I should google it!
    Long may she reign!

  6. @Ann of eightacresofeden - here in Canada at least, sadly God was taken out of the promise for Brownies and Guides, and I'm pretty sure Australia will be the same. Actually, come to think of it, there's no duty either...guess that word doesn't sound like enough fun...Like you, I remember the visit to Canada in the 1970's - I was tall for my age and stuck at the back of the rows of Guides, nowhere near enough for a good look, but still proud to be there. Anne, thank you for this wonderful post commemorating HM Diamond Jubilee...very stirring.


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