Wednesday, 9 September 2015

63 years...


Elizabeth II, Dei Gratia Britanniarum Regnorumque Suorum Ceterorum Regina, Consortionis Populorum Princeps, Fidei Defensor

...63 facts, year-by-year, from Her Majesty the Queen's reign, courtesy of Adrian Lee in The Express:
1952 The first document the Queen signed on her accession related to a homosexual incident (which was then still illegal) involving the Army.

1953 The Queen attended her first football match - the FA Cup final - between Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool who won 4-3.

1954 During a state visit to Australia, the Queen was seen hurling shoes, threats and sporting equipment during a furious row with Prince Philip. Afterwards she said: "I'm sorry for that little interlude but as you know, it happens in every marriage."

1955 For the first time, the Queen missed the Trooping The Colour ceremony because it was cancelled due to a rail strike.

1956 The Queen and Prince Philip introduced small, informal luncheon parties of six to eight guests at Buckingham Palace to meet distinguished people from all professions. The tradition continues to this day.

1957 When the Queen and her husband were reunited in Portugal after official duties had kept them apart for four months, Prince Philip wore a tie with hearts on. The Queen greeted her husband wearing false ginger whiskers, mimicking the beard he had grown while away from her.

1958 The Queen wore full miner's kit to go 500ft underground on a visit to Rothes colliery.

1959 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was met at the Palace by the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. "Thank goodness you're here," said the Duke, "The Queen's in a terrible state; there's a fellow called Jones in the billiard room who wants to marry her sister and Prince Philip's in the library wanting to change the family name to Mountbatten."

1960 Prince Andrew's birth in February meant he was the first baby born to a reigning sovereign since 1857.

1961 During her state visit to Ghana (the first by a British monarch), the local press dubbed her "the world's greatest socialist monarch in history".

1962 The Queen loves satire. She especially liked "the one with the silly face" from Beyond The Fringe. It's thought she was referring to Jonathan Miller.

1963 For the first time, the Queen and Prince Philip were booed in public during a state visit by King Paul I of Greece (Philip's first cousin) and Queen Frederika. The visit was controversial because Britain supported the independence of Cyprus from Greece.

1964 Harold Wilson became the first prime minister who was a) Labour and b) not from the Queen's own social class. They got on famously and the PM's weekly audience sometimes ran to two hours and drinks afterwards rather than the more usual 30 minutes.

1965 The state visit to West Germany (as it was then) was the first by the Royal Family since before the First World War. Protocol was so sensitive, it took two years to organise.

1966 The Queen struggled to keep her emotions in check when she met relatives of the 144 victims of the Aberfan disaster, in which a school was buried under a landslide. Tears came to her eyes as she read a message given to her from three-year-old Karen Jones which said: "From the remaining children of Aberfan..."

1967 When Prince Charles went to Trinity College Cambridge to study archaeology and anthropology, his mother dispatched the official head of furnishings at Buckingham Palace - known as the tapissier - to do up Charles's college digs.

1968 On a state visit to Brazil, the Queen was presented with two sloths.

1969 For the first and only time in her reign the Queen missed broadcasting a Christmas message. The documentary Royal Family had been shown that year and she felt the public had seen enough of her.

1970 The first "royal walkabouts", introduced so the Queen could meet the public, took place in Australia and New Zealand.

1971 The Queen's exemption from paying tax was discussed publicly for the first time.

1972 The Queen visited her uncle the Duke of Windsor who was dying. As she entered his room he made a supreme effort to stand up and bow, despite the drip attached to his neck. The Queen was in tears when she left him.

1973 When Princess Anne announced her engagement to fellow equestrian Mark Phillips, the Queen remarked: "I shouldn't wonder if their children are four-legged."

1974 The Queen had to interrupt an overseas tour for the first and only time when she had to abandon a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because a snap election was called at home.

1975 Continuing a tradition started by Queen Victoria, at 9am every day a kilted piper marches below the Queen's window at Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Balmoral. With this in mind, the Japanese provided a Japanese piper in a kilt during her state visit to Tokyo to make her feel at home.

1976 The Queen sent her first email from an army base via ARPANET, a precursor to the internet. What her message said remains a state secret.

1977 Most unusually the Queen was 10 minutes late for an 11am investiture ceremony on November 15. As she explained to the waiting guests, her son-in-law Mark Phillips had telephoned at 10.46am to inform her of the birth of her first grandchild.

1978 Convention dictates that when the monarch enters or leaves a country of which she is Head of State, the prime minister must be in attendance. But when the Queen travelled to Canada to officially open the Commonwealth Games, the Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau was not there to greet her. He had gone on holiday to Morocco instead.

1979 Two dutiful women of the same age who adored their fathers... the Queen should have got on with her first female PM. But she didn't. When Mrs Thatcher felt faint at a Palace dinner (not for the first time), the Queen was heard to say: "She's keeled over again."

1980 Many credit the Queen with getting African leaders together to talk, leading to the Lancaster House Agreement which established the state of Zimbabwe.

1981 Marcus Serjeant, a disturbed 17-year-old, fired shots as the Queen rode her horse during the Trooping The Colour parade on June 13. The Queen managed to calm her horse and rode on as if nothing had happened. The shots turned out to be blanks.

1982 The Queen woke to find intruder Michael Fagan sitting on her bed. His request for a cigarette gave her the chance to alert her staff. One of the first on the scene, a Geordie maid, exclaimed memorably: "Bloody 'ell Ma'am, what's he doin' 'ere?"

1983 The Queen was furious when the Governor-General of Grenada failed to inform her he had invited US troops to invade and restore the government after a coup. The Caribbean island is a Commonwealth country and the Queen is Head of State.

1984 After personally guaranteeing the Queen's safety during her state visit to Jordan, King Hussein drove her from Amman airport himself.

1985 Sarah Ferguson, aka Fergie, started dating Prince Andrew and would become the Queen's daughter-in-law the following year.

1986 The Queen became the first British monarch to visit China.

1987 The Queen's Christmas broadcast was directed by Sir David Attenborough.

1988 On the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada (which the Spanish lost) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth made a state visit to Spain.

1989 Sadness for the Queen as Princess Anne and Mark Phillips announced that they were separating.

1990 One of the Queen's racing pigeons won a leg of the Pau international pigeon race. The bird was subsequently named Sandringham Lightning.

1991 A badly-positioned microphone meant the Queen could not be seen when she stepped up to the lectern at the White House. A TV cameraman was heard shouting: "All I've got is a talking hat!"

1992 The Queen coined a new phrase, "annus horribilis", to describe the year in which the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew broke down and a fire partly destroyed Windsor Castle.

1993 The Queen became the first monarch to open Buckingham Palace to the public. It was done to raise funds for repairs at Windsor Castle.

1994 When she discovered that Prince Charles had given his biographer Jonathan Dimbleby access to state papers, as well as his own private correspondence, she was so angry that she allowed her son to spend only a day at Balmoral with the family during their summer holiday.

1995 Princess Diana's Panorama interview aired on November 20, ruining a wedding anniversary for the Queen.

1996 The Queen was visibly moved on a Mothering Sunday visit to Dunblane, where a gunman had killed 16 children and a teacher at the primary school.

1997 The Queen was seen blinking back tears as she watched the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Since launching the ship in 1954, they had travelled more than a million miles together.

1998 Labour MPs broke protocol, shouting "Hear, hear" during the State Opening of Parliament as the Queen outlined the Blair government's plans to get rid of 700 hereditary peers.

1999 After two high-profile daughters-in-law the Queen was pleased with Prince Edward's choice of wife, remarking about Sophie Rhys-Jones: "You wouldn't pick her out in a crowd."

2000 The Queen looked very uncomfortable as she linked arms for Auld lang Syne at the Millennium celebrations.

2001 Her Majesty toured the set of EastEnders and went behind the bar of the Queen Vic.

2002 The Queen, official head of the Church of England, entered a mosque for the first time during a visit to Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

2003 The Queen sat for her first and (so far) only hologram portrait, made up of 10,000 images layered over one another, giving a 3D effect.

2004 In March the Queen hosted Women of Achievement at Buckingham Palace, the first female-only event to be held there.

2005 Her Majesty claimed ownership of 88 cygnets born on the River Thames. All swans in England have been officially Crown property since the 12th century.

2006 Helen Mirren won an Oscar and a Bafta for playing the Queen - and an invitation to dine with the real person.

2007 Buckingham Palace launched the Royal Channel on YouTube to mark the 50th anniversary of the Queen's first TV Christmas address.

2008 The Queen asked academics at the London School of Economics why nobody foresaw the credit crunch. Her own fortune is said to have dropped £25m in the financial crisis.

2009 The Queen joined Twitter. A social media team at Buckingham Palace sends daily tweets.

2010 The Queen attended Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years, watching Andy Murray on Centre Court.

2011 In May of this year, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since Irish independence. She also visited the Turner Contemporary Art Centre in Kent where she asked artist Tracey Emin: "Do you show internationally as well as in Margate?"

2012 The Queen appeared to parachute into the Olympic stadium at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. One Japanese diplomat was so impressed he said: "We could never get our Emperor to do that!"

2013 Prince George is born giving the monarchy three generations of successors.

2014 In an extremely rare political comment the Queen urged Scots to "think carefully" before the referendum.

2015 Queen Elizabeth II overtakes her great-great-grandmother Victoria as Britain's longest-reigning monarch.


Cheers, Ma'am!

The official website of the British Monarchy

More of Her Majesty over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp

4 comments:

  1. God bless her, long may she reign !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, my dear - think of the alternative... Jx

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  2. Replies
    1. So much more so than "Queen Camilla"... Jx

      Delete

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