The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Celebrating 70 years

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service. She is the first British Monarch to celebrate that milestone and to mark this historic occasion, the UK is having a four-day bank holiday weekend, the spring bank holiday – usually the last Monday of May has been moved to Thursday 2, June and is followed by an extra bank holiday to mark the Jubilee on Friday 3, June. 

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. She was privately educated before serving in the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II at the age of 18.  Her Majesty ascended to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. 

As Her Majesty’s reign began in 1952, here we explore some interesting events from that year.  

What happened in 1952? 

6th February – Queen Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen throughout the Commonwealth after her father, King George VI, died in the early hours of the morning.  

21st February – British Government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to ‘Set the People Free’ – the popular slogan for his campaign. 

2nd May – The de Havilland Comet becomes the world’s first commercial jet airliner. The airliner was developed and manufactured by de Havilland at Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire.  

7th May – The concept of integrated circuits is first published by Geoffrey W.A Dummer, which formed the basis for all modern computers.  

2nd July – The Dodrill GMR heart machine was successfully used for the first time. Developed by Dr. Forest Dewy Dodrill at Harper University Hospital, Detroit, it was the first operational mechanical heart successfully used while performing open heart surgery.  

7th July – The ocean liner SS United States breaks the Blue Riband Transatlantic Speed Record and becomes the fastest passenger ship in the world. 

19th July – The Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of The XV Olympiad were held in Finland. This was the first Olympics since World War II that featured the Soviet Union and Germany. 

10th December – Archer Martin and Richard Synge Win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their invention of partition chromatography.  

14th November – The first UK Singles Chart is published in NME, then named New Musical Express. The chart was topped by Johnnie Ray with ‘Walkin’ My Baby Back Home’ 

25th December – The Queen makes her first Christmas Speech to the Commonwealth.

Her Majesty’s Coronation 

Her Majesty was crowned Queen at the age of 25 on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey, which has been the traditional setting for coronations since 1066. The news was broken whilst she was on holiday in Kenya, becoming the first Sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad.  

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth was the first to be televised and was watched by over 20 million people in the UK alone. The ceremony was attended by 8,251 guests who represented 129 nations and territories.  

More on Her Majesty’s Coronation can be found here.

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