Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 6, 2011

Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, June 1953

February 6, 1952: British King George VI dies. George was the second son of the King George V and was not expected to ascend to the throne. When his brother abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson, George became the King of the UK and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth. He was king from 1936 until his death on this day. Prior to his becoming the king, he had married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and the couple had two daughters. The king managed to lead the country through World War II, along with the help of his Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. However, the stress of the war exacted a price. His elder daughter took on more duties as his health declined.

His daughter was in Kenya and had just returned from a night spent at Treetops Hotel when word of her father’s death arrived. She had been on her way to tour Australia and New Zealand. Her husband,  Prince Philip, broke the news to his wife. She was asked what her regnal name would be. Unlike her father who changed his name from Albert to George in order to preserve the idea of the line of the House of Windsor, Elizabeth kept her own name. In fact, she even kept her surname and Philip Mountbatten became part of the House of Windsor.

Elizabeth became Queen of England and all the Commonwealth nations immediately upon the death of her father. However, the coronation did not take place until June 2, 1953. It was held at Westminster Abbey and most of the ceremony was televised. For many of the 20 million viewers, this was the first time they had watch television and sales increased tremendously during this time.

Queen Elizabeth has served as leader of her country (and the Church of England) for over 50 years. She continues to sit on the throne with the line of succession firmly held by her offspring. Her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales is next in line for the throne. He has two sons by his first wife, Princess Diana. William and Henry would be next in line after their father. Princess Anne, the couple’s only daughter, also has two children. The two younger sons, Andrew and Edward each have two children.

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” – Queen Elizabeth II on her 21st birthday

“We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.” – Elizabeth II

“I have to be seen to be believed.” – Elizabeth II

“I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.” – Philip Mountbatten

Also on this day:
Tobacco Road – In 1987, the US bans smoking in all federal buildings, except Congress.
Ronald Reagan – In 1987, Ronald Reagan became America’s oldest president.

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2 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    what a load of rubbish. he was the second son of george the 5th.edward8 was his elder who abdicated

    • patriciahysell said, on February 8, 2011 at 5:58 am

      You are of course, correct, and so nice about it. I got ahead of myself. I fixed it.

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