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Our Guide To The Queen & Her Diamond Jubilee

London & Castle Tours - Buckingham Palace

Who is The Queen?

Born in 1926, Princess Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of King George and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother).

At the time of her birth, she was not expected to become queen, but with the abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, she became first in line to the throne. King George died suddenly in 1952 and Princess Elizabeth came to the throne on 6 February 1952. The following year, her coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.

The queen is now the second longest serving monarch after Queen Victoria. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.

What does the Queen do? 
The British Sovereign can be seen as having two roles: Head of State and Head of the Nation. 

As Head of State, The Queen undertakes a number of constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. There are inward duties, with The Queen playing a part in State functions in Britain. These include the opening of Parliament, the signing of Acts of Parliament, and holding meetings with the Prime Minister.

There are also outward duties of State when The Queen represents Britain to the rest of the world. For example, The Queen receives foreign ambassadors and high commissioners, entertains visiting Heads of State and makes State visits overseas to other countries in support of diplomatic and economic relations.

As Head of Nation, The Queen's role is less formal, but no less important for the social and cultural functions it fulfils. These include: providing a focus for national identity, unity and pride; giving a sense of stability and continuity; recognizing success, achievement and excellence; and supporting service to others, particularly through public service and the voluntary sector.

Interesting facts about the Queen

  1. There have been 12 Prime Ministers since the Queen took to the throne. The first was Winston Churchill and Tony Blair was the first to be born in her reign.
  2. She is patron of 600 charities.
  3. Elizabeth is head of state of 15 other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica. 
  4. The Queen has sat for 129 portraits during her reign. 
  5. The Corgi is her favourite breed of dog and she has had more than 30 during the last 60 years.
  6. The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for 64 years.
  7. Elizabeth is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror.
  8. She has signed more than 3500 acts of Parliament.
  9. The Queen has answered more than 3.5 million pieces of correspondence.
  10. Over the last 60 years, the Queen has visited 116 countries. She has visited Australia 18 times, Canada 22 times and New Zealand 10 times. 

There are a number of events planned for the Jubilee. These include a concert in the front of Buckingham Palace, a river pageant along the Thames, street parties in every town and village plus the lighting of thousands of beacons throughout the land. 

You can visit many of the places associated with the Royal family with our Royal London tours and castle tours

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