The diamond queen Elizabeth II and her people



Her Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated throughout 2012, with a series ofRoyal Visits throughout the UK. There will be a Jubilee Pageant at Windsor in May and an entire weekend’s programme of events at the beginning of JuneHer reign is the second longest in British history; the longest reigningmonarch, being Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for sixty-four years, from 1837 – 1901.When she was born, Princess Elizabeth was third in line to the throne and no one expected that she would one day become Queen, but when her Uncle David, better known as Edward VIII, abdicated, her father, Prince Albert, became King George VI and she became heir to the throne.Her coronation was the first to be shown on television and was watched by 53 per cent of the population, some 19 million people, at a time whenthe vast majority of people in Britain did not even own a television. She is not only the Head of State, but also the Fount of Justice, the Head of the Armed Forces and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.She has had twelve Prime Ministers in her long reign: Winston Churchill,Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.She has bestowed 404,500 honours and awards and personally held more than 610 investitures since becoming Queen.She is patron of more than 600 charities.Every year The Queen and the Royal Family pay nearly 3,000 official visits throughout the United Kingdom.She has made a great many overseas trips to Commonwealth countries, including 16 to Australia, 10 to New zealand and more than 20 to Canada.She is not only Queen of this country, but she is also the Head of Stateof 15 Commonwealth realms in addition to the UK, among them the SolomonIslands, Tuvalu and Barbados. She is also Head of the Commonwealth itself, a voluntary association of 54 independent countries.

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