February 6, 2012 By Angela Boothroyd
February 6th is the Diamond Jubilee anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.
Sixty years ago, on the 6th February 1952, King George VI died and his daughter Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25.
To celebrate the anniversary a 41-gun salute will be held in Hyde Park in London on February 6th, followed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.
Elizabeth’s coronation (when she was crowned Queen) took place in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Representatives and citizens from countries around the world attended the ceremony, and many more people around the world listened to the ceremony on the radio and watched it on television.
The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth countries.
The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee anniversary was Queen Victoria in 1897.
The Queen’s full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary and she was born on 21st April 1926. She is the elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Elizabeth had one sister, Princess Margaret, who was born in 1930.
Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. They have four children (Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward) and eight grandchildren.
Princess Elizabeth did not expect to become Queen. When her grandfather, King George V, died in 1936 his eldest son (Elizabeth’s uncle) became King Edward VIII; but in that same year King Edward VIII decided to give up the throne in order to marry the woman he loved, Mrs Wallis Simpson. Mrs Wallis Simpson was divorced and at that time it was not legal for a King to marry someone who was divorced.
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The Diamond Jubilee Pageant
On the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of May 2012, the Diamond Jubilee Pageant takes place in the the presence of the Queen in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Over 800 international performers and 500 horses will take part in the displays and performances.
Diamond Jubilee Weekend
The main celebration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be the official Jubilee Weekend on the 2nd to 5th June.
On the 4th June thousands of beacons will be lit around the world to commemorate the Queen’s 60 year reign. On the same day there will be a big concert at Buckingham Palace.
On Sunday 3rd June, neighbours across the UK will be getting together for The Big Jubilee Lunch. Neighbours will join each other for friendship, fun and of course, lunch Some people will have a simple lunch with their neighbours, others will join big street parties with food, music and decorations.
You can find lots of information about Queen Elizabeth II, plus up-to-date information about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, on this BBC page.