Monday, February 6th begins the 60th Diamond Jubilee year of the ascension to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II. On Feb. 6th 1952 her father King George VI succumbed to pneumonia after battling lung cancer for several year at Sandringham House, Nofolk make Princess Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II, although the coronation would not be held until 1953. Lots of preparations needing to be made.
Princess Elizabeth was in Kenya with Prince Philip representing the ailing king. Both my family and my husband's family have always felt that the pneumonia was the result of having gone to the airport to see the Princess Elizabeth off on her journey but refused to wear the hat Queen Elizabeth his wife, the Queen Mum, had urged him to wear on a cold and rainy day. The new queen hurried home.
The Diamond Jubilee having been reached, puts Queen Elizabeth II into the special category of longest reigning monarch along with Queen Victoria who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
I had planned to start my coverage of the Jubilee Year tomorrow, by the Times Online had a marvelous article that I wanted to share with you. The following photos are from the article and are depictions of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
I remember hearing much about the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Vicotoria from my grandmother, Emma Bridgewater nee Rice pictured below:
My grandmother was 16 and living in Leicester. She had recently had scarlet fever so could take only a small part in the festivities. She watched the preparations from her window as the neighbors hauled tables and chairs into the streets for the block or neighbourhood parties that were occuring all over England. All the houses were decorated with bunting and flags and it was a festive time.
In the town square the mayor was having a huge celebratory bonfire and roasted oxen prepared and farmers had brought in potatoes by the sack full to roast in the coals, something that was a normal thing for Guy Fawkes' Day bonfires. When the evening arrived, my grandmother was not well enough to attend the bonfire and ox roast but was taken in the family carriage, wrapped in blankets and shawls with a foot warmer box filled with hot coals to at least watch the firework display. She said it was one of her most vivid memories. People sang, cried and cheered and toasted Queen Victoria. A wonderful occasion!
I will be sharing frequently about various plans for the Diamond Jubilee in the days ahead.
The Jubilee Year of 2012 is actually been truncated to a Jubilee Half Yrae because of the Olympic Summer Games being hosted in London beginning in July 2012. Considering the health of Prince Philip, that's probably a good thing. And the Queen herself is 85. As our families always say..."Our Liz...she's brilliant!"