Platinum Jubilee 2022

Platinum Jubilee 2022

The Life and Reign of the Queen, 1920s – 2020s

CCEA’s illustrated timeline depicts the life and reign of the Queen since the 1920s. It can be explored by decade and highlights significant events in her life through photos, text, a significant quote from the decade, and video links. The target audience is Key Stage 2, although it may also be of interest to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 3.

1920s

  • The Queen was born on 21 April 1926.
  • At birth she was known as Princess Elizabeth until she became Queen in 1952.
  • The Queen’s full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.
  • The Queen’s nickname is ‘Lilibet’.
  • The Queen’s parents were Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
  • Her grandfather was King George V who reigned from 1910–1936.
  • At birth, Princess Elizabeth was third in line to the throne.

"Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy."

- Prince Albert

1930s

"I mostly go once or twice around the park before I go to sleep, you know... it exercises my horses."

- Six-year-old Princess Elizabeth to her governess Marion Crawford in 1932.

  • Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret were taught at home by a governess and visiting teachers.
  • Elizabeth loved to play with her horses and dogs.
  • In 1936, when Elizabeth was just 10 years old, her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated.
  • Elizabeth’s father, Prince Albert, then became King, King George VI, and Elizabeth became next in line to the throne.

1940s

  • During World War II Princess Elizabeth, at the age of 14, gave her first speech with a radio address to the children of the Commonwealth.
  • Elizabeth’s first speech was a message of encouragement to many of the children who had been evacuated during the war.
  • In 1945, she joined the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she trained as a mechanic and a driver.
  • In 1947, Elizabeth married Prince Philip, who became the Duke of Edinburgh. Like other brides in the years after World War II, Elizabeth used ration tokens to buy material for her wedding dress.
  • In 1948, Elizabeth’s first child Prince Charles was born.

"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."

- Broadcast speech (as Princess Elizabeth) to the Commonwealth from Cape Town, 21 April 1947, in 'The Times' 22 April 1947.

1950s

  • Princess Elizabeth’s second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950.
  • Elizabeth was touring Kenya in 1952 when she heard of her father’s sudden death.
  • On her arrival back to England Elizabeth was greeted by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
  • Elizabeth ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952.
  • Her coronation was held more than one year later, allowing for a suitable mourning period for the King.
  • On 2 June 1953, at the age of 25, Elizabeth was formally crowned Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Her coronation was the first to be broadcast on television, granting the public access so that they could witness the royal tradition.
  • In 1957, the Queen addressed the nation with her Christmas message. This was a historic event, as it was the first royal Christmas message to be televised.

"Twenty-five years ago, my grandfather broadcasted the first of these Christmas messages. Today is another landmark because television has made it possible for many of you to see me in your homes on Christmas Day. My own family often gather round to watch television as they are at this moment, and that is how I imagine you now."

- The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, 1957.

1960s

  • The Queen visited grieving families in Aberfan in Wales. This was the site of a tragic disaster which killed 144 people, most of them children, in 1966.
  • The Queen wrote a message of goodwill for Apollo 11 astronauts to take with them on their mission to land on the moon in 1969.

"On behalf of the British people, I salute the skills and courage which have brought man to the moon. May this endeavour increase the knowledge and wellbeing of mankind."

- Message sent in Apollo 11’s mission to the moon: The Queen, 1969

1970s

  • In 1977 the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years on the throne.
  • The Silver Jubilee was celebrated with street parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The keynote of the Jubilee was unity of the nation.
  • The Queen was credited with inventing the royal walkabout, where she greeted local people. The ‘walkabout' is still a very popular royal tradition.
  • The Queen visited Northern Ireland in 1977 and greeted people at the New University, Coleraine, now known as the Ulster University.
  • In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first female British Prime Minister. For the first time in history, the highest-ranking positions in the United Kingdom were held by females.
  • As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, the Queen embarked on a large-scale tour including New Zealand and Australia.

"When I was 21, I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God's help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it."

- Queen’s speech at luncheon in Guildhall, 1977.

1980s

  • In 1980, the Queen made history by becoming the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican to meet Pope John Paul II.
  • The Queen’s son, Prince Charles, married Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981. Diana was the first British citizen to marry an heir to the throne in 300 years. The wedding marked a high point for the Royal Family.

"Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made –the prince and the princess on their wedding day."

- Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 29 July 1981

  • In June 1982, the Queen’s grandson, Prince William, was born. As he is the eldest son of Prince Charles, he is second in line to the throne.
  • In July 1982, an intruder scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace and entered the Queen’s bedroom. The Queen was unharmed and police eventually removed the man from the Palace.
  • The Queen was the first British monarch to visit China in 1986. This was considered a milestone in Anglo-Chinese relations.

1990s

"So what I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart. First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself... I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys."

- The Queen’s broadcast in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, 5 September 1997.

  • The Queen describes 1992 as an ‘Annus Horribilis’ (a horrible year). Her sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew separated from their wives and her daughter Princess Anne divorced her husband.
  • In the same year, a fire broke out in Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s official residences, destroying 115 rooms.
  • In August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died from injuries sustained in a car crash. Her death caused an unprecedented outpouring of public grief. The Queen broadcasted a tribute to the Princess of Wales, saying that Diana was an ‘exceptional and gifted human being.’

2000s

Gratitude, respect and pride: these words sum up how I feel about the people of this country and the Commonwealth and what this Golden Jubilee means to me."

- The Queen, 2002

  • The Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret died in 2002.

2010s

  • In 2011, the Queen made a historic trip to Ireland, the first royal state visit in a century. The Queen acknowledged the turbulent past between the countries and hoped that the visit would mark the beginning of better times between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • The Queen’s visit to Northern Ireland was marked by a historic handshake with Martin McGuinness, and was hailed as a significant moment in the peace process.

"Whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load."

- The Queen at the Ireland state banquet, 2011

  • In 2012, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years on the throne.
  • Following the tradition of the Silver and Golden Jubilees, special events were held throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh embarked on a tour of the United Kingdom, while other members of the Royal Family visited Commonwealth countries.
  • For the opening ceremony of the London Summer Olympics 2012, the Queen made a special appearance with ‘James Bond’ before taking her seat in the stadium.

2020s

  • In April 2020, the Queen gave a rare speech during the coronavirus pandemic. She thanked healthcare workers and the public for following government rules during lockdown.
  • In April 2021 the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99. The couple had been married for 73 years. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Queen was seated alone at the funeral.
  • The Queen launched the Commonwealth baton relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022. The baton will be passed back to the Queen at the opening ceremony after travelling through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.
  • Following the Queen’s Covid-19 recovery in February 2022, she continued with her royal duties by conducting virtual meetings from Windsor Castle.
  • In February 2022, the Queen was the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.
  • Special events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. These will culminate in a four-day celebration in June, with events such as a Platinum Party at the Palace and a Platinum Jubilee Pageant Parade.

"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

- The Queen’s broadcast to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, 5 April 2020.