Happy Diamond Jubilee to Queen Elizabeth II!

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God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen
Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.“

Like many Canadians, I am a Royal watcher and wish to acknowledge an amazing anniversary today. Queen  Elizabeth II is celebrating her 60th year on the throne. This is quite an achievement and shows tremendous dedication to service.

Her rise to Queen is actually quite amazing following a string of unexpected events. Most importantly was when her naughty playboy uncle David, known as King Edward the VIII, did the unthinkable by giving up his royal title for the love of his life, an American divorcee and commoner, Wallis Simpson. His decision was scandalous and caused a constitutional crisis in Great Britain. He was only King for 10 months (Jan 20 – Dec 11 1936) and since he was unmarried and had no children, his abdication left her father George VI, King and herself the Heir Apparent as she was the eldest and she had no brothers.

Queen Elizabeth’s  father Albert, known as George VI, reigned for from December 11 1936 until his untimely death on February 6, 1952 at the young age of 56. This thrust young Elizabeth into the spotlight at the tender age of 25.  Married to Prince Phillip at only 20, Princess Elizabeth was actually on a tour of Australia via Kenya with her husband when her father died and she rushed home to be declared Queen Elizabeth II upon touching British soil.

 

She ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 and was  crowned as Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories on June 2, 1953.

Today in Britain, four days of festivities are getting underway to honour the Queen’s ascension to the British throne 60 years ago. Various celebrations are taking place around the world to honour the occasion, including the recent visit by the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, who made high-profile appearances in three provinces late last month.

I can`t get enough of the Royals and was fortunate enough to be in Ottawa last July to see Prince William and his new bride Kate during the Canada Day celebrations. We waited patiently for 3 hours at the Canadian War Memorial to greet them at their first public appearance during their 10 day Canada tour and it was so worth it!  What a thrill it was seeing them smiling and waving at me a mere 2 feet away – it is a highlight and memory that my family will never forget. My son was even captured on the front page of the Globe & Mail in a photo showing their arrival. While he is just a tiny face in the crowd, but we can see him clearly in his red t-shirt and mop of blonde hair as he sat perched upon his father`s shoulders taking in the action.

This week, the Royals were all over the mainstream TV news with all kinds of interesting interviews and specials that I thoroughly enjoyed. Katie Couric hosted a wonderful 3-hour special that I hope they will rerun as it featured interviews with Prince William, Andrew, Philip and Harry and provided an indepth look in to their lives. I can`t get enough and enjoy this coverage which gives us a peek in to their lives.

If you are interested, expect to see highlight reels of 1000 boat floating procession down the Thames River led by a royal barge bearing the Queen, concerts featuring luminaries of the British music scene, fireworks and carriage rides await all those who care to join in what’s only the second diamond jubilee in British history. Monday there will be a ceremony at Buckingham Palace at which hundreds of beacons will be lit in honour of the occasion, as well as the concert featuring such stars as Paul McCartney, Elton John and Annie Lennox. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will also be in attendance.

Tuesday’s festivities include a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, followed by an official carriage procession through the city featuring the Queen and Prince Phillip. Celebrations will culminate with the entire royal family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a 60-gun salute and a flyby by the Royal Air Force

So here`s to the Queen!

For more information

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Jubilee_of_Elizabeth_II

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