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Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 65 years
Previously known as Princess Elizabeth, she became Queen the very second that her father passed away because the throne is never vacant – hence the expression “the King is dead, long live the King”.
At the time of George VI’s death, the Queen and her husband Prince Philip were staying at the remote Treetops Hotel in Kenya.
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Jim Corbett, a hunter was also staying at Treetops at the time, wrote in the visitors’ log book: “For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen.”
A young girl climbed into a tree a Princess and climbed down a Queen
The Queen and Prince Philip were on a brief stopover en route to a diplomatic visit to Australia and New Zealand.
It was several hours before officials could get hold of the royal party to inform them that King George had died.
When the Queen’s private secretary Martin Charteris was finally told about the king’s death, he passed the news on to Prince Philip, who took his wife on a walk along a river to break the sad news.
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in pictures
Tue, January 31, 2017
Photographs from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II which took place on June 2 1953.
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Queen Elizabeth II poses with the royal sceptre 02 June 1953 after being crowned
Prince Philip took the Queen for a walk to break the news of her father's death
The Queen returned to the Treetops hotel in 1983
Stoically, she cut the trip short and spent the rest of the day planning her return to London and sending letters of apology to the dignitaries who were to host her.
An accession declaration was read almost immediately.
When Mr Charteris asked what regnal name she would like to take, the Queen replied: “My own of course, what else?”
Queen Elizabeth was coronated at Westminster Abbey
The coronation was more than a year after Elizabeth became Queen
The royal family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Millions of people tuned in to the coronation from across the world
On the Queen’s return to London, there was a formal proclamation at St James’ Palace on February 8.
She said: "By the sudden death of my dear father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty.
"My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over."
Queen Elizabeth II in pictures
Fri, January 27, 2017
Queen Elizabeth II making her Royal visits in her many colourful and elegant outfits.
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Queen Elizabeth looks towards a man dressed in traditional costume as she arrives to view an exhibition on Fiji at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia in Norwich, eastern England
According to tradition, her coronation followed more than a year later on June 2, 1953, due to a period of mourning for the dead king.
Approximately 8,000 guests, including the Queen’s family, foreign royals and world leaders filled Westminster Abbey.
The gilded ceremony was the first coronation to be televised. More than 20 million viewers tuned in from around the world, while many Britons threw street parties and celebrations.