Celebrating 60 Years of Queen Elizabeth II Reign

The 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne was marked on the 6th of February 2012 by a 41 gun salute by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in London’s Hyde Park. This was followed by a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London, a 21-gun Royal Salute at Edinburgh Castle at noon and a 21-gun salute by the Royal Navy. The Queen usually spends Accession day privately as this is the day that her father King George VI died, but this year the 85 year old Monarch will attend two engagements in Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne after the father King George VI died in 1952 and has been the second longest reigning monarch of the UK after Queen Victoria. She also became the head of the Commonwealth, and Queen Regent of seven independent Commonwealth countries. Her Coronation ceremony held in 1953 was the first to be televised, and this was instrumental in doubling the number of television licenses in the UK at that time to 3 million. A total of about 20 million British viewers watched the coronation on for the first time at neighbors’ and friends’ homes. Recorded broadcasts of the coronation were watched by over 100 million viewers in the USA, and many people from over the world visited London for the Coronation.

The 60th year of the Queen reign will be marked by a series of national and international celebrations throughout 2012. The UK will have a four day long UK Bank Holiday weekend in June by moving the Spring Bank Holiday from the last Monday in May to the 4th of June, which is also the Queen’s official birthday. As part of the celebrations, a large event will be held in London that weekend, with a Diamond Jubilee concert, and a maritime parade of 1000 bats along the river Thames on June 3rd. This is the largest flotilla to be seen on the river in 360 years, and will include a Royal Barge which will carry the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

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