Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Five children among six killed in minibus crash in central France

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

Europe

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years on the throne

Video by Katharyn GILLAM

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-06

Queen Elizabeth II on Monday marked 60 years since ascending to the throne and beginning a reign marked by changing perceptions of the British monarchy. During her reign, there have been 12 British prime ministers, 12 US presidents and six popes.

REUTERS - Queen Elizabeth celebrated 60 years on the throne on Monday to become the second British monarch to reach that milestone.

During her reign, the royal family has faced tumultuous times and moments of plummeting popularity, above all after the death in 1997 of Princess Diana, the hugely popular ex-wife of her son and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles.

But the royals are enjoying fresh support after the wedding last year of the queen's grandson, Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, to Catherine Middleton.

Elizabeth II, 85, became queen aged 25 on Feb. 6, 1952 on the death of her father George VI, while on tour in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip.

In a documentary for BBC TV to be shown on Monday, grandson Prince Harry, younger son of Charles, said how much she relied on Prince Philip. "I don't think that she could do it without him, especially when they're both at this age," he said.

Ninety-year-old Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort and oldest-serving spouse of any British monarch, had surgery at Christmas to clear a blocked heart artery.

Scrutiny and criticism

Accusations of excess and the divorces of three of the queen's children have marred the image of the royal family, which during her reign has come under intense media scrutiny.

The queen was personally criticised for appearing unmoved and out of touch with public feeling over the death of Diana, a moment captured in the 2006 Oscar-winning film "The Queen".

That event left many questioning the monarchy itself.

The queen said in a statement that she was grateful for "the wonderful support and encouragement" she had received over the years, and promised to "dedicate myself anew to your service".

"I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future," she said.

The queen been on the throne for longer than any other monarch except Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901.

During her reign there have been 12 British prime ministers, 12 U.S. presidents and six popes. She has visited 116 countries.

Celebrations in June

Celebrations on Monday will be low key. The queen will spend the day carrying out formal duties in Norfolk, eastern England, visiting a town hall and a junior school.

There will be gun salutes at the Tower of London and at Hyde Park, while two specially commissioned photographs of the queen and Prince Philip will be published on a website launched to mark the jubilee. (www.thediamondjubilee.org)

Major celebrations take place over four days in June, including a concert at Buckingham Palace and a pageant involving a flotilla of 1,000 ships on the River Thames.

"You sometimes hear people talk as if the monarchy was simply a glittering ornament, a decoration on our national life," Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.

"That misunderstands our constitution and it underestimates our queen. All my life, and for the lives of most people in this country, she has always been there for us."

Date created : 2012-02-06

  • AUSTRALIA

    'Outdated' law on UK royal succession changed

    Read more

  • IRELAND

    Queen honours independence fighters on historic Irish visit

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian PM says monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth II

    Read more

COMMENT(S)